Manchester United’s steep decline continues as Bournemouth fume over costly penalty call

Erik ten Hag snaps at Amad Diallo
Erik ten Hag (left) seems powerless to stop United's decline - Getty Images/Charlotte Wilson

This might have been much worse for Erik ten Hag as the game ticked past a total of 100 minutes, although escaping from Bournemouth with two equalisers and a single point will have told him that the fall continues to be steep.

When the 19-year-old centre-half Willy Kambwala fouled Ryan Christie in the 95th minute it needed the intervention of VAR to downgrade a Bournemouth penalty to a free-kick. The fine margins of where contact took place saved the French teenager on this occasion, but who or what can save Manchester United?

VAR rules the foul had taken place outside the box
VAR ruled the foul had taken place outside the box - Sky Sports

The Ineos director of sport Sir Dave Brailsford, now effectively running United as a football operation, watched in the stand on the same row as Harry Redknapp, a former Bournemouth manager who shocked the world in 1984 by beating United in the FA Cup. A different Bournemouth now and a new world for United.

The supremacy they once took for granted is gone and in all corners of the Premier League they are encountering shrewd clubs and clever managers. Andoni Iraola got the better of Ten Hag in the first half at least. Twice the home team led, and finished with 19 attempts on United’s goal, on target and off. United had two attempts on target and both were goals for Bruno Fernandes, whose ability in certain moments covers many of the team’s failings.

Iraola would say later that the penalty denied to his team by VAR Jarred Gillett should have stood, even if the foul began outside “it is obvious it continues … inside.”

As for Ten Hag, the answers get no easier. “We give all we can but I am also realistic,” he said. “When the full squad was there, we still could have high belief but we will keep fighting also with the players who are available. You see high potential. But also young players make mistakes … they have proved they can compete with the best teams at the highest level. But they have to do it consistently. That’s the next step for young players.”

Fernandes can still influence games but it is hard when United are dismantled in defence as they were more than once in the first half. Christie, and Dominic Solanke, who scored the first for Bournemouth, were the game’s outstanding players. The latter got his 17th of the season, a record for a Bournemouth goalscorer in the Premier League. It was Justin Kluivert’s goal that exposed the weaknesses in United’s right side.

He strolled through the gap between Kambwala and Diogo Dalot on 34 minutes. Kambwala pointed at something. Dalot flapped his arms in frustration. The Dutchman ran into the space and finished with his right foot at the near post. “There was a big gap and Kluivert should never have got the ball there,” Ten Hag said later. He would, he said, “repair” the right side of his team at half-time.

Justin Kluivert scores at the near post
Justin Kluivert scores at the near post - AFP/Adrian Dennis

He took off Alejandro Garnacho whom Ten Hag said had trained just once this week. Harry Maguire picked up an injury in the first half, the United manager said, and Kambwala is there through sheer necessity. Raphael Varane and Jonny Evans are still injured. Three draws and one defeat from their last four league games is dismal, and Ten Hag was pointing to the injuries as the key problem.

There was little doubt that his side were outplayed in the first half. They equalised after the break with a penalty for a handball against Adam Smith that the defender could do little to avoid. United are seventh in the table which would equal their worst Premier League finish. Iraola would later warn that big clubs were always a threat and compared United in that respect to his experiences playing Real Madrid. It certainly felt a bit of a stretch given the last 11 years.

It had been a blistering first half from Bournemouth. They pressured United from the very start with a formation that came with all sorts of clever flexes including an early job for Marcos Senesi chasing from central defence deep into the midfield to put pressure on. It was the Argentinian centre-half who won possession for the first of two first-half goals.

Kambwala had a hard time dealing with Solanke’s confidence and power. This is a striker in quite some form. It is an indication of how high the bar is for England currently that Solanke has not had a chance with Gareth Southgate’s squad.

It was Kambwala’s misfortune that he slipped over when Solanke gathered possession in the 16th minute. Once Kambwala was on the floor there was no one else in the same post code as Solanke. He could pick his spot and swung with his right foot to dispatch a shot well out of Andre Onana’s reach.

United did equalise after the half hour, although by then they had taken a lot of punishment. Fernandes struck with the second of two chances when Bournemouth’s defence was overwhelmed down its left side. Fernandes would later score the penalty that brought United level a second time. Ten Hag says he would not give up on Champions League qualification but it still feels just a matter of time before he does.

