It was a game which was highlighted as a potential season-changing moment for both sides, and neither Whitehawk or Manchester United failed to disappoint when it came to producing an exciting encounter. Whitehawk had raced in to an emphatic 4-2 lead at half-time, but José Mourinho's Red Devils produced a second half comeback to share the points in the Premier League's most highly anticipated fixture of the season.
4-4 Draw vs Manchester United - Premier League
Whitehawk Scored Four First Half Goals But Could Not Hold On The Win
Whitehawk headed in to the game following four straight wins in all competitions, most recently a 2-0 victory in their first home fixture of the season against Bournemouth in the Premier League. Looking to capitalise on the form of the players who started in the UEFA Super Cup, Sir Ryan Ferguson made just one change from the side that defeated Arsenal in Italy. Serbian goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic made his second consecutive start, following a return from injury.
Thirty-six year old goalkeeper David De Gea had to make do with another substitute role, as Manuel Di Martino started between the posts. Right back Felix Passlack was the Red Devils skipper for the afternoon, while summer signing Luken Díez played a role in midfield alongside Benjamin Henrichs and Jorge Alexandre. Last season's golden boot winner Facundo Colidio was a lone striker for the home side.
Whitehawk had made a habit of starting games brightly this season, and they followed this trend with a first minute goal at Old Trafford. It took just eighteen seconds for the deadlock to be broken, and it was the in form Gradimir Lucic who created the opportunity. Kingsley Osagie ghosted through midfield with the ball, and released the Serbian wide attacker down the left. Lucic delivered a fine low cross to the near post, where Jason Coffey was on hand to score a first time half-volley.
Three minutes later, and Whitehawk had doubled their advantage. Stephen Lacy flicked on Kylian Mbappé's corner, but the ball evaded others in the box. Gradimir Lucic picked up the loose ball, and picked out Franco Díaz on the edge of the area. The Argentine struck the ball first time, with superb technique. The ball skidded across the surface, out of the reach of the helpless Manuel Di Martino. Whitehawk had doubled their lead, with under four minutes on the clock.
Manchester United were not dead and buried, however, and found a way back in to the match with twelve minutes on the clock. Kingsley Coman's wide free-kick delivery was directed at central defender Allan Guerin, who cushioned a header in to the path of Felix Passlack. The German full back powered a volley at goal, and it was deflected in off international team mate Leroy Sané, who would claim the goal as his own.
Another goal would complete a frantic opening fifteen minutes, and it was Whitehawk who got on the score sheet yet again. Whitehawk dealt with a Manchester United set piece very well, and Anton Nyman lead a quick counter attack forward. The ball found its way to Kylian Mbappé who played Gradimir Lucic through on goal, and the in form Serb rolled a low shot in to the back of the net to restore Whitehawk's two goal advantage.
Gradimir Lucic would have his second, and Whitehawk's fourth, fifteen minutes later. Kylian Mbappé's deep cross from the right proved too difficult to control for goalkeeper Manuel Di Martino, who could only tip the ball in to the path of Gradimir Lucic, and Whitehawk's man of the half-hour rounded off an impressive first half display with another goal, adding to his earlier goal and two assists.
It was the first time since a 0-4 loss to Olympique Lyonnais in the UEFA Europa League in February 2017 that Manchester United conceded four goals at Old Trafford in a competitive fixture, but they were keen to make amends before the interval. Kingsley Coman restored hope, rifling a long range effort in to the top left corner, well out of Predrag Rajkovic's reach. A comeback was certainly not out of Manchester United's reach.
The Red Devils began the first half like a team possessed, and very nearly scored a third four minutes following the restart. Kingsley Coman was proving a real threat, and his low cross was pounced on by Facundo Colidio. However, the prolific Argentine goal scorer could only produce an effort good enough to strike the post, giving Whitehawk a taste of what was to follow.
José Mourinho's players were in relentless form, and scored their third goal after sixty four minutes. Midfielder Benjamin Henrichs picked up the ball in acres of space in midfield, and produced an unstoppable drive in to the top corner, putting the home side just one goal behind Whitehawk.
And it took just two more minutes for Manchester United to level the game. Kingsley Coman was, once again, at the heart of the goal, as he cut in from the right. The Frenchman moved in to the box, and fired a left footed shot at goal. However, the ball ricocheted off former Manchester United star Emanuel Mammana, and in to the back of the net. Manchester United had come back from the dead to find parity.
In what can only be described as one of the greatest comebacks of Premier League history, Manchester United had beaten the odds to make to equal Whitehawk's four goals. Sir Ryan Ferguson may have seen it as an opportunity to deliver a big blow to Manchester United, while José Mourinho would certainly have seen the game as a sign of how capable his squad was of matching the visitors in league competition.
Gradimir Lucic (Whitehawk) - 9.3/10
Ryan Ferguson's Interview
"There is an element of disappointment in the dressing room right now. We had played what was possibly the best thirty minutes of football in the club's history to start the game, earning our selves a 4-1 lead at Old Trafford, of all places. What followed, however, will disappoint every person involved with the club. Last season, we conceded just seven league goals all term. This game alone saw us concede four.
We can take great pride from parts of our performance. We have been criticised, at times, for our goal scoring ability, but we scored four goals against our main rivals for the league title, on their turf. Also, taking a point from Old Trafford is still something to be proud of. Not very many teams have the luxury of doing so.
We can take a lot away from this game, with much to appreciate, and much to learn from. We showed our best today, and we also showed our flaws. Now we can work on these flaws, and make sure they're no longer evident in future fixtures."
, yeah it is great to have two trophies already, even if they're not so reputable, and we will be looking to add to them!
, there hasn't been clubs who have risen like we have, but there have been quite a few improvers. Watford,Swansea and Stoke have become strong Premier League outfits, while Liverpool and Spurs have become much weaker Premier League sides.
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