Tottenham fought back from two goals down to hold Manchester United to a 2-2 draw on Thursday as Newcastle closed in on Champions League football with a 4-1 thrashing of Everton. Spurs were smashed 6-1 by Newcastle on Sunday to bring Cristian Stellini’s four-game reign as interim manager to an end. Things threatened to go from bad to worse in caretaker Ryan Mason’s first match in charge as United stormed into a 2-0 lead by half-time. Jadon Sancho smashed home the opener after just seven minutes before Marcus Rashford turned on the afterburners to race past Eric Dier and fire in his 29th goal of the season.
“I don’t think we were that good across the 90 minutes,” admitted United boss Erik ten Hag. “After half-time we had to score another goal.”
United fans taunted the home support with chants of “Harry Kane, we’ll see you in June” amid interest from the Red Devils in Spurs’ all-time top goalscorer.
But Tottenham finally showed some fight to boost their chances of qualifying for Europe next season.
Pedro Porro reduced the arrears with a thumping strike before Kane crossed for Son Heung-min to level 11 minutes from time.
“I thought in the second half we were outstanding and the character we showed after last Sunday and going two goals down,” said Mason.
“I hope the fans can see that we were a team today and we ran for each other. In the second half we could have scored a lot more.”
A point edges Spurs back up to fifth, but they remain six points adrift of fourth-placed United, who have two games in hand.
Newcastle opened up an eight-point cushion on the chasing pack for a top-four finish and a place in the Champions League next season as Callum Wilson scored twice at Goodison Park.
Eddie Howe’s men struggled to find their rhythm before the break, but led thanks to Wilson’s predatory finish after Jordan Pickford parried Joelinton’s drive.
– ‘Earn the Right’ –
Newcastle then cut loose in the final 20 minutes as Joelinton headed in, Wilson found the top corner and then a sensational run from Alexander Isak teed up Jacob Murphy.
“Second helped you saw us at our very best and we were very clinical in front of goal,” said Howe.
“Confidence was there and that was evident in the second half. We had to earn the right to get to that point.”
Dwight McNeil’s corner that crept in was scant consolation for Everton, who remain rooted in the relegation zone.
Only Southampton are keeping the Toffees off the foot of the table and they are now six points adrift of safety after a 1-0 home defeat to Bournemouth.
Marcus Tavernier scored the only goal at St Mary’s to take the Cherries up to 14th and seven points clear of the drop zone.
Southampton thought they had snatched a dramatic 89th-minute equaliser, but Che Adams’ effort was ruled out for offside following a VAR review, pushing the Saints closer to the Championship next season.
“I don’t think we were good enough,” said Southampton boss Ruben Selles. “Until we conceded the goal we weren’t in the game.”
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