Bournemouth vs Manchester United: As it happened

08:21 PM BST

Erik ten Hag speaks

We are a team with resilience and character. We want to win but twice we fought back from losing positions. The goals we conceded were totally unnecessary – we lost the ball in areas where you should not lose those balls. We were not always well organised and there were gaps, especially on the right-hand side.

The second half was better. We took more responsibility and we closed the right-hand side. Harry Maguire was also struggling in the first half. We were pleased he was able to continue, because we don’t have any more centre-halves, and in the second half his leadership and organisation were excellent.

They were individual mistakes that we made. Go with your opponent, that’s your job. We also have players who can do better with the ball. It’s partly about collaboration, but the main part is discipline.

(On why United concede so many shots) Every opponent is so eager to beat us. I’m sure Bournemouth went to their limit today. We have to deal with that.

We said two things at half-time. Stay in the formation when we have possession and don’t be erratic, because we will create chances. The second was: do your job in the defending part.

A point is not enough (to catch Aston Villa and Spurs). But the truth is we didn’t deserve any more. If you allow them so many chances in the first half, you don’t deserve more. In this moment, with all the problems we have, we are playing to our level.

08:07 PM BST

Bournemouth manager Andoni Iraola’s verdict

I think we deserved the three points. We missed some very good chances, especially in the first half, and all the refereeing decisions went against us.

(On the penalty for Man Utd’s equaliser) I think it’s in the rules that you can’t concede a penalty when it comes off your own teammate. Whatever he does is instinctive. Normally they don’t call these kind of handballs.

(On the Bournemouth penalty that wasn’t) If you see the penalty we conceded against Newcastle, it starts two metres outside the box and then continues inside. Today the contact was maybe one centimetre outside the box but then he stops Ryan Christie inside. For me it’s an obvious penalty.

It’s not just the penalties. In the first half Kobbie Mainoo dives, no yellow card. Second half, Ryan Christie, there is contact, gets a yellow card for diving. What’s the reason one is a yellow card and one isn’t?

I understand that we are safe [from relegation], but for us every point is still very, very important. Since we’ve been safe all the decisions have gone against us. We need the same respect as all the other teams.

07:53 PM BST

Dominic Solanke’s reaction

We were confident going into the game and we created a lot of chances in the first half. We should probably have been two or three goals up at half-time. The second half was a tight game.

(On the penalty) I haven’t seen it back properly, but on the big screen it looked like it might have been on the line. That would have been a great chance for us to win it at the end so we’re a bit gutted about that.

(On his goal) I don’t score too many from that range so it was nice to get one. I saw him slip out of the corner of my eye, I saw the space in front of me and I just had one thought in my mind.

Football’s crazy sometimes. I probably didn’t expect to score as many goals as I have this season, but the manager has been great and I’ve had a lot of chances because of our style of play.

I’d love to be at the European Championship. I just need to get as many goals as I can and hopefully I’ll be in with a shot.

The style of play suits us like a glove. We have a lot of hard-working players and we like to press high up the pitch. A lot of the goals we’ve scored this season have come from that.

Dominic Solanke put Bournemouth 1-0 up with an excellent goal.
Dominic Solanke put Bournemouth 1-0 up with an excellent goal. - Robin Jones/AFC Bournemouth

07:47 PM BST

Bournemouth had 20 attempts at goal

That’s the ninth time in ten games that Man Utd’s opponents have had at least 20 shots, an extraordinary statistic.

Amad Diallo embraces Willy Kambwala at the final whistle.
Amad Diallo embraces Willy Kambwala at the final whistle. - Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

07:46 PM BST

Watch: Smith penalised for handball

This was the decision that led to United’s second equaliser. Fair enough in the modern game, although Adam Smith will feel very unlucky.

07:35 PM BST

Full time: Bournemouth 2 Man Utd 2

Andoni Iraola goes straight over to the referee at the final whistle, though the conversation seems civil enough. He then has a chat with Bruno Fernandes, who was also unhappy at the final whistle - in his case with his teammates. He was the only United attacker who turned up and scored both their equalisers.

It was another madcap game involving a slightly shambolic United. Bournemouth were vastly superior in the first half and should have led by more than 2-1, though United’s defending improved enormously after half-time. There was almost a late twist when Bournemouth were awarded a 95th-minute penalty, but VAR concluded that the foul by Willy Kambwala on Ryan Christie was fractionally outside the penalty area.

