BRUNO FERNANDES SCORES BRACE AS UNITED HOLD BOURNEMOUTH TO 2-2 DRAW AWAY

Erik ten Hag says it is “up to the fans” whether they remain patient after Manchester United’s winless Premier League run extended to four games with their draw at Bournemouth.

Captain Bruno Fernandes scored both goals as United twice came from behind to deny the hosts, who led through Dominic Solanke’s opener before Justin Kluivert gave them a deserved half-time lead.

United, whose hopes of securing European football were further dented, dropped one place to seventh following Newcastle United’s¬†4-0 win over Tottenham¬†earlier on Saturday.

On the need for patience from supporters as Ten Hag attempts to turn United’s fortunes around, the manager told Sky Sports: “It is up to them but it is the truth.

“At this moment with all the problems we have, we play to our levels. We can play very good when everyone is on top form but we have to do it for the whole 90 minutes.”

When later asked about the potential for United to record their worst Premier League finish should they drop below seventh, Ten Hag said the question was “not important for this moment” before walking out of his media conference.

Solanke ensured Bournemouth took reward for their positive start with an assured finish low into the corner after getting the better of Willy Kambwala in the 16th minute – and that breakthrough only served to further motivate the home side.

The Cherries were punished for their wastefulness when Fernandes levelled from Alejandro Garnacho’s cut-back but Kluivert restored the hosts’ advantage five minutes later, as a simple ball from Marcos Senesi exposed the generous amount of space between Diogo Dalot and Kambwala.

Bournemouth should have been out of sight before the interval but, instead, Fernandes equalised again midway through the second half – this time stepping up to convert a penalty awarded for handball after Kobbie Mainoo’s shot deflected on to the unfortunate Adam Smith.

Andoni Iraola’s side, who remain 12th, thought they had been awarded a late penalty but, following a lengthy video assistant referee (VAR) review, Kambwala’s foul on Christie was determined to have taken place outside the box.

Fernandes earns point for faltering United

It is a damning indictment of Manchester United’s second season under Ten Hag that still, 32 games into the campaign, onlookers remain unsure what to expect from the Dutchman’s side from game to game, and from half to half.

United have not won in the Premier League since 9 March – that home victory over Everton representing their only win in seven games in the competition. Their last away league win came against Luton Town, on 18 February.

The Red Devils failed to hold on to leads against Brentford, Chelsea and Liverpool in the space of nine days last week – taking their total number of points dropped to a club record 15 in the Premier League this season and seemingly ending their hopes of Champions League qualification.

But they never appeared capable of establishing a lead in the late-afternoon sun on the south coast, with Fernandes’ two equalisers representing United’s only attempts on target.

The under-pressure Ten Hag named the same 11 whose second-half revival earned a point against title-chasing Liverpool – but there was no sense of momentum here and the usually lively Garnacho was substituted at half-time.

Fernandes, who struck the bar with a superb attempt before the interval, was a rare source of inspiration for United. The Portuguese skipper was seen voicing his frustration when no team-mates were alert to his desire to play a quick free-kick as they trailed, before he delivered with typical composure from the penalty spot.

Kesh Awefada

Kesh Awefada

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