Disputed penalty gives Man U draw at Bournemouth as CL qualification slips further away

BOURNEMOUTH, England (AP) — Manchester United needed two penalty decisions to salvage a 2-2 draw at Bournemouth in the English Premier League on Saturday, although the point did little to boost its chances of Champions League soccer next season.

United was largely outplayed and trailed 2-1 when a shot by Kobbie Mainoo from outside the area was deflected onto the arm of Adam Smith. Referee Tony Harrington pointed to the spot even though the ball was traveling away from the goal and the Bournemouth player had little time to react.

Bruno Fernandes converted the 65th-minute penalty for his second goal of the game to secure a point for United, but it was another unconvincing performance from Erik ten Hag's side that is unlikely to quell speculation about the manager's future.

Harrington initially awarded Bournemouth an injury-time penalty when Ryan Christie collided with United defender Willy Kambwala as he was running into the box, but a VAR review ruled the foul happened just outside the area.

United still has a slim chance of securing Champions League qualification but couldn't take full advantage of fifth-placed Tottenham's loss at Newcastle earlier. United is 10 points behind fourth-placed Aston Villa and Tottenham with six rounds to go. The Champions League's new format next season means five teams from the Premier League could qualify for the competition.

Dominic Solanke gave Bournemouth the lead after shrugging off Kambwala to break into the area and then slotting a low shot past André Onana.

Fernandes equalized by volleying in his second effort from close range but it took only Bournemouth five more minutes to restore its lead as Justin Kluivert was allowed to waltz into the United area unchallenged and beat Onana at his near post.

Milos Kerkez had a great chance to make it 3-1 before halftime but headed against the crossbar, and United was then on the right side of the two penalty decisions in the second half.

Bournemouth was in 12th place, safe from relegation but seemingly with little chance of earning European qualification.

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The Associated Press