Unlikely hero Paul Dummett snatched a precious point for relegation-threatened Newcastle as Manchester United twice squandered the lead to draw 3-3 at St James’ Park.
The full-back drilled home a superb 90th-minute equaliser to end a run of four successive defeats in all competitions after Wayne Rooney looked to have claimed the points for the visitors.
Rooney had opened the scoring with a ninth-minute penalty and Jesse Lingard made it 2-0 eight minutes before the break.
But Georginio Wijnaldum and Aleksandar Mitrovic gave the home side hope and although Rooney scored again 11 minutes from time, Dummett’s late intervention denied Louis van Gaal victory on a night when he may well have been angry, but could not have been bored.
A crowd of 49,673 at St James’ — among them new signings Jonjo Shelvey and Henri Saivet — rose before kick-off to pay its respects to the late Pavel Srnicek, the man between the posts on the day almost two decades ago that Newcastle famously beat Sir Alex Ferguson’s side 5-0 on Tyneside.
But once the game was under way, referee Mike Dean did not endear himself to the locals when he awarded the visitors a penalty for handball against Chancel Mbemba as he contested a corner with Marouane Fellaini, although how much the defender knew about it was debatable.
Rooney, however, needed no second invitation as he dispatched the spot-kick with Mr Dean, who later decided not to repeat the dose at the other end after Daryl Janmaat went down in the box under Lingard’s rash challenge, having been firmly installed as the villain of the piece.
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