Manchester United left it late once again and were forced to come from two goals down to rescue a point in today’s Boxing Day visit from Burnley thanks to two strikes from Jesse Lingard. With Manchester City not in action until Wednesday's trip to Newcastle, today’s 2-2 draw means that United are now 12 points behind their neighbours and runaway leaders.
Barnes puts Burnley ahead on three minutes
Ashley Barnes gave Burnley the perfect start in the third minute when he poked home a loose ball in the box from Johann Berg Gudmundsson's free-kick. Burnley hadn't won at Old Trafford since 1962 - four months before United manager José Mourinho was born, but they scored again in the 36th minute - Belgian midfielder Steven Defour bending a superb free-kick way beyond De Gea and into the top corner.
Ibra makes 45-minute appearance
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, making his first league start since April after a major knee injury, was hauled off at half-time and his replacement Lingard gave United hope with a sublime back-flicked finish from Ashley Young's cross in the 53rd minute. And Lingard ended as United's hero when he fired into the bottom corner in the first minute of stoppage-time.
Despite that equalizing goal, it was still a frustrating result at the end of a painful December for United, who had suffered a crucial home loss against Manchester City, crashed out of the EFL Carabao Cup at second tier Bristol City and conceded a last-minute equaliser against 10-man Leicester at the weekend.
“The end product of so much dominance, two goals, is a miserable number”, Mourinho told reporters after the game. “The boys fought against the 2-0, so nothing negative to say about them. I praise their spirit. We should have won”.