Photo credit: AFP.

Left back Paul Dummett eclipsed two-goal Wayne Rooney with a last-minute equalizer as Newcastle United secured a pulsating 3-3 home draw against Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United on Tuesday.

Rooney appeared to have settled the game with a magnificent 79th-minute strike from the edge of the area after Memphis Depay’s run and shot ended with the ball ricocheting off Dummett into the path of the forward. But the Newcastle fullback had the last word after Daryl Janmaat’s cross into the United area was headed out by Chris Smalling, allowing Dummett to unleash an unstoppable drive from the edge of the area that flicked off Smalling and flew high into the visitors’ goal.

Rooney and Jesse Lingard had apparently put the visitors in control before Georginio Wijnaldum ended Newcastle’s run of 453 minutes without a goal to reduce the arrears. Aleksandar Mitrovic equalized with a 67th-minute penalty, awarded after Smalling wrestled him to the ground at a Newcastle corner.

Rooney had proved United’s savior with a last-minute penalty in the weekend FA Cup victory over Sheffield United and he was on the mark from the spot again in the ninth minute at St James’ Park. Referee Mike Dean judged that Chancel Mbemba had deliberately handled after Marouane Fellaini headed the ball against his outstretched arm. Rooney ignored the protests of the home team and supporters to calmly score for the third consecutive game, low into the right-hand corner.

There was nothing controversial about United’s second goal in the 38th minute, a textbook example of counter-soccer started when Fellaini won the ball just inside his own half. He found Rooney, who powered into the Newcastle area before feeding Lingard with a magnificent reverse pass, allowing the youngster to steer his second goal for United between goalkeeper Rob Elliot’s legs.

Van Gaal disgust

But Newcastle had already shown flashes of attacking prowess that suggested they were capable of avoiding a fifth consecutive defeat on an evening that began with an emotional tribute to their former goalkeeper Pavel Srnicek, who died recently of a heart attack.

Their first goal was just as impressive as United’s second effort four minutes earlier as Fabricio Coloccini’s chip into the area was headed away by Fellaini, only for Wijnaldum to volley past David de Gea from 12 yards.

Photo credit: AFP.

Given the scoring problems experienced by both teams of late, it was an unexpected opening, and there was more to come.

A Daley Blind corner found Fellaini, whose shot was blocked by Dummett, and Rooney rolled a shot inches wide after a good Fellaini challenge allowed Lingard to send his captain free.

But Newcastle had appeared capable of forging a path back into the contest well before the Wijnaldum goal, with De Gea saving well from the Dutchman and Coloccini showing great technique with a 25-yard shot that just missed the target.

The timing of Wijnaldum’s goal saw Newcastle carry newfound belief into the second half and it was not long before Coloccini found Moussa Sissoko, who darted into the area and beat Ashley Young impressively, only to see his shot blocked by the ever-alert De Gea.

Within minutes, however, Lingard should have scored his second goal of the evening after Anthony Martial and Ander Herrera combined. But with the goal at his mercy, the youngster curled over.

Van Gaal could not conceal his disgust at that error and might have been further incensed after 63 minutes when Wijnaldum played Jack Colback into a shooting position, only for the midfielder to tumble far too easily under contact from Fellaini. That proved a signal of things to come, with Mitrovic equalizing from the spot two minutes later and Wijnaldum having a goal ruled out for a clear offside soon after that.

But as chances were carved out at both ends, Fellaini wasted the best remaining opening with a close-range header that he directed too close to Elliot.