Tottenham season not finished yet as Ryan Mason rallies stars for timely turnaround

 (Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty I)
(Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty I)

Tottenham proved there is life in them yet this season as they came from 2-0 down to earn a credible draw with Manchester United in Ryan Mason's first game in charge.

A committed and positive second-half display earned Spurs a deserved point and suggested, at the very least, they can finish the season on a positive note under their latest acting head coach.

The hosts were booed off at half-time after another show of meek defending allowed United to establish a two-goal lead through Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford without ever really getting out of second gear.

There seemed a distinct possibly the atmosphere could turn toxic after the break, with restless supporters calling for chairman Daniel Levy's head during the first half.

But a much-improved Spurs kept the fans onside and punished a lax United through goals from Pedro Porro and Heung-min Son, helping to banish the memory of the humiliating 6-1 defeat to Newcastle and to build some confidence for Sunday's trip to Liverpool.

A point will do little to revive Spurs' fading Champions League ambitions but gives Mason something to build on ahead of the final five games of the season and suggests the 31-year-old's interregnum can help restore some positivity around the club.

Mason, who reverted to Antonio Conte's back five after the debacle of four-at-the-back at St James' Park, will have been concerned by two soft goals conceded, and Spurs had Fraser Forster to thank for keeping the score down with two smart saves from Rashford in the first half.

But the acting head coach's tweaks to Conte's set-up paid off, with Richarlison a threat down his preferred left flank for the first hour.

The Brazilian was starting on the left for only the fifth time since joining Spurs and, while his decision-making was very poor and confidence clearly lacking in front of goal, he got in some encouraging areas and should have punished United.

Harry Kane was also given licence to roam and drop into pockets of space, and was at the heart of everything good about Spurs after the break.

The England captain had a shot blocked before Porro brilliantly halved the deficit with a volley and Son should have equalised earlier when he fired wide after a brilliant Kane run and cross. Eric Dier was guilty of Spurs' worst miss, heading wide from Ivan Perisic cross when unmarked.

Son eventually made Spurs' pressure pay, turning home Kane's cross the back post, and setting up an exciting finale.

At full-time, there was warm applause for Mason and the players, recognition from the home fans of a committed and front-foot performance.

Given Spurs have had just two days of training under Mason and were coming off the back of an embarrassment, a draw feels broadly positive, and should raise optimism of a more enjoyable end to the campaign for players and supporters alike.