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Ibrahimovic at center of controversy as United draws in EPL

By The Associated Press | Posted - Mar. 4, 2017 at 10:48 a.m.



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MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic had a penalty saved and was fortunate to avoid a red card in an incident-filled 1-1 draw against 10-man Bournemouth on Saturday, the latest English Premier League setback at Old Trafford for Jose Mourinho's team.

A week after winning the League Cup for United with a double against Southampton at Wembley Stadium, Ibrahimovic endured a frustrating return to league action by seeing his 72nd-minute penalty clawed away by Artur Boruc.

Ibrahimovic was involved in many of the flashpoints in a thrilling game, notably when he elbowed Tyrone Mings in the head moments after the defender appeared to tread on the face of Ibrahimovic late in the first half. The referee missed both incidents and the players could face retrospective action by the English Football Association.

"I jump up and jump high and he jumps into my elbow," Ibrahimovic said of the incident with Mings, who denied he intended to hurt Ibrahimovic with his apparent stamp.

As part of the same incident, Andrew Surman was sent off for collecting a second yellow card for pushing Ibrahimovic in an angry reaction to the striker's challenge on Mings.

Earlier, Marcos Rojo's first league goal, was canceled out by former United player Josh King's penalty after Phil Jones fouled Marc Pugh. That was Bournemouth's only shot on target.

It was a 10th league draw of the season for United, which was seeking a victory to climb from sixth place — the position where Mourinho's team has been for the past few months as it recovers from a poor start to the campaign.

United has drawn at home to Stoke, Burnley, Hull and Bournemouth.

"What happened was that we played phenomenal in the first half and should have been winning 3-0 or 4-0 — then it ended up 1-1," Mourinho said.

"In the second half, we played different team with a man less. I understand their need for one point in the survival battle and they just defended to make it difficult for us. ... We felt pressure of the clock running down and lost the quality of our attacking football."

United is on 49 points, the same as fifth-placed Liverpool, which hosts fourth-placed Arsenal later Saturday.

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The Associated Press

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