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Home » CLIFFE EDGE Man Utd 2 Tottenham 2: United fail to impress watching Sir Jim Ratcliffe as they TWICE throw away lead in thriller

CLIFFE EDGE Man Utd 2 Tottenham 2: United fail to impress watching Sir Jim Ratcliffe as they TWICE throw away lead in thriller

Man Utd and Spurs played out a thrilling 2-2 draw at Old Trafford on Sunday

THERE were reasons to be cheerful everywhere you looked for Manchester United – everywhere except for the scoreboard. 

Sir Jim Ratcliffe took up his place in the Old Trafford directors’ box, Rasmus Hojlund and Marcus Rashford struck up a convincing partnership, while Lisandro Martinez and Casemiro returned from long-term injuries.

Tottenham pegged United back twice at Old Trafford
Sir Jim Ratcliffe took in his first match at Old Trafford
Sir Jim Ratcliffe took in his first match at Old Trafford

And yet for all that optimism, United now have just one win from six Premier League matches, after Richarlison and Rodrigo Bentancur struck equalisers for Ange Postecoglou’s freewheeling Tottenham.

Hojlund thumped home his second of the season, after being teed up by Rashford, who then restored United’s lead after a one-two with his Danish mate.

But Spurs played with their usual attacking intent and deserved the point which leaves them the far more likely of these two clubs to be playing Champions League football next season.

Ratcliffe’s 25 per cent investment to take charge of United’s football operation is expected to be rubber-stamped next month.

But Britain’s second richest man was hob-nobbing it in Old Trafford’s posh seats  in a scene which resembled the Royal Box on Wimbledon’s Centre Court.

Sir Alex Ferguson, most of the Rooney family and Premier League chief executive Richard Masters were all here to witness the brave new world.

And for the opening few minutes, Ten Hag’s side were a flashback to a distant memory of a team which used to play here.

The tempo, intent and imagination were like something from the bygone Ferguson era.

It was only the Dane's second Prem goal since his summer move

Rasmus Hojlund fired United ahead after three minutes

In the third minute, Bruno Fernandes played a delicious through-ball to release Rashford.

Destiny Udogie made a half-tackle but Hojlund snapped it up and leathered a shot into the roof of the net, beating Guglielmo Vicario at his near post.

After waiting half a season for a Premier League goal before last month’s winner against Aston Villa, the Dane had netted twice in just over ten minutes of league football.

Spurs had finally reunited their crack central defensive duo of Cristian Romero and Micky van de Ven after the Dutchman’s two-month injury lay-off but they were behind in the blink of an eye.

Richarlison equalised for the visitors in the 19th minute

Rashford then sent a cushioned volley narrowly wide from a Christian Eriksen corner.

It took a while for Spurs to join in, but once they did, Postecoglou’s men were dangerous.

The Aussie had handed Werner an instant debut after his loan move from RB Leipzig and the German was soon picked out by Brennan Johnson, and seeing his header nodded behind for a corner by Jonny Evans.

And on 19 minutes, Spurs were level – the buccaneering Pedro Porro delivered a corner and Richarlison beat Aaron Wan-Bissaka to the header, directing it cutely inside the far post.

The striker looks to be returning to his old goalscoring ways after a difficult season

Marcus Rashford netted United ahead again just before half-time

Werner was soon released down the left but after cutting inside, he produced a finish familiar to Chelsea supporters, ballooning it towards the Stretford End scoreboard.

United responded well and staged a sustained spell of pressure.

After Udogie had headed a Rashford cross against his own post, the England wideman netted his third goal of the season.

It was a sweeping crossfield move from United, ending with Rashford cutting in from the left and playing a one-two with Hojlund before he held off Porro and steered a shot inside the far post.

Rodrigo Bentancur levelled again just after the interval

Like most of Tottenham’s matches under Big Ange, it was wild and wide-open.

Werner was soon sent clean through in the inside-left channel but dragged his shot wide across goal.

And in first-half injury-time, United struggled to defend a corner again and Cristian Romero crashed a header against the bar.

Spurs had threatened their second equaliser before the interval and they scored it within 90 seconds of the restart.

Erik ten Hag

Ange Postecoglou

Romero played a gorgeous long pass out of defence and Oliver Skipp fed Werner who squared for Bentancur to ram his angled shot past a helpless Onana.

Ten Hag had Lisandro Martinez and Casemiro back on the bench after long-term injuries.

But it was Scott McTominay who got on the nod to come on first, the Scotland international soon shooting narrowly wide.

Martinez soon replaced Jonny Evans for his first outing in almost four months, due to a foot problem.

But after an hour of end-to-end mayhem, the match threatened to fizzle out before a cross was headed over by McTominay in the dying seconds.