Both teams stay in the same position in the Premier League: Bournemouth 12th, United 7th. One team is overachieving, the other is not.

07:34 PM BST

90+10 min: Bournemouth 2 Man Utd 2

Onana collects the corner and United break. They’re still playing...

07:33 PM BST

90+9 min: Bournemouth 2 Man Utd 2

Unal’s free-kick hits the wall and goes behind for one last corner.

07:32 PM BST

90+8 min: Bournemouth 2 Man Utd 2

Unal and Christie are over the free-kick...

07:32 PM BST

No penalty!

90+7 min: Bournemouth 2 Man Utd 2 Bournemouth instead get a free-kick right on the edge of the area. Sheesh that was close.

Ryan Christie is about to be fouled by Willy Kambwala.
Ryan Christie is about to be fouled by Willy Kambwala. - Dylan Martinez/Reuters

07:30 PM BST

Penalty to Bournemouth?

90+5 min Kambwala is penalised for blocking Christie on the edge of the area - but it looks just outside so it may be overturned by VAR.

This is so tight. My hunch is it will be overturned but it’s touch and go. The key is whether the foul continues in the area; the first contact is certainly just outside.

The players wait to find out whether Bournemouth have been awarded a penalty.
The players wait to find out whether Bournemouth have been awarded a penalty. - Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images Europe

07:29 PM BST

90+4 min: Bournemouth 2 Man Utd 2

Christie’s corner is headed away by Casemiro, then Faivre’s shot deflects behind for ... a goalkick. The referee got that one wrong.

07:28 PM BST

90+3 min: Bournemouth 2 Man Utd 2

Unal runs at Casemiro to win another corner for Bournemouth. Cook’s inswinger is headed away by Kambwala, but it’s dumped back into the box and Dalot concedes another corner...

07:26 PM BST

90+1 min: Bournemouth 2 Man Utd 2

Now the Bournemouth keeper Neto has been booked for dissent. It’s not clear why Bournemouth are so angry; the referee has had a decent game.

Neto gives the referee several pieces of his mind.
Neto gives the referee several pieces of his mind. - Andrew Matthews/PA

07:25 PM BST

90 min: Bournemouth 2 Man Utd 2

Man Utd’s defending has been so much better in the second half. Kambwala deserves a lot of credit for the way he has recovered from that early slip.

There will be six minutes of added time.

07:23 PM BST

89 min: Bournemouth 2 Man Utd 2

Casemiro collects a loose ball on the edge of the area, cleverly evades two defenders but then runs out of room. A few moments later, Diallo slices a difficult volley well wide with his right foot.

07:21 PM BST

86 min: Bournemouth 2 Man Utd 2

Christie is booked for diving in the United area, and Cook also gets a yellow card for protesting.

07:20 PM BST

85 min: Bournemouth 2 Man Utd 2

Bournemouth are pinning United back now. Aarons zips infield, away from Rashford and cracks a shot from 25 yards that goes well wide of the far post.

Max Aarons and Marcus Rashford battle for possession.

07:19 PM BST

84 min: Bournemouth 2 Man Utd 2

Kerkez’s cross is put behind by the stretching Kambwala. The resulting corner is headed away by Maguire.

07:17 PM BST

82 min: Bournemouth 2 Man Utd 2

Bournemouth are dominating possession for the first time in the game, though that arguably makes them less dangerous. They haven’t created much since United’s second equaliser.

07:14 PM BST

80 min: Bournemouth 2 Man Utd 2

Dalot robs Cook on the left wing (no, really) and crosses early towards Rashford at the near post. He tries to knock the ball past Zabarnyi on the run, and Zabarnyi stretches to make a crucial tackle.

07:13 PM BST

78 min: Bournemouth 2 Man Utd 2

Erik ten Hag talks to Kobbie Mainoo.
Erik ten Hag talks to Kobbie Mainoo. - Andrew Matthews/PA

Man Utd substitution Mason Mount replaces Kobbie Mainoo, who had a quiet game but did inadvertently create United’s second equaliser.

07:10 PM BST

76 min: Bournemouth 2 Man Utd 2

Bournemouth substitution The limping Justin Kluivert, who was a constant threat and scored the second goal, is replaced by Enes Unal. That means Solanke will play as the No10.

