Odion Ighalo brought on the lucky charm as an impressive United forced Jose Mourinho’s men to a stalemate at the Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium on Friday night.
The Nigerian forward is still in the hunt for his first Premier League goal in a red shirt after 5th-placed United could only manage a score draw with their 7th-placed hosts.
Bruno Fernandes’ late penalty secured a precious point for the Reds after Bergwijn’s early strike gave Spurs the advantage for much of the encounter.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men were playing their best football of the 2019/20 season before the coronavirus pandemic enforced a hiatus.
United’s excellent run of eight wins in 11 games in all competitions including superb Premier League wins over Chelsea and Manchester City alongside convincing victories in the FA Cup, and Europa League made them favourites at Tottenham on the night.
But Bergwijn’s goal midway through the half tore up the script and handed Spurs a 1-0 lead over United heading towards half-time.
3 – Steven Bergwijn is just the second Spurs player to score in each of his first three home Premier League appearances for the club after Rafael van der Vaart in 2010-11. Double-dutch. #TOTMUN pic.twitter.com/zxMb7jF84P
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 19, 2020
The Dutchman dribbled past two United defenders to get himself into the box before firing his shot into the net, despite De Gea getting a hand to it.
Son could’ve doubled the hosts’ lead with a header minutes later, but he was denied by a brilliant save from the goalkeeper.
Rashford had the best chance of the first 45 minutes for United, but his low shot was well-saved by Lloris.
United made a bright start to the second half, moving the ball quickly upfield, but their passing in the final third let them down a few times.
Despite United’s pressure, Spurs looked comfortable with all of Jose Mourinho’s men back in their half.
Solskjaer responded by making a double change just past the hour-mark, sending Greenwood and Pogba in place of James and Fred.
United were boosted by those changes and should have equalized from one of two chances created in succession.
But Davies blocked a Martial shot after good work from Fernandes before Lloris did brilliantly to save from his compatriot moments later.
It seemed to be one of those days when the better side still lost.
Solskjaer sent in Odion Ighalo to take the place of the unlucky Martial, and United’s luck turned around for good.
Pogba showed delightful touches to win a penalty, which Fernandes scored with finesse to get the Red Devils back on levelled terms, with only ten minutes left of the regulation time.
United then thought they had won a second penalty late on when Fernandes was upended in the Spurs’ box, but VAR turned out the referee’s initial decision.
United stay in fifth after that draw, now just two points behind Chelsea, and extend their unbeaten run in all competitions to 12 games.
Next up for them is another tough game as they face Sheffield United on Wednesday.