EPL

Diogo Dalot admits Man Utd players must accept responsibility for shortcomings

By Sports Desk April 14, 2024

Diogo Dalot admits Manchester United’s players cannot shirk responsibility for their shortcomings after an underwhelming second season under Erik ten Hag continued with Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Bournemouth.

United twice trailed at the Vitality Stadium and were fortunate to escape with a point following a poor first half in which the impressive hosts wasted a series of chances.

While Bruno Fernandes’ double prevented defeat in Dorset, Ten Hag’s seventh-placed side face an uphill task to secure European qualification and also avoid the club’s worst Premier League finish.

Defender Dalot believes battling back on the south coast was an encouraging sign but concedes the team have significant room for improvement going into their final six top-flight fixtures.

“The big positive is we fought always for the result,” the Portuguese told United’s website.

“That hunger of trying to fight until the end is something we have been showing this season.

“It’s been a positive thing, in my opinion, although we have a lot of things we should improve, as a team, as individuals.

“There are some things we obviously need to take responsibility (for), we cannot hide from it.

“The standards are always high at this club so we have to be really, really accountable for these types of mistakes that we are making as a team that we cannot (make) if we want to fight for the big trophies.”

United, who have never finished below seventh position in the Premier League era, are 10 points adrift of the Champions League positions following a fourth league outing without a win.

Dominic Solanke and Justin Kluivert capitalised on sloppy defending to score for the Cherries but Fernandes’ volleyed equaliser ensured the visitors were only a goal behind at the break.

United’s captain converted a 65th-minute spot-kick in a more even second period to again level before his side breathed a sigh of relief when Bournemouth were denied an added-time penalty by VAR when Willy Kambwala’s foul on Ryan Christie was adjudged to have been outside the box.

United next weekend face a Wembley FA Cup semi-final against Championship club Coventry before returning to top-flight action at home to bottom side Sheffield United on April 24.

“We are already focusing on a big opportunity for us to be again in the FA Cup final and it’s a massive competition we want to win,” said Dalot, who was an unused substitute in the 2-1 loss to Manchester City in last year’s final.

“We know the feeling of being there, now we want the feeling of being there again and winning it. Next week we are going to have a huge opportunity to be there again.”

Bournemouth were denied a first league double over the 20-time English champions on the back of December’s thumping 3-0 victory at Old Trafford.

Striker Solanke became the Cherries’ record scorer in a single Premier League season with his 17th strike this term, moving clear of former team-mate Joshua King’s tally in the 2016-17 campaign.

“For the last few games I wanted to get that next goal,” he told Bournemouth’s website.

“It’s a great achievement and I’m over the moon with that record. Hopefully I can get a few more towards the end of the season.

“Sorry Kingy about that – records are there to be broken!”

Speaking about the late VAR drama, Solanke added: “I only managed to see it back on the big screen in the stadium and it looked like it was on the line. It definitely could have been a penalty.

“I’m a bit gutted not to get the win.”

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