Tottenham 2-2 Manchester United: Spurs battle back to earn draw
Tottenham put their humiliation at Newcastle behind them to fight back from two down to earn a spirited 2-2 draw at home to Manchester United.
An entertaining clash between the top-four rivals appeared set to go the way of Erik Ten Hag’s men after first-half efforts by Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford put fourth-placed United in cruise control.
Ryan Mason had endured a nightmare start to his second spell in caretaker charge but his half-time message did the trick with Pedro Porro reducing the deficit early into the second period before Son Heung-min levelled with 11 minutes left to earn a share of the spoils.
It had been a week of contrasting fortunes for the two sides with United able to secure another trip to Wembley on Sunday after their penalty shoot-out win over Brighton in the FA Cup and Tottenham left to regroup after another shambolic few days.
Last weekend’s 6-1 thrashing at Newcastle saw Cristian Stellini leave his interim role and Mason, Spurs’ third manager of the season, wasted no time in reverting back to their favoured 3-4-3 system.
While Tottenham were without their captain Hugo Lloris due to a hip injury, Bruno Fernandes was able to shake off his ankle issue to lead United out.
Given their diabolical start at St James’ Park, the hosts’ were eager to begin strongly but it took only seven minutes for the visitors to break the deadlock.
Man United were able to play through the lines with ease and Rashford passed into Sancho, who cut inside and curled into the bottom corner for his sixth goal of the season.
It was another poor goal for Tottenham to concede with Porro and Cristian Romero, two of their most culpable players on Sunday, again allowing an opposition player too much space inside the area.
The Spurs supporters stuck with the team but Ten Hag’s side scented blood and Rashford sent a free kick wide before Sancho should have made it 2-0.
Again Sancho was found on the left but Ivan Perisic got back on the line to clear his deflected effort and prevent the atmosphere turning toxic.
It failed to stop the first chants calling for chairman Levy to leave the club moments later and Forster’s unconvincing save from Fernandes’ long-range hit did little to ease the growing unrest.
Tottenham did respond by fashioning their first real opening when Richarlison got played in behind and saw his centre for Porro cut out.
From the resulting corner Perisic tested David De Gea with a flicked on header but further Levy out chants soon followed.
Rashford wasted two chances in the closing moments of the first half to double United’s lead with Forster equal to both efforts before Spurs threatened again.
Yet a matter of seconds after De Gea had parried away Perisic’s powerful shot, the visitors made it 2-0 with a slick counter-attack.
Fernandes produced a superb crossfield pass to Rashford and the England marksman raced past Eric Dier into the area before he rifled beyond Forster for his 29th goal of an outstanding campaign.
Boos followed at half-time but Tottenham came out with renewed belief after the break and they reduced the deficit in the 56th minute.
Perisic’s dangerous cross caused problems in the United area and while Luke Shaw blocked Harry Kane’s effort, Porro was on hand to smash home first-time from 16 yards.
The visitors should have instantly restored their two-goal advantage when Fernandes waltzed past Clement Lenglet but chipped onto the crossbar and Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s follow-up header was well saved by Forster.
It kept alive Tottenham’s hopes of preventing a third straight defeat and they squandered two great chances to level soon after.
First Son fired wide after superb forward play by Kane, who beat Shaw and picked out the South Korea at the back post.
Not long after Son’s opportunity and substitute Dejan Kulusevski sent an effort past the post as Spurs built momentum.
The best chance of the lot occurred when Perisic picked out the unmarked Dier but the centre-back headed wide from six yards out.
It brought Mason to his knees but Tottenham’s next attack produced the equaliser with Romero able to find Kane, who turned and squared for Son to slot home and restore some pride for the hosts.