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First Team

Solanke hits memorable milestone in United draw


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Dominic Solanke penned a new chapter in the AFC Bournemouth record books as the Cherries battled out an enthralling 2-2 draw with Manchester United at Vitality Stadium.

Solanke’s finely-taken 16th-minute opener saw him become the club’s highest goalscorer in a single season in the Premier League.

His 19th goal of the season – and 17th in the top flight – saw him pass the previous best, set by Joshua King in 2016/17.

Although Bruno Fernandes restored parity for the visitors after 31 minutes, Justin Kluivert’s ripsnorter five minutes later saw the Cherries deservedly reach the break leading 2-1.

Milos Kerkez for the Cherries and Fernandes for the Red Devils both saw efforts hit the crossbar during a breathless first half.

Fernandes earned Erik ten Hag’s team a share of the spoils when he converted a hotly-disputed penalty, awarded for handball against Adam Smith midway through the second half.

Solanke, on target in the Cherries' 3-0 win at Old Trafford in December, climbed to meet Adam Smith cross in the third minute, his header deflecting off a United defender and out for a corner.

The visitors were then fortunate to escape after Kobbie Mainoo had been closed down as he tried to play out from the back.

Ryan Christie intercepted and was forced wide before his driven, low cross to the near post, aimed for Solanke, was hacked away by Harry Maguire.

Solanke drew first blood for the Cherries after 16 minutes with Marcos Senesi playing a pivotal role in the lead up to the goal.

The Argentina defender took the ball off the toe of Alejandro Garnacho, his interception rolling invitingly into the path of Solanke.

And after the Cherries striker had dropped his shoulder to leave United defender Willy Kambwala on the floor, he finished with accuracy into the bottom corner.

As United went in search of a quick response, Marcus Rashford burst through, only to fire well wide from a tight angle.

Milos Kerkez’s enterprising run down the left flank ended with him seeing his fierce drive strike United goalkeeper André Onana in the midriff.

Luis Sinisterra also carved open the United defence with an electrifying run, the Colombia international firing inches past the post.

Ryan Christie’s ripsnorter flew narrowly over the crossbar before the Scot fired into the grateful arms of Onana following good work by Sinisterra.

United levelled after 31 minutes when Fernandes drilled a shot into the roof of the net after Garnacho’s cutback had eventually fallen for him six yards out.

Dango Ouattara, teed up by Solanke’s pass, saw his rasping effort flash past the post before the Cherries regained the lead in the 36th minute.

Kluivert fastened on to Senesi pass before racing into the 18-yard box and drilling an unstoppable right-foot shot past Onana at his near post.

Smith’s cross was met by Kerkez whose header beat Onana but hit the crossbar, the defender then heading the loose ball over the top.

Onana’s top-drawer save denied Kluivert a second goal after he had met a cross with a first-time volley in first-half stoppage time.

And referee Tony Harrington waved away claims for a penalty after Kerkez had gone to ground under a challenge from Diogo Dalot.

As an absorbing first half drew to a close, Fernandes took aim from 25 yards, his delicate effort clipping the top of the crossbar. 

Kluivert’s shot from a Lewis Cook pass at the start of the second half struck Maguire on the leg and then the arm, although again referee Harrington was unmoved.

A jinking run by Kluivert ended when his shot was blocked by Aaron Wan-Bissaka before Solanke’s effort from Lloyd Kelly’s cross was diverted for a corner.

United were awarded a penalty after Mainoo’s shot had struck Christie and then hit Smith on the upper arm midway through the second half.

And Fernandes brought the visitors level for a second time when he sent Neto the wrong way from the spot in the 65th minute.

Substitute Max Aarons tried his luck from distance, only to see his effort flash past the post before referee Harrington turned down another penalty appeal after Christie had gone to ground under Dalot’s challenge.

A lengthy VAR check ruled out a penalty for the Cherries after Christie had been impeded by Kambwala on the edge of the box in the fifth minute of added time.

Referee Harrington instead awarded a free-kick which Enes Ünal took and saw his effort cannon off the United defensive wall.

AFC Bournemouth: Neto, Kerkez, Cook, Solanke, Christie, Ouattara (Faivre, 70), Smith (Aarons, 70), Sinisterra (Kelly, 39), Kluivert (Ünal, 76)  Senesi, Zabarnyi.

Unused subs: Travers (g/k), Scott, Hill, Billing, Dacosta Gonzalez.

Booked: Senesi, Christie, Cook, Neto.

Manchester United: Onana, Dalot, Kambwala, Maguire, Wan-Bissaka, Casemiro, Mainoo (Mount, 78), Garnacho (Diallo, h/t), Bruno Fernandes, Rashford, Højlund.

Unused subs: Bayindir (g/k), S Amrabat, Eriksen, Wheatley, Forson, Amass, Ogunneye.

Referee: Tony Harrington.

Attendance: 11,229.

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