Bournemouth denied late penalty by VAR as Manchester United escape with lucky draw

Bruno Fernandes twice rescues Erik ten Hag's side after goals from Dominik Solanke and Justin Kluivert

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Bournemouth had an added-time penalty award overturned by VAR as disjointed Manchester United escaped Vitality Stadium with a scarcely-deserved 2-2 draw thanks to Bruno Fernandes’ brace.

Referee Tony Harrington pointed to the spot five minutes beyond the 90 when Ryan Christie went down under a challenge from Willy Kambwala before changing his decision to a free-kick on review.

Erik ten Hag’s men were tormented for much of an uninspiring performance in Dorset and twice trailed in the first half following goals from Cherries pair Dominic Solanke and Justin Kluivert.

Fernandes volleyed home his first equaliser against the run of play before denying the impressive hosts a maiden league double over the 20-time English champions by converting a 65th-minute penalty after Adam Smith handled as the ball ricocheted against his arm in the box.

United’s Portuguese captain also rattled the crossbar with a stunning strike from distance at 2-1 down in stoppage time at the end of an exhilarating opening period.

Yet outstanding Bournemouth, who hit the woodwork through Milos Kerkez and wasted numerous other chances, should have have been out of sight by then.

After the game Solanke told Sky Sports: "Going into the game we were confident. Knew it would be tough game but we told ourselves we had beat them once this season so knew we could do it again.

"We created a lot of chances and should've been two or three up but we didn't take the chances and the second half was a tight game."

On the late penalty decision being overturned, he said: "I haven't looked at it back but on the big screen it looked on the line so I think it could've been a penalty. Unlucky to not get it there and thought it would be our opportunity to go on and win it at the end.

"To beat United is something we'd love to do, it would've been a good chance to win it at the end so the boys are obviously a bit gutted about that."

Bournemouth boss Andoni Iraola said: "We could not finish it off. We missed chances, especially in the first half. We should have begun the second half with a better scoreline.

On the penalty decision from which Fernandes equalised after the ball had hit Smith's arm, he said: "[The handball] I think it is in the rules no? The ball rebounds from his teammate and what Adam does is instinctive. I think it is not called normally, these kind of handballs."

On the overruled penalty decision, he said: "I believe completely it was a penalty [for Christie]. Against Newcastle the penalty against us, the contact started outside the box. But [today] the first frame was put so the first contact was on the edge of the box, but the contact continues one, two metres inside and is stopping the player.

"It is not just one moment and Christie is down. The defender goes with Christie one, two metres inside the box. For me it is obvious."

United defender Diogo Dalot told Sky Sports: "I think there were ups and downs. We went down two times but we had the right attitude to go back and fight for the game."

Dalot was at fault for Bournemouth's second goal when he allowed Kluivert too much space and, when asked about individual errors, he said: "It's been happening in the last couple of games, we don't look to who has done it but we know it can happen at this level because they are clinical enough to score if we make mistakes. It's something we have to look for and try not to do.

"It's part of life to make mistakes. It's about reacting well the next game and the next few minutes to try to do better. That's what we have to overcome. We have to take responsibility but try not to do it for the next games and that's the challenge."

United move on to a Wembley FA Cup semi-final against Coventry sitting seventh in the table and with European qualification for next term still far from assured following another disappointing display of an unconvincing season, which extended their winless run to four top-flight games.

Updated: April 13, 2024, 7:42 PM