LONDON: Wayne Rooney became the fifth all-time marksman in the history of the Premier League with the two goals which brought Manchester United back on terms twice in a 2-2 draw at Tottenham.
Spurs were disappointed at having let the champions off the hook twice but found consolation in putting together a vastly more spirited performance than the previous week in their six-goal thrashing at Manchester City.
Rooney was undoubted man of the match after scoring his 163rd and 164th Premier goals to overtake Liverpool’s Robbie Fowler in the league’s all-time scoring lists. Only Thierry Henry (176 for Arsenal) has scored more goals for one club than Rooney (149 for United) in the Premier League.
Kyle Walker drove a low free kick through the defensive wall for the opening goal after 18 minutes then Roberto Soldado missed what should have been a reasonable chance for a top-class striker. Tottenham paid the price. United ran down to the end and Phil Jones’s right-wing cross ricocheted off Walker so Rooney could equalise.
Spurs regained the lead in the 54th minute with a crashing 25m drive from Sandro but then conceded another quick equaliser when keeper Hugo Lloris tripped Danny Welbeck. Rooney thumped home the penalty. He has scored eight goals and provided five assists towards United’s 22 league goals this season.
Rooney said: “We didn’t start the game too well. We gave away a sloppy goal and they made it difficult for us. Thankfully we got back into the game and played some decent stuff.
“In the second half they had a great strike from Sandro but we got our goal early again and 2-2 at the end was a fair result.
“The last couple of games have been fantastic for us and we’re on a good run but we need to turn some of our draws into wins. ”
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas was relieved with the overall outcome after the previous week’s battering.
He said: “I was extremely happy with the performance of the players. We bounced back in great fashion after City. We had the chances to win the game and I think we deserved to win it. We showed good intensity through the 90 minutes. To respond in this fashion against a team that has just put five goals past the second team in Germany was good for us.
“There was great team spirit and unity in the team.”
Liverpool slipped further off the title pace after losing to Hull for the first time in any competition.
A characteristic Steven Gerrard free kick pulled Brendan Rodgers’s team back into the game before half-time after an opening strike by Jake Livermore.
But Liverpool, missing England striker Daniel Sturridge for the rest of the year through injury, were short of both attacking power and defensive resilience.
Hull commanded the second half and won with late strikes from David Meyler and a Martin Skrtel own goal.
Rodgers said: “Our confidence was high but we made too many mistakes. There’s no doubt we miss a player of Daniel Sturridge’s quality and do not have a squad big enough to cope with his absence.”