07:10 PM BST

75 min: Bournemouth 2 Man Utd 2

If it stays like this United will remain seventh, behind Newcastle on goal difference. Newcastle’s goal difference is 18 better than United’s, which is peculiar given they would be level on points.

07:08 PM BST

74 min: Bournemouth 2 Man Utd 2

A snapshot from Kluivert, 20 yards out, is bravely blocked by Maguire. Bournemouth are having their best spell since Fernandes’s equaliser.

07:07 PM BST

72 min: Bournemouth 2 Man Utd 2

The last man Senesi is almost robbed by Hojlund, but eventually does enough to clear the danger. It’s anyone’s game now.

07:04 PM BST

70 min: Bournemouth 2 Man Utd 2

Bournemouth substitutions Max Aarons and Romain Faivre come on for Adam Smith and Dango Ouattara.

07:01 PM BST

67 min: Bournemouth 2 Man Utd 2

United are such a weird team that, even though they have been outplayed from the start, they could end up winning this game 4-2. Or losing it 5-2.

Solanke shoots over from 22 yards and then feels the injury that was troubling him before the game.

07:00 PM BST


65 min: Bournemouth 2 Man Utd 2 (Fernandes pen) Fernandes calmly sends Neto the wrong way and runs straight to get the ball out of the net. It’s his second goal, and frankly nobody else has looked like scoring for United.

06:59 PM BST

63 min: Bournemouth 2 Man Utd 1

Penalty to Man Utd This is so unlucky. Mainoo’s long-range shot is blocked and deflects against the outstretched arm of Smith. In the modern game that’s usually a penalty.

Adam Smith reacts after conceding a penalty for handball.
Adam Smith reacts after conceding a penalty for handball. - Matthew Childs/Action Images

06:56 PM BST

62 min: Bournemouth 2 Man Utd 1

This would be Man Utd’s 13th league defeat of the season. The last time they suffered as many was in 1988-89, a bleak campaign in which attendances at Old Trafford dropped as low as 23,000.

06:54 PM BST

59 min: Bournemouth 2 Man Utd 1

Kerkez’s cross looks set to fall for Solanke, eight yards out, only for Kambwala to come= round the side and make a vital tackle. His positioning wasn’t great in the first place - Solanke was goal side - but he made up for it.

06:52 PM BST

57 min: Bournemouth 2 Man Utd 1

It surely won’t be long before we see Mason Mount and/or Christian Eriksen. Apart from Bruno Fernandes, all United’s front six have had poor games. Even Kobbie Mainoo looks tired.

06:51 PM BST

56 min: Bournemouth 2 Man Utd 1

Bournemouth are so much more purposeful in possession. Kluivert spins Kambwala 25 yards from goal, slaloms thrillingly past a couple of defenders and hits a shot that is well blocked by Wan-Bissaka.

06:48 PM BST

54 min: Bournemouth 2 Man Utd 1

United are starting to dominate possession, as they did in the first half. Their tempo remains too slow, though, and for now Bournemouth are comfortable in defence.

06:45 PM BST

50 min: Bournemouth 2 Man Utd 1

Kluivert’s shot hits Maguire on the arm in the United area, leading to a big penalty appeal, but it deflected off his thigh and the referee waves play on.

06:43 PM BST

49 min: Bournemouth 2 Man Utd 1

A quiet start to the second half.

The head coaches Erik ten Hag and Andoni Iraola watch on.
The head coaches Erik ten Hag and Andoni Iraola watch on. - Robin Jones/AFC Bournemouth

06:40 PM BST

46 min: Bournemouth 2 Man Utd 1

Bournemouth begin the second half, hoping to pick up where they left off.

06:39 PM BST

Man Utd substitution

Amad Diallo, who hasn’t appeared since that famous winner against Liverpool, has replaced Alejandro Garnacho.

06:29 PM BST

Ten Hag grateful for small mercies

Bournemouth have been outstanding: flexible in their shape, and always looking to attack the space. And United have left loads of it for them. Dominic Solanke has bossed the United defence. Left-back Milos Kerkez has been a great attacking threat in a system that keeps changing. United look so ponderous by comparison. Given the number of chances Bournemouth have had, Erik ten Hag will be grateful his side are only 2-1 down.

06:27 PM BST

Half time: Bournemouth 2 Man Utd 1

The unsolved mystery of Manchester United continues. They have been totally outplayed by Bournemouth and could easily be three goals behind, never mind one. Dominic Solanke and Justin Kluivert scored either side of Bruno Fernandes’s equaliser, and though United dominated possession, Bournemouth ripped them apart in transition.

