LONDON (REUTERS) - Poor finishing cost Manchester United a chance to move into the Premier League’s top four as striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic missed a penalty in a feisty 1-1 draw against 10-man Bournemouth on Saturday (March 4).
United stayed sixth on 49 points while Bournemouth, who had Andrew Surman sent off on the stroke of halftime for pushing Ibrahimovic, stayed 14th with 27 points.
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho made no excuses for a disjointed performance after lifting the League Cup with a dramatic 3-2 win over Southampton last weekend for his first major trophy at Old Trafford.
"What happened was that we played phenomenal in the first half and should have been winning 3-0 or 4-0 – then it ended up 1-1,” he told the BBC.
“Who can I blame? Ourselves. Nobody else. We missed big chances. We felt pressure of the clock running down and lost the quality of our attacking football.”
Ibrahimovic, the two-goal hero against Southampton, endured a miserable afternoon and was lucky to stay on the pitch after a three-way fracas involving Bournemouth’s Tyrone Mings and Surman.
Mings, also fortunate not to be sent off, appeared to stamp on Ibrahimovic’s head and the towering Swede retaliated seconds later with an elbow to the defender’s jaw before Surman shoved him to the ground.
Referee Kevin Friend showed Surman his second yellow card at the end of an ill-tempered first half littered with fierce tackles.
Bournemouth goalkeeper Artur Boruc produced a string of excellent saves either side of Marcos Rojo’s first Premier League goal which put United ahead.
The Argentina defender got on the end of Antonio Valencia’s misdirected shot and turned it past the helpless Boruc but United’s joy was shirt-lived as their academy product Joshua King equalised with a 40th-minute penalty.
King drilled the ball into the top corner in front of the Stretford End, drawing Bournemouth level against the run of play after Phil Jones had hauled down Marc Pugh.
United laid siege to Bournemouth’s goal in the second half but could not turn 20 shots and 68 percent possession into victory as Boruc continued to shine.
Having denied Ibrahimovic three times in the opening half, he palmed away the striker’s feeble 71st-minute penalty and kept out a curling long-range effort by Paul Pogba to earn his side a point after four league defeats in a row.