Steven Pienaar’s late equaliser was a key moment in the title race during the 2011/2012 season. The fightback from Everton meant Manchester City’s win the following Monday against Manchester United, meant the Citizens leapfrogged Alex Ferguson’s side to the top of the Premier League.
But it wasn’t an easy day for David Moyes’ men. United raced into a 3-1 lead after Nikicia Jelavic’s looping header opened the scoring. Wayne Rooney leveled the scoring, before a fine Danny Welbeck strike and a delicate Nani chip, gave United the lead just after the hour mark.
Marouane Fellaini’s volley bought Everton back into the game, but Wayne Rooney struck again to give United some breathing space once more.
During the closing stages of the game, Everton scored twice in three minutes, with Jelavic making 4-3 before Pienaar had the final say in a dramatic contest, which left City with the title race in their hands.
It was a big response from ‘the toffees’ who had just come off the back of a disappointing 2-1 defeat in the F.A Cup semi-final against Merseyside rivals Liverpool.
The hard-fought draw at Old Trafford also left Everton two points above their old enemy and was a key result in securing a top-seven finish. It was only Liverpool winning the Capital One Cup that denied Everton a place in the Europa League.
Their point was built on a five-man midfield and early-pressing and twice could’ve gone ahead before Jelavic’s opener. The Croat’s double meant he had become the club’s leading goal-scorer that season, despite only signing during the January transfer window from Rangers.
For Manchester United, a win would have gone a long way to securing the league title before the crunch game at The Etihad the next week. It proved to be a turning point as City won 1-0 after a Vincent Kompany header and United missed out on the league thanks to goal difference on that famous final day.
The four all draw will go down as one of the great premier league games at such a key point in the season and Manchester City fans will still be thanking Evertonians to this day.
You can watch the highlights here:
Video courtesy of Everton Football Club on Youtube