Pellistri equaliser earns Manchester United a draw against Athletic Club

Man United players at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday

Man United players at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday Credit: None

Facundo Pellistri’s last gasp equaliser salvaged a draw for a weakened Manchester United side who rounded off their pre-season in Dublin but not without some more Harry Maguire controversy.

A Maguire error on the half hour let Nico Williams Jnr steal in on goal to finish below the body of Tom Heaton to give Athletic Club the lead at a toxic Aviva Stadium.

Maguire who had been booed throughout the game until that point by sections of the crowd but almost all of the stadium was up in arms and jeered their former captain after he was caught in possession in his own half.

The centre half did atone for his error when he nodded down Aaron Wan Bissaka’s diagonal cross down to Pellistri who capped a bright showing with a 92nd minute equaliser as he finished low to the bottom left corner.

Erik Ten Hag named a completely different side to the one that beat Lens in Old Trafford on Saturday with Aaron Wan Bissaka, Maguire, Christian Eriksen, Victor Lindelof, Jadon Sancho and Donny Van De Beek the big names lining out to appease the near capacity crowd.

Sancho, looking to kickstart his career with the Red Devils had United’s best chance of the opening half when he broke through, but when faced with Unai Simon his finish lacked confidence and the Spanish stopper saved comfortably.

United were very flat afterwards and most of the atmosphere came from boos towards former United captain Maguire.

The centre back was jeered by sections of Lansdowne Road throughout the opening period before his mistake leading to Williams Jnr’s goal for the Basque club queued a toxic crescendo of boos that continued whenever the ball touched the feet of the seemingly pantomime villain.

Williams Jnr thought he had won a penalty moments earlier when he was clipped by Alvaro Fernandez. Referee Neil Doyle pointed to the spot before he was overruled by his linesman who deemed the foul to be just about on the edge of the area.

The game took the traditional pre-season pattern with both sides feeling each other out. That was until Erik Ten Hag introduced Hannibal from the bench at half-time and he provided the spark that his side were desperately missing.

The attacker was rewarded for some high pressing when he dispossessed Bilbao’s Inago Lekue who hauled him to the ground before being shown a red card in the 66th minute.

United piled on the pressure from there on with Maguire posing a big attacking threat almost turning provider before a Jonny Evans header was flicked away from him.

The 20-time Premier League champions were finally rewarded late on through Pellistri who got on the end of an expert Maguire header across goal to bring the Aviva Stadium crowd to their feet.

Manchester United: Tom Heaton, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Christian Eriksen, Jadon Sancho, Facundo Pellistri, Aaron Wan Bissaka, Donny Van de Beek, Alvaro Fernandez, Daniel Gore, Omari Forson

Athletic Club: Unai Simon, Vivian, Vesga, Sancet, Inaki Williams, Muniain, Williams Jr, I. Lekue, De Marcos, Galarreta, Paredes