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FootballBournemouth 2-2 Man United: Bruno Fernandes goals rescue Premier League point for...

Bournemouth 2-2 Man United: Bruno Fernandes goals rescue Premier League point for visitors

Bruno Fernandes equalised twice as Manchester United’s hopes of qualifying for European competition suffered more damage with a draw at 12th-placed Bournemouth which will do little to help Erik ten Hag’s cause for continuing at Old Trafford next season.

The Cherries were the superior team during the first half, taking the lead when Dominic Solanke pounced on slackness in possession from Alejandro Garnacho to hit the 16th-minute opener.

Fernandes completed a scrappy United goal by lifting the ball into the roof of the net 15 minutes later, but the visitors needed the midfielder’s 65th-minute penalty to draw level again after Justin Kluivert struck nine minutes before the break.

Milos Kerkez hit the woodwork with a first-half header for Bournemouth and Fernandes followed suit from long range on the stroke of half-time.

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Bournemouth v Man United result: Fernandes to the rescue

After taking one point from their previous three matches, United urgently needed a win to revive their hopes of staying in contention to reach any form of continental competition next season, let alone the Uefa Champions League.

Their defending for large parts of an end-to-end encounter, though, was not worthy of three points, and Bournemouth – who hit sufficiently fine form in March for manager Andoni Iraola to win the Premier League manager of the month award – punished them.

Bournemouth will also feel some ire at the decision over United’s penalty, when Adam Smith was contentiously adjudged to have handled, and were denied a last-gasp spot kick themselves when Ryan Christie went down under a challenge from Willy Kambwala.

United became stronger towards the end of the second half but Bournemouth, whose run of three wins ended with a 2-1 defeat at Luton Town a week earlier, retained a persistent threat.

Ten Hag now has one win in his last seven league games and is surely under pressure, with Champions League qualification almost out of reach.

United’s chances of qualifying for the Europa Conference League by finishing seventh – the position they currently occupy – are almost out of their hands, with Chelsea, who have two games in hand, six points behind them and carrying a superior goal difference.

With six league games remaining, they are 10 points behind fifth-placed Tottenham with a vastly inferior goal difference.

United are next in action against Coventry City in the FA Cup semi-finals on April 21 (3.30pm BST). Bournemouth visit Villa in the top flight on the same day.

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