Manchester United scored two late goals in the space of five minutes as they came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Burnley at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood appeared to have set Burnley on course for a first away win against United since September 1962 and inflict a first defeat on caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
However, Paul Pogba’s 87th-minute penalty and an injury-time strike from Victor Lindelof salvaged a point for the home side that could yet prove important in the race for the top four.
Marcus Rashford scuffed a glorious early chance wide and Barnes could have punished that miss were it not for a vital interception by the returning Phil Jones.
Pogba had the ball in the net but was pulled up by a correct offside call, as United endured a frustrating end to a half in which they struggled to reach top gear and failed to have a shot on target.
And Old Trafford was stunned six minutes after the restart, when Barnes fired high into the net from just inside the box after Andreas Pereira was robbed of possession by Jack Cork.
United at last upped the tempo and Tom Heaton denied Rashford from distance before producing a stunning stop to claw the ball away from the right-hand post after Romelu Lukaku’s touch.
A poor touch from Rashford spoiled another good chance for United, and it was duly punished once again, with Wood rising high to nod home Ashley Westwood’s cross.
United surged forward and Pogba swept a spot-kick into the top-left corner to give them some hope, after Jeff Hendrick had tugged down Jesse Lingard.
And in the second minute of injury time, Lindelof turned in the rebound after Heaton kept out Alexis Sanchez’s header to rescue a share of the spoils.
FULL-TIME Man Utd 2-2 Burnley
— Premier League (@premierleague) January 29, 2019
What does it mean? No record for Solskjaer as top-four hopes suffer blow
Solskjaer failed to become the first manager to win his first seven Premier League matches in charge of a club, although this was very nearly a more damaging result than it proved to be.
Despite Lindelof’s dramatic leveller, Arsenal’s win over Cardiff City sees United slip two points behind the Gunners, and they will be five adrift of the top-four places if Chelsea beat Bournemouth on Wednesday.
Burnley are now four points clear of the bottom three, although conceding such a late equaliser after so much good defensive work will have undoubtedly hurt.
A Barnes-torming showing from Burnley’s number 10
Barnes did so much good work pressing United’s centre-backs to limit their build-up play, he deserved his goal. And he took it in spectacular style.
Has Pereira blown his chance?
This was Pereira’s first league start since August and it did not go to plan. The midfielder was ineffective in the first half and gifted Cork the ball to allow Barnes to break the deadlock before being withdrawn. How many more opportunities will he get in the United first team?
United head to Leicester City on Sunday, the day after Burnley host Southampton.
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