Manchester United 1 Bournemouth 1: Controversy reigns at Old Trafford as Zlatan Ibrahimovic's missed penalty sees hosts lose ground on top four

ALEX YOUNG
AFP/Getty Images

Manchester United lost further ground on their bid to qualify for the Champions League after being held to a 1-1 draw by 10-man Bournemouth, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic making the headlines from the wrong reasons.

A controversial end to the first half saw Tryone Mings stamp on the Swede's head, who retaliated by elbowing the Cherries defender minutes later. Both escaped red cards.

Marcos Rojo and Joshua King had traded goals in the first half before Ibrahimovic was afforded the chance to win the points for United from the penalty spot but Artur Boruc guessed right and parried his attempt away.

It remains to be seen if Ibrahimovic or Mings will face retrospective action from the FA, with the pair avoiding any on-field punishment from the officials.

A frantic opening could, and perhaps should, have seen Wayne Rooney score twice inside the opening 10 minutes.

The captain first opted to head a looping ball rather than take a touch when in space inside the area and then chose to pass rather than shoot when one-on-one against Boruc.

United could have been out of sight before Rojo brought the deadlock on 22 minutes, converting the least impressive chance of the game by sticking out a boot to divert Antonio Valencia's drilled pass into the area past the Bournemouth goalkeeper.

The pace of the game, and United's attacking prowess, significantly slowed after the goal which allowed Bournemouth to grow in confidence and the visitors were gifted an equaliser after Phil Jones's clumsy foul on Marc Pugh in the penalty area allowed Joshua King to convert from 12 yards.

The first half ended in controversial circumstances as both Mings and Ibrahimovic could have been sent off, trading a stamp on the latter followed by an elbow on the former, only for Andrew Surman to be given his marching orders.

With little improvement from United in the second half, Jose Mourinho rang the changes with over 20 minutes to play, bringing on Marouane Fellaini, Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard for, Wayne Rooney, Michael Carrick and Luke Shaw.

Minutes later and United were gifted a goal of their own as Adam Smith handled inside the area after a Paul Pogba cut back, but Boruc got down quickly to his right to palm away Ibrahimovic's fine effort to earn a point for the 10-man Cherries.

United stay sixth with the point, one behind fourth-placed Arsenal having played a game more, while Bournemouth move five points clear of 18th-placed Crystal Palace.

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