Tottenham 1, Manchester United 1
Paul Pogba came back from injury to win a late penalty to allow Manchester United to equalise after David De Gea gifted Steven Bergwijn the opening goal at Tottenham.Embed from Getty Images
Pogba came on in the second half for his first Reds appearance since Boxing Day and won a penalty which was converted by Bruno Fernandes.
And Fernandes himself had a soft penalty decision overturned by VAR in the last minute of normal time as the spoils were shared.
A point for each side leaves United two points adrift of Chelsea in fourth but crucially just two points ahead of Sheffield United who could still overtake them.
Qualification for next season’s Champions League may be awarded to the side that finishes fifth this season if Manchester City’s appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s verdict results in UEFA’s two year ban from the competition being upheld.
United goalkeeper David De Gea got his hand to Bergwijn’s deadlock breaking first half goal at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium but couldn’t prevent their hosts from taking the lead.
Bergwijn drew first blood for the hosts after 27 minutes after Serge Aurier had put the Spurs forward through for a mazy run and goal from 14 yards that Reds keeper David De Gea will feel he could have done better with.
The Dutch forward raced past a static Harry Maguire after Luke Shaw’s casual headed clearance was snapped up by the French right back.
The Reds could have been 2-0 down after Son Heung-min’s effort was tipped over by De Gea after Bergwijn’s unchallenged cross found the South Korean in space just four minutes later.
Bruno Fernandes’ injury time swerving shot tested Hugo Lloris but United struggled to break down a highly organised Spurs side.
With the breakthrough that he wanted, former United boss Jose Mourinho could afford to let his new charges sit back and defend their lead after the break.
Paul Pogba returns to action for Manchester United for the first time in 2020
Marcus Rashford headed wide while Fernandes’ crossfield strike went went wide before Pogba made his long awaited return in a United shirt after 63 minutes.
Pogba had a shot blocked and won a corner through a deflected cross before finding Fernandes with a quick pass which allowed the Portuguese to turn and put Martial through for a shot before he was tackled by Eric Dier.
Martial’s excellent shot shorty afterwards was denied by Lloris with an acrobatic save as the Reds finally put Spurs under pressure following the arrival of Pogba.
Victor Lindelof limped off towards the end, replaced by Nemanja Matic as United were forced into a reshuffle as they chased the equaliser.
Pogba drew a penalty from Dier after he went to jink past the England man with ten minutes to go.
And Fernandes stepped up after a VAR check and slammed in the equaliser with nine minutes to go, sending Lloris the wrong way with a confident spot kick, to score his fourth goal for United.
Rashford was released with a splendid crossfield pass by Pogba as the game rested on a knife edge in the closing minutes.
Mourinho was furious when it seemed that Spurs had given away a last minute penalty after a soft foul on Fernandes by Dier, with the Portuguese going down too easily but VAR quickly ruled it out.
Mason Greenwood and Fernandes both shot wide as United continued to press for a winner but had to be content with a draw.
MATCH STATS – Tottenham 1, Man Utd 0
Tottenham: Lloris, Aurier, Sanchez, Dier, Davies, Sissoko, Winks, Son, Lamela (Lo Celso 70), Bergwijn (Fernandes 70), White
Tottenham Subs Not Used: Gazzaniga, Aldereireld, Vertonghen, R Sessegnon, Ndombele, Skipp, White
Goal: Bergwijn 27
Man Utd: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof (Matic 78), Maguire, Shaw, McTominay (Bailly 89), Fred (Pogba 63), James (Greenwood 62), Fernandes, Rashford, Martial (Ighalo 78)
Man Utd Subs not used: Romero, Mata, Lingard, Williams
Booking: James 41
Goal: Fernandes 81 pen
Referee: Jonathan Moss