Manchester United have been held to a 1-1 draw by Huddersfield Town in Sunday’s Premier League clash at the John Smith’s Stadium, a result which leaves Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s side with Europa League football next season.
Scott McTominay put United in front during the opening stages of the contest, but Isaac Mbenza‘s first goal for Huddersfield earned the already-relegated side a share of the spoils.
Chelsea’s 3-0 win over Watford means that United cannot finish in the top four of the standings, with the North-West giants now facing a year of rebuilding outside of the Champions League.
United wasted no time in pushing for an early goal, and it came as little surprise when McTominay opened the scoring within eight minutes of kickoff.
The Scotland international was given too much space to move into the penalty area, and the midfielder was able to find the far bottom corner with Jonas Lossl failing to deal with a relatively tame shot.
Huddersfield soon showed that they were prepared to throw caution to the wind in the second half, with Juninho Bacuna setting up Grant who curled marginally wide from 20 yards out.
United were dealt a double blow shortly afterwards as Nemanja Matic and Alexis Sanchez suffered game-ending injuries, but Pogba almost doubled United’s lead with a well-struck attempt from 20 yards which went marginally wide of the target.
However, Huddersfield found an equaliser on the hour mark. Lossl’s long pass was not dealt with by Luke Shaw, and Mbenza was able to run clear on goal before slotting the ball through the legs of De Gea.
Mbenza celebrated by breaking the corner flag, and it resulted in a six-minute delay which gave Huddersfield’s supporters the chance to celebrate a rare top-flight goal at their home ground.
United were also made aware that they needed to record all three points due to Chelsea’s advantage over Watford, and the visitors quickly created two close-range chances for Jones and Rashford which were diverted off target.
Rashford also saw a 25-yard strike parried wide of the far left post, and more chances went United’s way with Huddersfield prepared to push forward in search of a winner.
Tahith Chong beat the offside trap before being denied by a stunning stop from Lossl down to his left, while Pogba struck the underside of the crossbar with a first-time effort from 20 yards out.
Grant was denied by the feet of De Gea at the other end, but eight minutes of added-on time gave both teams the opportunity to find a decisive third goal of an entertaining contest.
Rashford saw one final strike well kept out by Lossl at his near post, and it left United to contemplate a return to European football’s second-tier competition at a time when Solskjaer may have been banking on the Champions League to attract new players in the summer.