Premier League contenders, Manchester United were held to a stalemate yesterday as Dominic Calvert-Lewin struck a 95th-minute equaliser to deal United’s Premier League title hopes a huge blow in a 3-3 draw with Everton at Old Trafford.
United twice looked to have seen off the Toffees but first threw away the two-goal lead Edinson Cavani and Bruno Fernandes had forged and then conceded for a third time right at the death.
Abdoulaye Doucoure scored one and created another for James Rodriguez, before Scott McTominay seemed to set Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on his way to victory in his 100th match as a Premier League manager.
But Calvert-Lewin’s leveller from Everton’s final attack denied United on an evening they lost Paul Pogba to an apparent thigh injury, meaning Manchester City can pull five points clear at the summit when they visit Liverpool in the first of two games in hand on Sunday.
There was little action of note until the 24th minute when Marcus Rashford fired a right-wing cross onto the head of Cavani, waiting at the back post to nod into the net.
The hosts were initially dominant thereafter, undeterred by Pogba’s withdrawal as Fernandes added a superb second shortly before half-time, catching Robin Olsen out with a dipping right-footed effort from the right side of the box.
But David de Gea gifted Everton a route back into the match following the restart when he dropped Calvert-Lewin’s tame shot at the feet of Doucoure, who halved the deficit.
No blame could be laid at the goalkeeper’s door for the leveller, a sublime James finish from the edge of the box that left United shellshocked.
However, McTominay’s header escaped the stumbling Olsen’s grasp to put the hosts back in front and they appeared to have survived a second Everton flurry as Lucas Digne struck the outside of the post and Richarlison stabbed wide.
A stoppage-time free-kick provided one final opportunity and, with Olsen thrown forward as a distraction, Calvert-Lewin was able to control Michael Keane’s knockdown and shoot beyond a hesitant De Gea.