LONDON: Tottenham Hotspur rallied from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Manchester United in a thrilling Premier League clash on Thursday (Apr 27) that saw the visitors cementing fourth spot.
The point left United six points clear of fifth-placed Spurs with two games in hand and all but ended the London side’s hopes of Champions League football next season.
Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford had put United 2-0 ahead at halftime but goals from Pedro Porro and Son Heung-min after the break salvaged a draw for battling Tottenham.
“Of course when you are 2-0 up then you are a little bit disappointed when you draw,” said United manager Erik ten Hag. “We had the chances after 2-1 to score … and we didn’t and we conceded the goal. I think in this week 2-2 is a good draw.”
Some fans protested against Spurs chairman Daniel Levy outside the ground before the match and there were chants of ‘We want Levy Out’ after the team went behind against United in the wake of the 6-1 mauling at Newcastle United on Sunday.
The mood soured when Sancho opened the scoring after seven minutes when the forward cut in from the left and struck a low shot into the far corner past goalkeeper Fraser Forster.
Sancho almost doubled United’s lead after 19 minutes when his deflected effort was cleared off the line by Ivan Perisic.
Rashford then made it 2-0 just before halftime when he ran onto a long ball from Bruno Fernandes, outpaced Eric Dier and fired past Forster after Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg lost possession.
Tottenham fullback Porro got the hosts back in the game when he cleverly hooked a shot past keeper David De Gea in the 56th minute after a Harry Kane effort was blocked.
Bruno Fernandes then had a chance to put United 3-1 ahead when he was through on goal but he blasted his shot against the crossbar when it looked easier to score.
“Of course (that was frustrating), but don’t blame it on one player,” added Ten Hag. “We weren’t clinical enough and I think we had to score more. The goals we conceded were too easy and we could have avoided them.”
A rejuvenated Spurs created several more chances, with Dier missing the clearest opportunity to equalise when he headed wide from close range with goal at his mercy.
But the pressure eventually told when Son swept home a cross from Kane in the 79th minute to rescue a point for Spurs and cheer the home fans who appreciated their team’s response.
“(I’m) Pleased with the reaction and in the second half we were outstanding and the character we showed after last Sunday and going two goals down (tonight),” said Ryan Mason after his first game in charge in his second spell as interim boss.
“I hope the fans can see that we were a team today and we ran for each other. In the second half we could have scored a lot more.”