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Bournemouth logo
Premier League | Gameweek 33
Apr 13, 2024 at 5.30pm UK
Vitality Stadium
Manchester United logo

2 - 2
Man Utd

Solanke (16'), Kluivert (36')
Senesi (33'), Cook (86'), Christie (86'), Neto (90+1')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Fernandes (31', 65' pen.)

"Was struggling" - Erik ten Hag reveals fresh Manchester United fitness issue

© Reuters
Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag says that Harry Maguire "was struggling" with a fitness issue in the first half of Saturday's Premier League clash against Bournemouth.

Manchester United head coach Erik ten Hag said that Harry Maguire "was struggling" with a fitness issue in the first half of Saturday's Premier League clash against Bournemouth but was able to shake it off.

Maguire is currently the club's only senior fit central defender, with Raphael Varane, Lisandro Martinez, Jonny Evans and Victor Lindelof on the sidelines with injury problems.

The England international was again joined in the middle of the defence by Willy Kambwala against Bournemouth, with the 19-year-old benefitting from the team's fitness problems.

Ten Hag said that his side "struggled" in the opening half of Saturday's game and also mentioned a fitness issue for Maguire, but the ex-Sheffield United youngster was able to play the full 90 minutes of the match.

Man United twice came from behind to secure a point at the Vitality Stadium, with club captain Bruno Fernandes hitting a brace for his side, including one from the penalty spot.

Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes scores a penalty against Bournemouth on April 13, 2024© Reuters

Fernandes brace helps earn Man United a point

"We know we have to win. We want to battle, to compete for the top positions. You see the game, we struggled first half, [Harry] Maguire was struggling but he overcame because we needed him to," Ten Hag told BBC Sport following the contest.

"The second half was much better, the good thing is we fought back twice from a losing position. The team spirit is good. By the end it could've been more composed and calm and we could've played more chance out.

"The opponent was struggling because they gave so much energy in the first half and there were so many gaps but we didn't benefit from it."

Ten Hag also lavished praise on Fernandes for his captain's performance, with the Portugal international firing one into the back of the net from inside the box to make it 1-1 in the first half, before holding his nerve to register from the penalty spot in the second period.

Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes celebrates scoring against Bournemouth on April 13, 2024© Reuters

"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," said the Dutchman.

"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."

Man United dropped to seventh in the Premier League table earlier in the day, with Newcastle United's 4-0 success over Tottenham Hotspur seeing them rise into sixth.

The point was not enough for the Red Devils to return to sixth, instead sitting behind the Magpies on goal difference, while they are 10 points behind fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur with six games left.

Ten Hag's side will now switch their attention to the FA Cup, with Championship outfit Coventry City their opponents in the semi-finals of the competition next weekend.

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CManchester CityMan City38287396346291
4Aston Villa382081076611568
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs382061274611366
7Newcastle UnitedNewcastle381861485622360
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd38186145758-160
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham381410146074-1452
10Crystal Palace381310155758-149
11Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton381212145562-748
14Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38137185065-1546
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest3899204967-1832
RLuton TownLuton3868245285-3326
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd38372835104-6916

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