Manchester United and Bournemouth shared the spoils in an eventful game at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Marcos Rojo opened the scoring to give Manchester United a deserved lead in the first period, but saw former Red Devil Josh King’s penalty cancel his strike out. Veteran Zlatan Ibrahimovic had a chance to win the game for the hosts, but missed from the spot, which resulted in the game ending in a stalemate.
Here are five talking points.
An off day for the self-proclaimed “God of Manchester”
Zlatan Ibrahimovic was likely to receive a cult like following the minute he donned a Manchester United shirt in July, but his performances since joining the Red Devils have proven why he is one of the most respected footballers of the modern era.
The aura Zlatan brings to the table is second to none, and he seems to be at the pick of things in every single game. The industrious Swede was riding high on a match-winning performance against Southampton in the EFL Cup final and was expected to put up a goal-scoring masterclass against a considerably weaker Bournemouth defence.
However, to the contrary, Ibrahimovic failed to show up, and had arguably his worst performance for United since his move in the summer. He was involved in incidents on and off the ball, and his missed penalty was what eventually cost the home side crucial two points.
Controversies take centre stage once again at the Theatre of Dreams
The fans in attendance at Old Trafford watched a drama unfold in front of their eyes. For starters, Bournemouth defender Tyrone Mings stepped onto the head of Ibrahimovic, which if scrutinised thoroughly, could see him face a ban.
Certainly not one to take things lying down, Ibrahimovic reciprocated a minute later with an elbow to the face of Mings. The duo had verbal altercations with each other, before Andrew Surman decided to get involved by shoving the Manchester United striker.
Referee Kevin Friend had a clear view of the situation, and instead of showing Ibrahimovic his second yellow, instead waved the card in the direction of Surman who was booked for an offence earlier. This saw the Cherries fight a losing battle with a man down.
Lucky break for Eddie Howe and co.
Jose Mourinho ordered his side to stretch the opposition who were fighting for their lives with a man down. The Portuguese manager was hoping that his side could put the game to bed. However, that did not happen as Eddie Howe’s men showed immense resilience to hold on to pick up a point.
Despite Mourinho throwing in the likes of Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard, a cohesive Bournemouth side kept out most things that came their way and got lucky with a couple of missed opportunities late on in the contest.
An elusive first point at Old Trafford for the Cherries
The Bournemouth side returned to Dorset after picking up a point for the first time in history at Old Trafford. They had to rely on former United youngster Josh King to deliver from the spot, and he did so, no questions asked.
It will also lift the spirits in the Bournemouth camp who are not quite assured of safety as the chasing pack behind them are rushing on their tails and could topple them should the Cherries drop points in the coming weeks.
Boruc turns messiah in yet another goalkeeping showcase against the Red Devils
If there was one man that Bournemouth fans would thank for a splendid afternoon in Manchester, it would be their goalkeeper Artur Boruc. Their number one did everything in his control to keep out the league’s most-expensive attack.
His performance was akin to the likes of Tom Heaton, Lee Grant and Elden Jakupovic, who all put in world-class performances against the Red Devils to stop them from picking up three points in their own backyard.