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.”

Related items

  • Leverkusen star Wirtz named Bundesliga Player of the Year Leverkusen star Wirtz named Bundesliga Player of the Year

    Florian Wirtz played a starring role for Bayer Leverkusen this season and has been named the Bundesliga Player of the Year.

    Wirtz scored 11 goals and provided a further 11 assists on the way to helping Leverkusen win their first-ever top-flight title.

    The forward was pivotal in Leverkusen’s title charge as they became the first German team to complete an unbeaten season.

    Only Victor Boniface has scored more goals than Wirtz this campaign, netting 14 times, while his tally of 11 assists is second only to Alejandro Grimaldo (13) across the Bundesliga.

    Wirtz came off the bench to score a hat-trick in Leverkusen’s 5-0 win over Werder Bremen in April which clinched the title with five games remaining.

    The Bundesliga champions still have the German Cup final on Saturday against Kaiserslautern, which follows the Europa League final against Atalanta on Wednesday.

    Wirtz played a critical role in helping Leverkusen reach their third European final, having been involved in eight goals in the Europa League this season (four goals, four assists), the most of any player in the team.

    He has also created 28 chances from open play in the competition, a tally only five players can better in a Europa League campaign, most recently Amin Younes for Ajax in 2016-17 (30).

    In all competitions, Leverkusen’s unbeaten run stretches to 51 matches, as they aim to finish an unbeaten season with a treble.

  • Kane injury doubt for England Euro 2024 squad Kane injury doubt for England Euro 2024 squad

    Harry Kane may be a doubt for England’s Euro 2024 squad as he continues to struggle with a back problem.

    Gareth Southgate is due to name his preliminary squad for Euro 2024 on Tuesday, ahead of upcoming friendlies against Bosnia and Herzegovina and Iceland. 

    The England captain missed the final two Bundesliga games of the season after going off towards the end of Bayern Munich’s Champions League semi-final second leg against Real Madrid.

    Thomas Tuchel confirmed prior to their final match against Hoffenheim that Kane was back in England to undergo treatment.

    When later asked again about the nature of the striker’s injury, Tuchel admitted that Kane had been struggling for a couple of weeks.

    "In Madrid, it was borderline. We tried injections and treatments. The back has completely closed.

    "It has gotten worse and kept breaking out in small, everyday movements. There's no chance he's even training."

    Kane scored 36 league goals in his debut campaign for Bayern, though due to the injury, he finished five adrift of Robert Lewandowski’s single-season goal record of 41, set in 2019-20.

    The final announcement of Southgate's 26-man squad will be revealed on June 7, ahead of the tournament opener against Serbia on June 16.

  • Pochettino prioritising continuity as Chelsea draw up transfer plans Pochettino prioritising continuity as Chelsea draw up transfer plans

    Mauricio Pochettino feels continuity will be key for Chelsea ahead of his second season in charge, ruling out the prospect of another clear-out at Stamford Bridge. 

    Chelsea clinched European qualification on the final day of the Premier League season on Sunday, a 2-1 win over Bournemouth ensuring they beat Newcastle United and Manchester United to sixth place.

    The Blues finished the campaign with five straight victories, the first time they have achieved that feat since doing so in March 2022 under Thomas Tuchel.

    A positive end to Pochettino's debut campaign has quietened talk of his job being under threat, and he wants to see evolution rather than revolution ahead of 2024-25.

    "Does the club need new signings? Always, you can improve," Pochettino said after Sunday's victory.

    "They are going to be much better next season because they will have one year of experience, a tough experience. 

    "That is the advantage of being solid and consistent and not making too many changes.

    "Next season, if we keep 80 to 85 per cent of the squad, for sure it is a big step forward because it is about having continuity in the ideas and the knowledge between them. That is important for the club.

    "That is a club decision. Like it was from the beginning, we [the coaching staff] are going to be there to help and if not, we are going to do our job."

    Chelsea only lost one of their final 15 matches of the Premier League season (nine wins, five draws), with that defeat coming by a 5-0 scoreline at Arsenal in April.

    Only Manchester City, Arsenal (16 each) and Liverpool (12) won more Premier League games than Chelsea's 10 between the turn of the year and the end of the campaign, with their total of 43 goals in that time ranking them fifth among all teams in the division. 

    Chelsea's overall tally of 77 goals in 2023-24 was their third-most in a Premier League season, behind only their title-winning campaigns of 2009-10 (103) and 2016-17 (85).

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.