United’s defensive injury list offers some mitigation, though it doesn’t explain another tepid attacking display. They are an increasingly unfathomable mess.

06:24 PM BST

45+8 min: Bournemouth 2 Man Utd 1

Fernandes hits the bar! He has been United’s one decent attacker and almost got his second with a beautiful effort. Fernandes cut inside from the left, 25 yards from goal, and crashed a dipping shot across goal. Neto didn’t move and the ball bounced off the top of the bar.

06:21 PM BST

45+6 min: Bournemouth 2 Man Utd 1

Bournemouth penalty appeal! Kerkez cuts inside Dalot in the area and goes over. The referee says no penalty and VAR agrees. We haven’t seen a replay but it looked like Kerkez initiated the contact. In fact, replays show that Kerkez slipped, same as Kambwala on that side in the build-up to the Solanke goal.

United are so vulnerable in defence, it’s verging on the bizarre.

06:19 PM BST

45+3 min: Bournemouth 2 Man Utd 1

Fine save by Onana! Dalot, who has had a poor half, commits a needless foul on Kelly near the corner flag. Cook’s free-kick is headed away, but Kerkez retrieves the ball on the right and curls a good ball to the far post. Kluivert, in a scandalous amount of space, sidefoots a volley from eight yards that is crucially saved to his left by Onana. That’s a very good reaction save.

Andre Onana makes a vital save.
Andre Onana makes a vital save. - Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

06:15 PM BST

45 min: Bournemouth 2 Man Utd 1

There are nine minutes of added time, mainly because of the Sinisterra injury and the referee’s kit change.

06:13 PM BST

43 min: Bournemouth 2 Man Utd 1

Kerkez hits the bar! Smith’s excellent cross is missed by the centre-backs and reaches Kerkez, whose downward header kicks off the pitch to hit the crossbar. It rebounds to Kerkez, who gets under his second header and puts it over the bar.

Man Utd’s defending is ... not good. Let’s be polite, at least for now.

06:10 PM BST

Wide open space

The second Bournemouth goal duly arrives: United are wide open. Barely a challenge offered to Justin Kluivert coming in from the left on his right foot.

06:09 PM BST

39 min: Bournemouth 2 Man Utd 1

Bournemouth substitution A distressed Sinisterra limps off to be replaced by Lloyd Kelly. He goes to left-back and Kerkez moves into midfield.

06:07 PM BST

38 min: Bournemouth 2 Man Utd 1

Bad news for Bournemouth: Luis Sinisterra has gone down with what looks like a recurrence of his hamstring injury.

Luis Sinisterra suffers another injury blow.
Luis Sinisterra suffers another injury blow. - Matthew Childs/Action Images

06:06 PM BST


36 min: Bournemouth 2 Man Utd 1 (Kluivert) Bournemouth deservedly restore their lead. Kluivert pulls into space on the left, between Dalot and Kambwala, then cuts inside and whips a shot that beats Onana - possibly unsighted - at the near post.

Man Utd’s defending has been really poor tonight, particularly down their right.

06:05 PM BST

Watch: Fernandes volleys United level

06:04 PM BST

34 min: Bournemouth 1 Man Utd 1

Chance for Bournemouth! Senesi is booked for a foul on Garnacho, then Ouattara shoots just wide of the right-hand post after another rapid counter-attack. That was another excellent chance. Bournemouth should be at least one and arguably two goals ahead.

06:01 PM BST


31 min: Bournemouth 1 Man Utd 1 (Fernandes) Bournemouth think there was a foul in the build-up, so it will be checked by VAR, but Bruno Fernandes has provisionally volleyed Man Utd level.

The challenge was by Kambwala on Solanke, and it looks clean on the first replay. United broke down the right and then, after a bit of pinball in the penalty area, Fernandes swished an impatient volley into the roof of the net from six yards.

Yep, the goal stands.

Bruno Fernandes celebrates his equaliser.
Bruno Fernandes celebrates his equaliser. - Marc Atkins/Getty Images

06:00 PM BST

28 min: Bournemouth 1 Man Utd 0

Chance for Bournemouth! Garnacho’s shot is blocked by Kerkez and Bournemouth break. Sinisterra runs at Dalot and finds Christie, who sweeps a shot straight at Christie from 15 yards. That was a pretty good chance.

