Manchester United were held to a 2-2 Premier League draw by Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on Sunday in a disappointing result for Erik ten Hag’s team who twice took the lead but were pegged back by an aggressive performance from the visitors.
Rasmus Hojlund’s early opener was cancelled out by Richarlison and Rodrigo Bentancur levelled again for Spurs after Marcus Rashford had put United back in front.
Spurs, who were hit hard by illness this week, remained fifth in the table, level on 40 points with fourth-placed Arsenal but having played a game more.
“Delighted, mate,” Spurs manager Ange Postecoglou told the BBC.
“You always want to win games but I couldn’t be prouder of the players. They have had to deal with a fair bit this week and to put on a performance like that… I thought the way we handled the game was outstanding.”
United climbed a spot to seventh, but are eight points adrift of the top four.
“I am quite disappointed, when you go ahead twice and then concede two soft goals it is a bit frustrating, but you have to take it as it is,” Ten Hag told the BBC. “The attitude from the team was great, the spirit was great.”
United got off to a lively start with a goal from Hojlund in the third minute. The 20-year-old scored for the second time in as many home games with a ferocious left-footed shot to the top corner. Richarlison capitalised on United’s poor marking to head in the equaliser from a corner in the 19th.
Rashford put United back on top just before the break after a quick one-two with Hojlund for his fourth goal of the season and first at home.
Bentancur cancelled out Rashford’s goal when he scored less than a minute after the interval, taking a pass from debutant Timo Werner before firing the ball past goalkeeper Andre Onana.
“To play for a new club in this stadium against United, you’re always a bit nervous. You try to enjoy it,” Werner, who joined Spurs on loan from RB Leipzig earlier in the week, told Sky Sports.
Scott McTominay almost netted a winner seconds before the final whistle, but his header from Alejandro Garnacho’s pinpoint cross sailed just over the bar.
United were able to delay keeper Onana’s travel to the Africa Cup of Nations so he could play on Sunday. The Cameroonian was scheduled to depart for the Ivory Coast on a private plane right after the match.
Some good news for injury-plagued United was the return of Lisandro Martinez, who played for the first time since their Champions League game against Bayern Munich on Sept. 20.
“Senior players like Casemiro (who was on the bench on Sunday), Martinez and Luke Shaw are returning and when you add that to our team I am sure it is a strong side,” Ten Hag said.
British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, who struck a deal to take a minority stake at Manchester United last month, attended the game and was spotted talking to United’s former manager Alex Ferguson, who was seated next to him.