MANCHESTER — Manchester United suffered a blow to their Premier League title hopes after Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored with the last kick of the game to earn the visitors a 3-3 draw in a pulsating clash at Old Trafford on Saturday.
United led 2-0 and then 3-2 but were stunned in stoppage time as they failed to deal with a simple free kick floated into the area, allowing Michael Keane to flick the ball on for Calvert-Lewin to slide the ball past goalkeeper David De Gea.
The result left United, who last won the title in 2013, second in the standings on 45 points from 23 games, two behind leaders Manchester City who have two games in hand and visit fourth-placed champions Liverpool on Sunday.
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer rued United’s lapses of concentration, a factor which has cost them several times this season and contributed to four home defeats in the league.
“Results create the mood. The last kick of the ball makes us go home really disappointed. We have lost two points on a long thump upfield which we should have defended,” he said.
Edinson Cavani had fired United ahead in the 24th minute with a firm header at the far post from a Marcus Rashford cross and Bruno Fernandes doubled the lead just before halftime as he curled a superb shot into far corner over keeper Robin Olsen.
Everton lacked edge in the first half but drew level with two quick goals shortly after the break as United’s defence appeared to switch off.
Abdoulaye Doucoure pulled a goal back in the 47th minute when he tapped in from close range after United keeper David De Gea spilled a Calvert-Lewin cross and James Rodriguez struck in the 52nd with a fizzing low shot from 13 metres.
Scott McTominay put United back in front in the 71st when he headed in a Luke Shaw cross and the hosts pushed forward in the last 20 minutes searching for another goal to seal the contest but instead were caught out by Calvert-Lewin’s late strike.
“We played some good football in the second half but conceded three goals from three shots on target and when you do that it is disappointing,” said Solskjaer.
“I wouldn’t blame anyone on the goals but we know we could have done better as a team on all of them.
Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti praised his team’s fighting spirit as they took full advantage of United’s sloppy defending.
“We would not have deserved to lose,” the Italian told Sky Sports. “We had opportunities in counter-attacks in the first half but were not clinical.
“I am really proud and we have to keep this spirit high. We showed that at 3-2 we did not want to lose.”
Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic; Editing by Christian Radnedge and Ken Ferris; Reuters