Darren Bent scored an injury-time equaliser to earn Rene Meulensteen a famous result on his return to Old Trafford as bottom-of-the-table Fulham pinched a draw against Manchester United.

After Steve Sidwell had given the visitors the lead against the run of play in the first half, it looked like late goals from Robin van Persie and Michael Carrick had earned United their third consecutive home league win.

Today as bad as it gets - Moyes

But half-time substitute Bent headed in after David De Gea had saved Kieran Richardson's shot to deflate the home supporters and United boss David Moyes, whose side had dominated the game.

For all United's attacking play and 81 crosses, the most by a Premier League team since 2006, Fulham defended heroically as debutant Johnny Heitinga, fellow centre-back Dan Burn and goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg excelled.

And though some might say the point was undeserved given Fulham had three shots on target, it represented a significant result for Meulensteen, who had won only three of his previous 11 Premier League games since taking charge in December.

Get it in the box

Manchester United put in 81 crosses in the game, the most by a team in a Premier League match since 2006, but only 18 of them found a team-mate

It was the kind of performance that could galvanise their season, especially since they crashed out of the FA Cup after defeat by League One Sheffield United in midweek.

In contrast, it was another low for Moyes, whose side have already lost five games at Old Trafford this season and now sit nine points behind fourth-placed Liverpool as their pursuit of a Champions League place took a serious dent.

Meulensteen, who was first-team coach under former United boss Sir Alex Ferguson before leaving the club when Moyes took over, watched his side come under pressure from the start.

Manchester United 2-2 Fulham: Rene Meulensteen 'delighted' with late draw

And their opener came against the run of play as United's defenders failed to pick up Sidwell's run, with the Englishman guiding home on the volley after being found by Lewis Holtby's excellent chip.

Van Persie was denied by a superb Sascha Riether tackle prior to the goal and the United forward should have equalised moments after the opener, when he skied Rafael's cross at the back post.

Urged on by a noisy crowd, with United trying out their singing section again, the hosts continued to bombard Fulham's goal from a succession of crosses. Ashley Young and Carrick went close to scoring an equaliser and Stekelenburg also saved another Carrick effort before Sidwell blocked Van Persie's follow-up.

But as Moyes's side camped in the Fulham half there was always a danger they would be susceptible to a counter-attack.

A rare point

Fulham had avoided defeat at United only once in 51 years - a 3-1 Premier League victory in October 2003, when Lee Clark, Steed Malbranque and Junichi Inamoto scored for the visitors

The visitors should have gone further ahead when Swedish teenager Muamer Tankovic burst forward on his Premier League debut to play in Richardson, but the former United player scooped over the bar with only De Gea to beat.

Having enjoyed 72% possession in the first half, the hosts strengthened their grip on the game after the break with Wayne Rooney almost connecting with Van Persie's cross before being denied by a superb Stekelenburg save.

With Fulham posing less of a threat, Moyes went for all-out attack by introducing Adnan Januzaj, Antonio Valencia and Javier Hernandez as Rooney dropped into midfield.

The policy was rewarded when Van Persie tucked in Juan Mata's centre after 78 minutes, before Carrick drove in a deflected effort from the edge of the area two minutes later.

That looked like it would be enough but Sidwell again burst forward to play in Richardson, and when his shot was stopped, Bent headed home the equaliser.

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Lineup, Bookings (0) & Substitutions (6)

Manchester United

  • 01 de Gea
  • 02 Rafael (A Valencia - 69' )
  • 03 Evra
  • 16 Carrick
  • 12 Smalling
  • 15 Vidic
  • 08 Mata
  • 24 Fletcher (Januzaj - 62' )
  • 20 van Persie
  • 10 Rooney
  • 18 Young (Hernández - 69' )

Substitutes

  • 05 Ferdinand
  • 11 Giggs
  • 13 Lindegaard
  • 14 Hernández
  • 25 A Valencia
  • 26 Kagawa
  • 44 Januzaj

Fulham

  • 01 Stekelenburg
  • 27 Riether
  • 03 Riise
  • 06 Kvist (Cole - 80' )
  • 04 Heitinga
  • 33 Burn
  • 19 Tunnicliffe (Parker - 65' )
  • 07 Sidwell
  • 43 Tankovic (Bent - 45' )
  • 10 Holtby
  • 15 Richardson

Substitutes

  • 05 Hangeland
  • 11 Kacaniklic
  • 13 Stockdale
  • 16 Duff
  • 21 Cole
  • 28 Parker
  • 39 Bent
Ref: Kevin Friend
Att: 74,966

Match Stats

Shots

31 6

On target

9 3

Corners

10 1

Fouls

3 6

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Manchester United 2, Fulham 2.

90:00 +5:29 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Manchester United 2, Fulham 2.

90:00 +3:53 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Manchester United 2, Fulham 2. Darren Bent (Fulham) header from very close range to the centre of the goal.

90:00 +3:51

Attempt saved. Kieran Richardson (Fulham) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Steve Sidwell.

90:00 +2:41

Attempt missed. Robin van Persie (Manchester United) left footed shot from the left side of the box is too high.

90:00 +2:18

Attempt missed. Juan Mata (Manchester United) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Robin van Persie.

90:00 +1:59

Attempt blocked. Lewis Holtby (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Larnell Cole.

89:40

Hand ball by Kieran Richardson (Fulham).

