Everton staged an extraordinary stoppage time fightback to snatch a 3-3 draw against a Wayne Rooney-less Manchester United in the early English Premier League match on Saturday.
United looked to be cruising to a comfortable 3-1 victory after goals from Darren Fletcher, Nemanja Vidic and Dimitar Berbatov had erased Steven Pienaar’s opener for Everton.
But with 90 minutes up, Everton miraculously scrambled late goals from Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta to secure a precious point for David Moyes’s men and leave the Goodison Park faithful in raptures.
Sir Alex Ferguson will be fuming at the loss of two points after his pre-match decision to omit Rooney following a week of lurid headlines concerning the striker looked to have paid off.
Everton had taken the lead on 39 minutes when a misjudged clearance from United defender Patrice Evra left Arteta racing clear on goal.
Arteta’s effort was saved by Edwin van der Sar, but Leon Osman found the unmarked Pienaar who kept his cool to stab home.
Yet Everton’s advantage was short-lived as United swept forward and found an equaliser moments later.
Nani curled an exquisitely flighted cross from the right into the danger area and Fletcher popped up to steer home the leveller.
United maintained their momentum after the restart and Nani was the creator once more, his pinpoint cross picking out Vidic whose downward header flew past Tim Howard in the Everton goal.
Victory seemed all but assured on 66 minutes when Paul Scholes split the Everton defence to release Berbatov, who controlled before burying a low shot beyond Howard.
But Cahill’s header gave Everton hope and moments later Arteta’s deflected shot flew in to give the home side an improbable point.
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