05:58 PM BST

28 min: Bournemouth 1 Man Utd 0

Christie whistles a shot over the bar from 30 yards. Bournemouth have been much the better team so far.

05:57 PM BST

26 min: Bournemouth 1 Man Utd 0

United continue to have most of the possession when play resumes, though they are doing nothing with it. Their performance so far has been an insult to the concept of sterile domination.

05:53 PM BST

23 min: Bournemouth 1 Man Utd 0

There’s a break in play because of a problem with the referee’s VAR equipment. That allows Sky Sports to replay this excellent finish from Dominic Solanke.

05:52 PM BST

Deserved lead for Bournemouth

A deserved goal for Bournemouth who have been by far the more imaginative side. Marco Senesi started the move and he has been excellent, breaking from the defensive line to steal possession. Great finish from Dominic Solanke but after Willy Kambwala slipped over the Bournemouth striker had all the time he needed.

05:51 PM BST

21 min: Bournemouth 1 Man Utd 0

So close from Sinisterra! Bournemouth are shredding United in transition. Sinisterra runs at the backpedalling Dalot, beats him with a stepover and cracks a left-foot shot just - and I mean just - wide of the far post.

05:49 PM BST

19 min: Bournemouth 1 Man Utd 0

Chance for Bournemouth! At the other end Kerkez gets behind Garnacho, onto a lofted pass down the line, and sweeps a shot from a tight angle that is blocked by the chest of Onana.

05:49 PM BST

18 min: Bournemouth 1 Man Utd 0

Chance for Rashford! He cut inside from the left with purpose, sold Cook a lovely dummy in the area but then lashed the ball into the side-netting at the near post.

05:45 PM BST


16 min: Bournemouth 1-0 Man Utd (Solanke) Dominic Solanke drives Bournemouth in front! Garnacho was challenged on the halfway line by Senesi, who poked the ball down the inside-left channel to leave Solanke one v one with Kambwala.

Kambwala slipped as Solanke cut inside, which gave him plenty of time to line up a shot from 20 yards and arrow it into the corner. That’s a fine finish.

Willy Kambwala's slip allows Dominic Solanke to put Bournemouth ahead.
Willy Kambwala's slip allows Dominic Solanke to put Bournemouth ahead. - Adrian Dennis/AFP

05:45 PM BST

15 min: Bournemouth 0 Man Utd 0

It’s a sunny day in Bournemouth but there is, as the Sky Sports commentators have just pointed out, some surface water on the pitch. Climate change gets weirder and weirder.

05:43 PM BST

13 min: Bournemouth 0 Man Utd 0

We haven’t seen a replay of that challenge on Mainoo. It was cleared very quickly by VAR so presumably Mainoo slipped.

05:42 PM BST

12 min: Bournemouth 0 Man Utd 0

Mainoo goes down in the area after a sweeping challenge from Christie. He tried to stay on his feet, and didn’t appeal for a penalty, but Erik ten Hag is giving the fourth official a bit of a mouthful.

05:37 PM BST

7 min: Bournemouth 0 Man Utd 0

Fine defending by Maguire. Bournemouth harass Mainoo on the edge of the United area and win the ball. Christie plays one-two with Solanke, runs diagonally from centre to left and drives a low cross that is booted away by Maguire in the six-yard box. He had to get there or Solanke would have scored.

05:35 PM BST

5 min: Bournemouth 0 Man Utd 0

Sinisterra gets behind Dalot down the Bournemouth left, but Kambwala comes across to usher the ball behind for a goalkick. Good defending. He’s an abundant unit, Kambwala, but he’s also very quick.

Willy Kambwala ushers the ball out of play.
Willy Kambwala ushers the ball out of play. - Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP

05:32 PM BST

3 min: Bournemouth 0 Man Utd 0

Smith’s early cross towards Solanke is headed behind by Kambwala for the first corner of the game. Christie’s inswinger is headed away by Fernandes as far as Kerkez, 25 yards out. His ambitious shot goes miles in the air and drops behind for a goalkick.

05:30 PM BST

1 min: Bournemouth 0 Man Utd 0

After the players take a knee, Bruno Fernandes gets things going on a sunny evening in Bournemouth.

