Paul Dummett scored a dramatic last-minute equaliser as Newcastle United twice came from behind to draw 3-3 with Manchester United in a Premier League classic at St James’ Park.
In a controversial and thrilling contest, Wayne Rooney’s penalty and a Jesse Lingard strike had the visitors two goals ahead, but Georginio Wijnaldum got one back prior to half-time.
Newcastle dominated the second period and Aleksandar Mitrovic won a penalty after tussling with Chris Smalling, converting it himself.
Rooney netted with a stunning finish with 11 minutes remaining, but that would not be enough for victory as Dummett’s deflected effort at the death earned Steve McClaren’s side a crucial point.
The result sees Newcastle, who stay in the bottom three, end a three-match run of Premier League defeats without scoring a goal, while Louis van Gaal’s sixth-placed side have now only won one of their last eight.
Rooney’s ninth-minute penalty was the first major moment of the game, with Marouane Fellaini meeting a corner from close range and heading into the hand of Chancel Mbemba, who was only a yard away but did have his arm raised.
Referee Mike Dean pointed to the spot despite Newcastle protests and Rooney stepped up to confidently send Rob Elliot the wrong way.
Rooney could have had a second midway through the half when Lingard’s accurate pass sent him through on goal but he shot inches wide with his left foot.
That miss was almost costly when Newcastle went straight up the other end and forced David de Gea into a crucial save. The goalkeeper – on his 200th appearance for the club – blocked with his legs from Wijnaldum after the Dutchman had played a brilliant one-two with Ayoze Perez to set up the chance.
The hosts then wanted a penalty of their own when Daryl Janmaat charged into the box and was stopped by a clumsy Lingard challenge, but Dean was unmoved.
Van Gaal’s men doubled their lead on 38 minutes when a quick counter-attack saw Ander Herrera release Rooney. The England striker took his time before reversing a clever pass into path of Lingard to finish through the legs of Elliot from a tight angle.
That two-goal cushion only lasted four minutes, though, after Fabricio Coloccini’s high pass was headed down by Mitrovic and this time there was no mistake from the onrushing Wijnaldum, who netted with an impressive first-time volley.
De Gea saved from Moussa Sissoko early in the second half, before Lingard missed the target with an excellent opportunity at the other end after good work from Anthony Martial and Herrera, leaving Van Gaal visibly annoyed.
Jack Colback’s claims for a spot-kick having been challenged by Fellaini were ignored but the home side did get a penalty when Mitrovic was wrestled to the ground by Smalling in a physical confrontation, with the Serbia striker taking it himself to comfortably beat De Gea on 67 minutes.
But Rooney responded when substitute Memphis Depay’s shot deflected into his path 20 yards from goal and he unleashed an unstoppable finish into the top-left corner.
Elliot then made a key save from Fellaini’s late header, meaning Dummett’s powerful strike – which deflected off Smalling and into the top-left corner – sealed a precious point after an epic battle.
Key Opta stats:
– Wayne Rooney’s brace enabled him to score his 14th goal against Newcastle United in the Premier League, making them his most favoured opponents in the Premier League.
– Rooney has also assisted eight Premier League goals against Newcastle, his most against a single opponent.
– All of Georgino Wijnaldum’s eight goals for Newcastle have come at St. James’ Park this season.
– Paul Dummett netted his first Premier League goal since October 2013 against Liverpool.
– Newcastle recovered from a two-goal deficit to avoid defeat for the first time in a Premier League game since September 2014 against Hull City (a 2-2 draw).
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