AFC Bournemouth 2-2 Manchester United

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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.

On United’s captain, Ten Hag told BBC Sport: “Scoring twice, very creative, it’s true he gives a lot of energy to the team. He is acting as a captain, bringing the energy and we are very pleased with this.”

He added: “We are all disappointed but he expresses that feeling. We have to win our games and we have dropped too many unnecessary points in the last few games.”

Fortunate to escape with a point here, United’s attention now turns to keeping their last hope of silverware alive when they face Championship side Coventry City in their FA Cup semi-final at Wembley next Sunday.

Bournemouth’s progress clear

In sharp contrast to the disarray on display from the visitors, the progress achieved by Premier League manager of the month Iraola at Bournemouth is evident.

The Cherries are on course to record their best Premier League season, now just five points away from beating the 46 achieved in 2016-17.

That is despite not earning their first league win under Spaniard Iraola until their 10th game at the end of October – and the club is certainly reaping the rewards for remaining patient with the former Rayo Vallecano manager.

Bournemouth started on the front foot and rarely relented – and should have made more of a series of high-quality chances as they carved their opponents open at will.

Andre Onana was required to deny Milos Kerkez at his near post shortly after Solanke’s opener, Luis Sinisterra shot narrowly wide and Ryan Christie twice also went close in a dominant first-half display.

There were also chances for energetic wing-back Kerkez, who saw a header hit the crossbar, while Kluivert failed to beat Onana at close range.

But, despite 20 attempts to the visitors’ eight, Smith’s misfortune and the VAR’s decision to overrule referee Tony Harrington’s on-field penalty call in the seventh minute of stoppage time saw them fall short of a first league double over United following their 3-0 win at Old Trafford in December.

Manager Iraola said: “We didn’t take our chances – we had chances to finish with a better result. All the refereeing decisions were against us today.

“It’s not bad luck – I complain about consistency. I can’t understand the decisions. I did not think it was a penalty from Adam Smith. I disagree.”

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