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13th Apr 2024

Fans baffled by Manchester United’s performance in Bournemouth draw

Luke Davies

The Red Devils put in a less-than-impressive performance and rode their luck against the Cherries in a 2-2 draw.

The Cherries took the lead on 16 minutes thanks partly to Dominic Solanke’s finishing prowess and Willy Kambwala’s error, which the youngster, no doubt, will learn from. Bournemouth pushed for a second on what was a pleasant evening on the south coast.

However, United fought back through Bruno Fernandes, whose smashed volley levelled the scores on the half-hour mark. Bournemouth continued to be positive attacking United seemingly at will. Their persistence was rewarded just minutes later; Justin Kluivert ran at a non-existent defence before finishing with aplomb. Fans took to social media in bemusement about the amount of space the Dutchman was allowed.

The pressure did not let up. Just before half-time, Bournemouth smashed the woodwork to end an excellent first-half performance (less than excellent from United). Erik ten Hag’s side were happy to hear the referee’s whistle at half-time. United have made a habit of conceding an obscene amount of shots. This continued at the Vitality; United conceded 12 shots in the first half. The Red Devils registered just one target on-target in the first period – Fernandes’ goal.

Jamie Redknapp lambasted United when speaking on Sky Sports: “We never quite know what Manchester United we are going to get right now. They came back against Liverpool in a game they had no right to be in. They managed to get a point against Liverpool. Scraped it at the end. But they’ve just got to find some form, find some consistency and try to have a really good end to the season. Every time you watch Manchester United we have no idea what we are going to get… it is so frustrating.”

United won a penalty on 64 minutes; Fernandes sent Neto the wrong way to level things once again and double his tally for the evening. At this point, the game was there to be won with neither side looking likely.

The second half was a non-event outside of Fernandes’ strike until Ryan Christie was fouled by Kambwala in the penalty area. VAR allowed United to breathe a sigh of relief as the foul was declared to be outside the box.

The draw saw United gain one point on Spurs, who lost 4-0 to Newcastle earlier in the day. Aston Villa face Arsenal tomorrow, they are also 10 points above United. Newcastle replaced United in sixth by goal difference. United have never finished below seventh in the Premier League era.

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