Bruno Fernandes converted a late penalty won by Paul Pogba to secure Manchester United a 1-1 draw away at top-four rivals Tottenham on Friday.
Steve Bergwijn’s 26th-minute opener appeared set to give Jose Mourinho a much-needed victory over his former employers as Spurs aim to make a late charge to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
However, United were rewarded for an improved second-half display with an equaliser, Pogba – on as a substitute as he returned after a long injury lay-off – producing a burst into the box that tempted a rash challenge from Eric Dier.
Fernandes showed excellent composure to fire home from 12 yards out, sending Hugo Lloris the wrong way, as the visitors extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to 12 games.
It appeared the Portuguese would have the chance to score again from the spot when referee Jonathan Moss adjudged he had been fouled by Dier in the 90th minute, but a VAR check reversed the on-field call.
Still, United’s equaliser denied their old boss from closing the gap in the Premier League table, meaning the fifth-placed Red Devils remain four points clear of Spurs.
Marcus Rashford – who had raised his right fist skywards as he took a knee along with the rest of the players in support of the Black Lives Matter movement prior to kick-off – was denied a goal on his comeback during a tepid first half following the coronavirus-enforced break, his snap shot kept out by Lloris’ left foot.
Not long after the reprieve, Spurs opened the scoring at the other end thanks to a player of their own back in action again.
Bergwijn – unavailable prior to the break due to an ankle injury – glided beyond Harry Maguire before unleashing a firm right-footed shot that David de Gea failed to keep out, the ball striking the goalkeeper and going up into the net.
MATCH FACTS AND STATS
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris 7, Aurier 6, Sanchez 6, Dier 5.5, Davies 6, Sissoko 6,5, Winks 6, Bergwijn 7.5 (Lo Celso 70, 6), Lamela 7 (Fernandes 70, 6), Son 6.5, Kane 5.5.
Subs Not Used: Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Sessegnon, Gazzaniga, Ndombele, Skipp, White.
Goals: Bergwijn 27.
Man Utd: de Gea 4.5, Wan Bissaka 6, Lindelof 5.5 (Matic 78, 6), Maguire 5, Shaw, 6, McTominay 7 (Bailly 89), Fred 6.5 (Pogba 63, 7), James 5.5 (Greenwood 62, 6.5), Bruno Fernandes 8, Rashford 6.5, Martial 6 (Ighalo 78, 6).
Subs Not Used: Mata, Lingard, Romero, Williams.
Goals: Bruno Fernandes 81 pen.
Ref: Jonathan Moss (County Durham).
De Gea did better when turning Son Heung-min’s header over before the break yet was largely a spectator for the rest of proceedings, a tiring Spurs team pinned back as they attempted to preserve their narrow lead.
Lloris spectacularly denied fellow Frenchman Anthony Martial but was finally beaten in the 81st minute, Fernandes tucking away the opportunity to secure a point.