Bruno Fernandes uses angry exchange with Onana and Ten Hag to help Manchester United at Bournemouth

Manchester United formed a huddle when they re-emerged for the second half. They are still a muddle.

"You're s**t and you know you are," the Bournemouth denizens informed them. There was no direct response and the defiant atmosphere in the away end suggested those from Manchester are well aware of that status.

The United supporters are offering support that their team does not merit. They sang non-stop in the sunshine and at least avoided another defeat south of the M6. The players were greeted with a chorus of "United, United, United" by the away section at the contest's conclusion.

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Yet this was another nail in their league coffin. United did not succumb to a Premier League-era record 13th defeat of the season but that feels a matter of time with six matches remaining. They have won one of their past seven league games.

Erik ten Hag, once an impassive observer in the technical area, is looking more frayed with every week. United continue to be mired in regression, devoid of an identity and structure.

Erik ten Hag
Manchester United dropped more points in the 2-2 draw with Bournemouth -Credit:Catherine Ivill

The only recognisable quality is their away dayers. Thousands will wake up hoarse on Sunday morning and a more mutinous following would have long since turned against the manager. Ten Hag will cling on for the remainder of the season but United are not changing. They conceded shortly after scoring again.

Steve McClaren twice emerged in the technical area in added time with his hands on his head, bracing himself for the inevitable. Willy Kambwala was inches away from conceding a penalty that was downgraded to a free-kick by the Video Assistant Referee. Enes Unal's goalbound free-kick ricocheted behind in the 98th minute.

The Premier League is almost an afterthought for the United matchgoers, who sang with gusto about next week's FA Cup semi-final at Wembley. Newcastle leapfrogged United with their lunchtime thrashing of Tottenham. United are likelier to be in the Europa Conference League at this rate.

This was the worst first half performance from a United side in, well, six days. Bournemouth unleashed 12 attempts at United's goal in the first 45 minutes and most were excellent openings. Andre Onana stood motionless as the ball passed his post more than once, Milos Kerkez hit the crossbar and was more wasteful on the rebound while Justin Kluivert volleyed straight at the United goalkeeper.

Bournemouth's profligacy cost them what would have been a first domestic double against English football's most glamorous club. United have already conceded the most attempts at their goal in a season since records began. Ten Hag claims the fixation on the stat is "ridiculous". United are ridiculous.

United's mixed messages were as clear as the south coast skyline and mutiny started to simmer on the pitch, rather than in the stands. Bruno Fernandes and Onana bickered in the seventh minute over whether to go long or short from goal kicks, with Onana keenly loyal to his principles.

Ten Hag ordered Fernandes to show some restraint, Fernandes refused, so Ten Hag gave him a ticking off. The United captain ended the disagreement by wagging his finger.

Fernandes scored both of United's goals, taking his tally for the season to a creditable 11. Casemiro, perched on the halfway line, could not watch after United were awarded a penalty for Adam Smith's reflex handball. From 12 yards, Fernandes was a safe bet on Grand National day and he was serenaded again at full-time.

Alejandro Garnacho started his 30th successive United match and the workload has become so onerous he was hooked for Amad at the interval. Within ten minutes, Ten Hag was having to instruct Amad where to position himself.

This was only Amad's fifth appearance of the campaign and every time he has emerged off the bench United have been losing or drawing. His use has been so sparing he is not always going to be tuned to the same frequency.

The furthest Onana ventured from his goal was to the dugout for a motivational time-out. He nestled his hands on the shoulders of Marcus Rashford and Rasmus Hojlund and high-fived Harry Maguire. He did not make such flush contact with Kluivert's shot that breached his goal at the near post.

Kambwala, on his third start, lost his first two duels with Dominic Solanke and was sufficiently spooked for their next tussle. The 19-year-old panicked, lost his footing and United were soon losing 1-0 to Bournemouth again through another Solanke opener.

Maguire endeavoured to encourage Kambwala and there was not enough of that from his other teammates. The strapping Solanke was a more awkward opponent than Darwin Nunez, Luis Diaz or Mohamed Salah. Kambwala is not the first callow United defender to get a going-over by a streetwise striker and a similar duel awaits with Coventry's Ellis Simms in the semi-final next week.

Maguire had a conflab with physio Richard Merron and doctor Jim Moxon over an apparent issue. Unusually, there was no sign of head of sports medicine Gary O'Driscoll, absent from the dugout due to personal reasons.

Antony's absence marked the 57th separate case of injury or illness to cause a United player to miss a game. Maguie soldiered on. Amad also required treatment during the wait for Fernandes's penalty.

They are still a muddle.