Manchester United missed the chance to break into the Premier League top four as they drew 1-1 with Bournemouth at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon in a fiery and ill-tempered affair that saw Andrew Surman sent-off, Tyrone Mings stamp on Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the Swede respond with a swinging elbow. Re-live the action here.
- Manchester United 1-1 Bournemouth
- Marcos Rojo puts United ahead midway through the first half
- Josh King equalises after Phil Jones concedes a penalty
- Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Tyrone Mings involved in ugly clash shortly before half-time
- Both now likely to face retrospective action
- Andrew Surman sent-off for two bookings before half-time
- Eddie Howe arrived late after being up all night with illness
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Jose Mourinho's side could cap a good seven days - having won the EFL Cup on Sunday - by breaking into the top four for the first time since early September. Their early start at home to Bournemouth gives them a chance to leapfrog both Liverpool and Arsenal, who meet at Anfield at 5.30pm.
It will only be for a few hours as one of those two sides has to overtake them (a draw would put Arsenal back into fourth on goal difference) but it could be a psychologically important move.
The Cherries are meanwhile in desperate need of a win having slumped to a fourth straight league defeat at West Brom last weekend. They have not won since beating Swansea 3-0 away on New Year's Eve.
Such a poor run of form has left Bournemouth just four points clear of the relegation zone.
Kick-off: The game kicks off at 12.30pm on Saturday March 4.
TV: The match will be shown live on Sky Sports 1. Highlights will be shown later that evening on BBC One's Match of the Day.
Manchester United: WWWWWW
Phil Jones returns for Manchester United after spending nearly a month on the sidelines with a foot injury. That means their only absentee is Henrikh Mkhitaryan, ruled out with a hamstring complaint.
Bournemouth will be without their club captain Simon Francis for the journey to Old Trafford, but Eddie Howe will be able to call upon Jordon Ibe, who has recovered from a knee injury.
Manchester United (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Rojo, Smalling, Bailly, Valencia; Herrera, Fellaini; Martial, Pogba, Mata; Ibrahimovic.
Bournemouth (4-4-1-1): Boruc; Daniels, Cook, Mings, Smith; Fraser, Wilshere, Arter, Surman; Afobe; King.
It's a big game for
Eddie Howe: Bournemouth have entered something of a slump, failing to win a match since New Year's Eve and losing their last four league games. If they do not get points on the board soon they will find themselves sucked into a relegation dogfight and all eyes will be on Howe this weekend to see whether he can help adjust Bournemouth's dire league form.
"We have always tried to defy the odds here and we will have to do that again, so we need to be very strong as a group," Howe commented in his pre-match press conference ahead of the trip to Old Trafford.
"In recent weeks we haven't had that collective team performance which we have been looking for, so my main focus this week has been to get everybody performing at their best level again."
Player to watch
Michael Carrick: The 35-year-old Carrick, who was awarded a June 4 testimonial by United on Thursday, has spent 11 years at the club, winning 16 major trophies, including five league titles.
But the veteran midfielder hinted ahead of this match that he could call time on his career if the club do not offer him a new contract. "(Retirement) almost depends on how long I'm here," he told reporters.
"I don't think there's many places I'd want to play, if any, after this anyway. I probably would say yes - that would be it if I left in the summer." Should he be called upon by Mourinho, he will be desperate to impress in order to secure at least another season at the club.
Manchester United are unbeaten in their last 16 league matches since losing to Chelsea in October (W9 D7 L0) – the longest unbeaten run seen in the Premier League this season.
Manchester United to win: 4/17
Bournemouth to win: 23/2