Bournemouth and Man Utd players take a knee ahead of kick off.
Bournemouth and Man Utd players take a knee ahead of kick off. - Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP

05:23 PM BST

Ten minutes to kick-off

Dominic Solanke was talking to the physio a fair bit during the warm-up but at the moment he is still in the Bournemouth XI.

Bournemouth (4-2-3-1) Neto; Smith, Zabarnyi, Senesi, Kerkez; Cook, Christie; Sinisterra, Kluivert, Ouattara; Solanke.
Subs: Kelly, Faivre, Scott, Hill, Unal, Billing, Aarons, Travers, Gonzalez.

Man Utd (4-2-3-1) Onana; Dalot, Kambwala, Maguire, Wan-Bissaka; Casemiro, Mainoo; Garnacho, Fernandes, Rashford; Hojlund. 
Subs: Bayindir, Amrabat, Mount, Eriksen, Diallo, Forson, Amass, Ogunneye, Wheatley.

Referee Tony Harrington.

05:16 PM BST

Today’s Premier League results

  • Newcastle 4-0 Tottenham

  • Brentford 1-0 Sheff Utd

  • Burnley 1-1 Brighton

  • Man City 5-1 Luton

  • Nottm Forest 2-2 Wolves


05:14 PM BST

Relaxed Ten Hag names unchanged side

Erik ten Hag named an unchanged United team for the Premier League game this afternoon against Bournemouth. He still has injury problems in defence where Raphael Varane and Jonny Evans are absent again. The 19-year-old Willy Kambwala starts alongside Harry Maguire.

Bournemouth have won three and drawn one in their last four Premier League home games. Ten Hag was relaxed enough pre-match to allow himself to be persuaded to have a pitchside picture taken with some hospitality guests who proved persistent enough in their requests.

Erik ten Hag poses for a selfie ahead of the match at the Vitality Stadium.
Erik ten Hag poses for a selfie ahead of the match at the Vitality Stadium. - Sam Wallace/Telegraph

04:47 PM BST

Ready for business

04:43 PM BST

Man Utd’s summer of doubt is stalling rebuild

United are in a holding pattern at the moment, unsighted and chewing over decisions that could have huge repercussions. Anything less than victory on Saturday at Bournemouth – who beat United 3-0 at Old Trafford in December – would realistically end lingering hopes of Champions League qualification and deal a further blow to finances that are already tight.


04:35 PM BST

Man Utd team news: Kambwala starts

Erik ten Hag sticks with the XI that started last weekend’s wild 2-2 draw with Liverpool. That means another start at centre-back for the 19-year-old Willy Kambwala, and there are four more teenagers on the bench.

04:34 PM BST

Bournemouth team news: Sinisterra starts

Three changes for Bournemouth from last weekend’s defeat at Luton. Marcos Senesi, Dango Ouattara and Luis Sinisterra come in for Lloyd Kelly and the injured pair of Antoine Semenyo and Marcus Tavernier.

04:29 PM BST

Good evening

Hello and welcome to Telegraph Sport’s live, minute-by-minute coverage of Bournemouth v Manchester United at the Vitality Stadium. At the start of the season you’d have got long odds on these teams being separated by only eight points with seven games remaining. But United have had the strangest of seasons, in which they have regularly threatened to redefine the concept of unpredictability, and that gap could easily be five points by sundown.

One of United’s most surprising defeats was in the return fixture, when Bournemouth ran riot to win 3-0. That was their first ever victory at Old Trafford, so this is their first chance to do an historic league double over United.

United’s target at the start of the season was the Premier League. That soon became a Champions League place; now, after months of missed opportunities, the Europa League is a more realistic ambition. United need points in the fight for sixth place, with Newcastle leapfrogging them earlier in the day. It’s not what they were was hoping for, and though the FA Cup may yet provide a happy ending, Erik ten Hag already has half an eye on the 2025-26 campaign.

“We are working in the background on plans with scouting,” said Ten Hag yesterday. “We are working on our plan, the plan is ready, but it has to execute, and I trust the new ownership that they will work as quick as possible and bring new good structures and that they can execute.

“We have good plans, I think also with quality players. You see now about recruitment: (Andre) Onana is doing very well, Rasmus Hojlund, everyone is seeing his big talent and potential. (Lisandro) Martinez, everyone was hugely happy with him, and there are others.

“So the recruitment is good. But if they (new directors) have even better ideas, we are always open. If you have options but they come with better options we are open.”

Kick off is at 5.30pm, and we’ll have team news shortly.