Manchester United 2-2 Fulham

Old Trafford is famous for late goals and Fulham grabbed one deep into stoppage time to clinch what could be a priceless point against Manchester United.

Steve Sidwell's opener was cancelled out in the second-half by Robin van Persie and Michael Carrick as the Red Devils looked to have gotten themselves out of jail.

But Darren Bent, a second-half substitute, popped up with an equaliser in 'Fergie Time' to grab his side a share of the spoils.

Despite the result though, Fulham remained rooted to the bottom of the Barclays Premier League tonight.

They went into this one as massive underdogs but they were not facing the same Manchester United that cruised to the title last year.

Rene Meulensteen knows better than most what a fortress the home of the Red Devils once was, having spent 12 years there as a coach between 2001 and 2013.

Manchester United manager David Moyes (left) shakes hands with Fulham manager Rene Meulensteen before kick-off.

This was his first return to his old club since parting company with the Red Devils in the summer, and given United had lost five of their last games, the Fulham boss fancied his chances.

Meulensteen went into the match believing things could only get better after admitting Tuesday night's FA Cup exit at the hands of League One Sheffield United had seen his side hit rock bottom.

He rang the changes for the trip north, making eight in all, although perhaps surprisingly kept faith with striker Muamer Tankovic as he handed the youngster his first Premier League start.

Record signing Kostas Mitroglou was absent from the squad but there was a swift return to his former club for Ryan Tunicliffe as the midfielder made his Whites debut.

Fellow deadline day signing Johnny Heitinga was also afforded his Fulham bow after joining from Roberto Martinez's Everton, with Brede Hangeland starting on the bench.

Moyes' side came out of the traps with purpose and the Whites were forced back, defended resolutely in the opening stages.

But they made a rare surge forward count when, on 18 minutes, Lewis Holtby showed compsure on the ball and picked out an unrushing Steve Sidwell to stroke home an excellent finish.

Fulham's Steve Sidwell (right) celebrates scoring his teams opening goal alongside temmate Muamer Tankovic

United, roared on by the home crowd, almost produced an instant response. Rafeal raided down the right flank and laid one on a plate for van Persie, however the former Arsenal man miscued.

Carrick was next to try his luck, letting fly from range with a dipping volley from distance, after Sascha Reither's header dropped perfectly for the Englishman.

Despite the response from the hosts, Fulham should have gone in two ahead at the break.

Tankovic led a lightning breakaway, supported by two runners, opting to shift the ball left to Kieran Richardson. It was the right choice but the wrong finish as the ex-United winger blazed over.

Carrick, van Persie and Nemanja Vidic all had chances before the half-time whistle, but the wall of White stood firm to give the visitors a lead to defend in the second 45 minutes.

Tankovic, who showed glimpses of real quality on his maiden league start, was withdrawn at the break and Bent took his place up top.

Maarten Stekelenburg had been far the busier of the two keepers and produced a spectacular save to deny Wayne Rooney shortly after the restart.

Scott Parker came on to replace Tunnicliffe on the hour to bolster the midfield for the inevitable Manchester United onslaught.

Fulham were starting to look tired and struggling to get out of their own half as the Red Army stormed the Stretford End.

You could sense a goal was coming. And like the London buses Fulham fans use on their daily commute, two came along at once.

Manchester United's Michael Carrick celebrates scoring his teams second goal of the game.
 

First, Mata's wayward shot was turned in at the far post by the predatory van Persie to level the scores. United grabbed the ball out of the net and were in a hurry to get things back underway.

Eighty seconds later and the game had been turned on its head. Carrick was given time and space on the edge of the area and his side-footed effort found the far corner to send the home crowd into raptures.

It looked as thought the hosts had stolen the points.

But there was to be late, late, drama as Richardson's shot was palmed out by David De Gea and subsitute Bent was on hand to knock home the equaliser in stoppaget-time.

Fulham: Stekelenburg, Riether, Burn, Heitinga, Riise, Tunnicliffe (Parker 64), Sidwell, Kvist (Cole 80), Richardson, Holtby, Tankovic (Bent 45).

Subs :not used): Stockdale, Hangeland, Kacaniklic, Duff.

Att: 74,966