Man United draw after Rooney omission

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Manchester United drew 3-3 with Everton despite leading 3-1 in injury time and leaving Wayne Rooney out of their squad.

Before kick-off the major talking point was Rooney, who was not named in United's line-up for the game to spare him abuse from the fans of his former club, manager Sir Alex Ferguson said.

Rooney, at the centre of newspaper allegations about his private life, appeared for England in their midweek 3-1 Euro 2012 qualifying win in Switzerland and had been expected to play.

However, Ferguson said: "We made a decision simply because he gets terrible abuse here. We don't want to subject him to that."

At first it looked like Rooney's absence might be felt with the home side starting the better of the two sides without creating many clear-cut chances. Gradually United came more into the game, Tim Howard saving spectacularly with his legs from a Paul Scholes deflected shot.

Everton did take the lead in the 39th minute when Patrice Evra missed an ambitious overhead-kick clearance to put Arteta charging through on goal and although he shot straight at Van der Sar, Osman turned the rebound on to Pienaar at the far post who rolled home.

Two minutes before half-time, however, Nani's cross was finished by Darren Fletcher and Dimitar Berbatov almost put them ahead in added time.

Almost immediately after the break the Red Devils took the lead when another Nani cross was headed home by captain Nemanja Vidic.

Berbatov then scored a third, latching on to Scholes' pass to calmly slot the ball past Howard.

Tim Cahill looked to have scored only a consolation second for Everton with a towering header in injury time, but just seconds later Mikel Arteta hit a dramatic equaliser to steal a point.

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