Manchester United threw away another chance to take advantage of their rivals dropping points with a poor 1-1 draw against Bournemouth, who seemed to have provocation as one of their tactics at Old Trafford. Tyrone Mings and Zlatan Ibrahimovic both avoided red cards, but maybe not retrospective action, the Swede missed a penalty which could have put United ahead. It was a match that United were on top of for large periods, but just did not know how to win it, which is worrying considering the matches coming up over the next fortnight.
Jose Mourinho made four changes to his side which started the EFL Cup final last Sunday with Phil Jones, Luke Shaw, Michael Carrick and Wayne Rooney replacing Chris Smalling, Eric Bailly, Ander Herrera and Jesse Lingard. United started well, but Bournemouth soon started to get at them, which is what they needed to do due to their poor form. United could have taken the lead through Paul Pogba in the fifth minute of the match with him effectively through on goal, but his attempt was wide of the mark. United earned a corner minutes later, which created another chance, which was thwarted.
United had been the better team from the start of the match with chance after chance coming, but not actually getting a goal. Bournemouth had a chance to break the deadlock through Benik Afobe, but he slipped one on one with David De Gea and thwarted his chance himself. United maintained their attacking nature, still pushing Bournemouth for that opening goal, which still seemed to be elusive for Jose Mourinho’s men. In the 19th minute of the match, Michael Carrick won the ball in midfield, passed to Anthony Martial on the left-wing, who ran behind the defence and had a chance of his own, again thwarted. United were pushing for the lead.
In the 23rd minute of the match, United took the lead through Marcos Rojo, out of nothing. Carrick passed the ball to Antonio Valencia, who shot towards goal with Rojo getting a foot on the ball sending it past Artur Boruc. United had peppered the Bournemouth defence with chances ahead of the goal, for much of the first twenty minutes of the match. United continued to maintain their attacking domination over Bournemouth, challenging them at each opportunity, but not enough to find a second goal. Luke Shaw seemed to be a targeted man on the ball, Bournemouth presumably using their ‘tactics’ against a guy who may still want to avoid tackles.
Artur Boruc has had one clean sheet in nine appearances against Manchester United, which is not really a defining moment for his career. In the 39th minute of the match, Phil Jones gave away a penalty which was converted by Joshua King levelling the match six minutes before the end of the half. United were on top of the game for most of the first half, this will leave a bad taste in the mouths of the United squad. More needed from United, but Phil Jones gave them something for free! There was a bit of drama in the late stages of the first half with Tyrone Mings and Zlatan Ibrahimovic clashing.
The first fracas came when Mings took Rooney down and Zlatan fell over Rooney, Mings then stamped on Zlatan’s head on his way past the player. In the moments after, in the Bournemouth box, Zlatan was rising for the ball and elbowed Mings, who went to ground and made a meal out of the challenge. Andrew Surman, booked earlier in the match got a second yellow for protests about the challenge on Mings, resulting in a red card for him. Mings and Zlatan went unpunished and will now need to wait for the referee’s report, which could mean retrospective action for both players in the coming week, with Zlatan likely to come off worse because he plays for United. The first half ended 1-1. Still, there was everything to play for this afternoon.
The second half started just like the first ended – tempers high and Bournemouth down to ten men, which seemed much harder to play against for United. Chances were being created by United, who were camped in the Bournemouth end, in front of the Stretford End, trying to take the lead again. It would be a poor result if this ended as a draw with United failing to take advantage of the decline of Liverpool to achieve a better position in the league table. In the 58th minute of the match, Michael Carrick was booked for a challenge on the former United star Josh King.
United manager Mourinho made two changes with Marouane Fellaini, Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford replacing Michael Carrick, Wayne Rooney and Luke Shaw. After the substitutions, United won a penalty with Adam Smith handling in the box with his hand at a 90-degree angle away from his body. Zlatan Ibrahimovic took the resulting penalty, which was stopped by Boruc. Martial took the rebound, which went out of play. United had the chance to take the lead, failing to do it the easy way. Ten minutes remained for United to get something from this match, which was tipped as an easy match for them. Things not going to plan for Mourinho’s side, who will not be content with a draw.
United were throwing all they had at Bournemouth, but it was looking like they had nothing with the chances going to waste. United had chance after chance to get something from the match, with chance after chance being wasted, even a penalty was not taken with the precision you would expect. There was an opportunity to get back into the swing of things in the league, which was also wasted and by the time a Premier League match is played again, United could be reeling the costs of this match even more which could sideline Ibrahimovic for a period of time with retrospective action. United and Bournemouth drew 1-1, a pathetic attempt against a side not cut out for the Premier League based on their inability to win any of their last six matches in the league.
Goals: Marcos Rojo 24′
Assists: Antonio Valencia 24′
Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia, Jones, Rojo, Shaw (Lingard 70′); Carrick (Fellaini 70′), Pogba; Mata, Rooney (Rashford 70′), Martial; Ibrahimovic
Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Smalling, Blind; Herrera
Bookings: Zlatan Ibrahimovic 39′, Michael Carrick 58′, Marcus Rashford 80′
Written by Mike Wilson