87:36

Attempt missed. Javier Hernández (Manchester United) left footed shot from very close range is too high. Assisted by Chris Smalling.

86:52

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Johnny Heitinga.

85:22

Attempt blocked. Adnan Januzaj (Manchester United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Patrice Evra with a cross.

83:18

Attempt saved. Michael Carrick (Manchester United) right footed shot from long range on the right is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Luis Antonio Valencia.

82:27

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

82:04

Delay in match Johnny Heitinga (Fulham) because of an injury.

81:04

Robin van Persie (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

81:04

Foul by Johnny Heitinga (Fulham).

79:59 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Fulham. Larnell Cole replaces William Kvist.

79:12 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Manchester United 2, Fulham 1. Michael Carrick (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box to the top left corner.

78:55

Attempt blocked. Robin van Persie (Manchester United) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Adnan Januzaj with a cross.

77:52 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Manchester United 1, Fulham 1. Robin van Persie (Manchester United) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Juan Mata.

77:51

Attempt missed. Juan Mata (Manchester United) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left.

77:46

Attempt blocked. Juan Mata (Manchester United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Patrice Evra with a cross.

77:27

Attempt blocked. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Michael Carrick.

76:35

Attempt blocked. Robin van Persie (Manchester United) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Luis Antonio Valencia.

75:47

Attempt blocked. Michael Carrick (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

74:00

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Steve Sidwell.

72:54

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

71:41

Delay in match Lewis Holtby (Fulham) because of an injury.

71:06

Attempt blocked. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Patrice Evra with a cross.

69:29

Attempt missed. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

68:14 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Manchester United. Javier Hernández replaces Ashley Young.

68:03 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Manchester United. Luis Antonio Valencia replaces Rafael.

67:20

Attempt missed. Michael Carrick (Manchester United) header from the left side of the six yard box is too high. Assisted by Ashley Young with a cross following a corner.

67:00

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Johnny Heitinga.

64:14 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Fulham. Scott Parker replaces Ryan Tunnicliffe.

63:39

Offside, Manchester United. Nemanja Vidic tries a through ball, but Ashley Young is caught offside.

63:06

Attempt saved. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) right footed shot from very close range is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Ashley Young with a headed pass.

61:22 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Manchester United. Adnan Januzaj replaces Darren Fletcher.

56:42

Juan Mata (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

56:42

Foul by Steve Sidwell (Fulham).

55:46

Offside, Manchester United. Ashley Young tries a through ball, but Rafael is caught offside.

54:12

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Maarten Stekelenburg.

54:11

Attempt saved. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Juan Mata.

51:52

Attempt missed. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high. Assisted by Juan Mata.

51:09

Foul by Ashley Young (Manchester United).

51:09

Lewis Holtby (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

50:18

Attempt missed. Steve Sidwell (Fulham) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Ryan Tunnicliffe.

48:43

Attempt missed. Robin van Persie (Manchester United) header from very close range is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Patrice Evra with a cross.

48:34

Attempt missed. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Michael Carrick.

48:33

Attempt missed. Michael Carrick (Manchester United) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Patrice Evra.

45:00

Second Half begins Manchester United 0, Fulham 1.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Fulham. Darren Bent replaces Muamer Tankovic.

45:00 +1:34 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Manchester United 0, Fulham 1.

45:00 +0:58

Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Wayne Rooney.

44:58

Rafael (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

44:58

Foul by Kieran Richardson (Fulham).

44:15

Attempt saved. Patrice Evra (Manchester United) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Wayne Rooney with a cross.

43:43

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by John Arne Riise.

41:19

Offside, Manchester United. Darren Fletcher tries a through ball, but Patrice Evra is caught offside.

39:18

Attempt saved. Nemanja Vidic (Manchester United) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Juan Mata with a cross.

38:49

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Steve Sidwell.

38:48

Attempt blocked. Robin van Persie (Manchester United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

38:46

Attempt saved. Michael Carrick (Manchester United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

36:59

Attempt missed. Kieran Richardson (Fulham) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Muamer Tankovic following a fast break.

36:29

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by William Kvist.

33:41

Juan Mata (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

33:41

Foul by Steve Sidwell (Fulham).

31:46

Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

31:46

Foul by Steve Sidwell (Fulham).

28:47

Attempt missed. Michael Carrick (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

26:59

Attempt saved. Ashley Young (Manchester United) header from the left side of the six yard box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Juan Mata with a cross.

26:52

Attempt blocked. Michael Carrick (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

21:08

Attempt missed. Robin van Persie (Manchester United) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is too high. Assisted by Rafael with a cross.

18:39 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Manchester United 0, Fulham 1. Steve Sidwell (Fulham) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Lewis Holtby.

17:19

Offside, Manchester United. Ashley Young tries a through ball, but Chris Smalling is caught offside.

16:53

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by John Arne Riise.

12:13

Foul by Robin van Persie (Manchester United).

12:13

Dan Burn (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

11:31

Attempt missed. Patrice Evra (Manchester United) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Darren Fletcher.

8:46

Foul by Wayne Rooney (Manchester United).

8:46

Steve Sidwell (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

6:15

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Dan Burn.

3:49

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by John Arne Riise.

0:34

Offside, Manchester United. Darren Fletcher tries a through ball, but Robin van Persie is caught offside.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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