SPO_230428 UNITED-1682676612050
Manchester United's Luke Shaw and Bruno Fernandes vies with Tottenham Hotspur's Son Heung-min during their Premier League match on Thursday. Image Credit: Reuters

London: Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag said some of his players did not give 100 per cent against Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on Thursday after they threw away a two-goal lead and drew 2-2.

Goals from Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford had put United 2-0 up at halftime but Pedro Porro and Son Heung-min struck in the second half to salvage a draw for Tottenham.

Ten Hag said United’s hectic schedule was a factor but added that it cannot be used as an excuse for the draw, which kept them fourth on 60 points, two points behind Newcastle United, who have played a game more.

“The time is enough to recover. Our players are in demand to be ready. Today we are not ready. Some thought 90 per cent is enough. But we lose focus,” Ten Hag told reporters.

“That’s why we give goals away. We did not do our jobs in positioning.”

SPO_230428 TEN HAG-1682676614721
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag says there can be no excuses from the players after a 2-2 draw against Tottenham. Image Credit: Reuters

United had travelled to Tottenham four days after defeating Brighton & Hove Albion in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley. They also played at Sevilla in the Europa League last week.

“I know they are not robots and it is a tough schedule. But when you are playing for Man United and playing away, you have to give (everything) on every occasion,” Ten Hag added.

Tottenham interim manager Ryan Mason praised his team’s character after they bounced back from a 6-1 thrashing at Newcastle.

Willing to fight

“In football, you win, lose, draw, but the most important thing is that we are united and act as a team. I have a team that is willing to fight,” said Mason after his first game in charge in his second spell as interim boss.

Son said their comeback was driven by anger after an “unacceptable” performance last time out.

“Today we wanted to bring a good energy,” he said.

SPO_230428 RYAN MASON-1682676607104
Spurs' interim manager Ryan Mason is happy with the way the team has bounced back from the 6-1 thrashing last week from Newcastle. Image Credit: Reuters

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 Mason’s first match in charge.

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.

Back to fifth spot

But Tottenham finally showed some fight to boost their chances of qualifying for Europe next season.

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 in 4-1 win over second-bottom Everton, deepening the relegation crisis at Goodison Park club. 

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.

SPO_230428 NEWCASTLE-1682676603507
Newcastle United's Fabian Schar vies with Everton's Ellis Slimms during their match at Goodison Park on Thursday. Image Credit: AFP

‘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 half 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.

Southampton edge out Bournemouth

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 to push the Saints closer to the Championship next season.