Everton scored twice in stoppage time to snatch an unlikely 3-3 home Premier League draw with Manchester United on Saturday in a game that Wayne Rooney missed to spare him from potential crowd abuse.
United manager Alex Ferguson said he had left out his top striker so he would not be subjected to abuse from supporters of his former club following newspaper allegations about his private life.
It looked to be a fair decision as United cruised towards a 3-1 win after goals by Darren Fletcher, Nemanja Vidic and Dimitar Berbatov had more than cancelled out Steven Pienaar's opener.
However, in a breathless finale, Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta both scored in injury time and Everton looked set for a possible shock winner when the referee controversially blew for full time while they were in full flight.
"It's quite unreal but (with) the chances we missed it was probably a fair result," Cahill told Sky Sports.
"It just shows the fight... we've tried and tried in the last couple of games, it hasn't happened, and today it's a great result."
Everton took the lead on the break in the 39th minute after Tim Howard had done well to block a Ryan Giggs effort seconds earlier.
The lead lasted four minutes as Nani crossed for Fletcher to tuck in the equaliser with a neat volley.
Another Nani cross found an unmarked Vidic to head United into the lead two minutes into the second half while they seemed to have settled the game with a superb third after 66 minutes.
Paul Scholes picked out Berbatov with a long ball and the Bulgarian striker calmly stroked a low, 18-metre shot beyond Howard with the outside of his boot.
United missed two good chances for a fourth and paid a heavy price as Everton pulled one back when Cahill rose to head in a Leighton Baines cross in the first minute of added time.
Roared on by the home fans, they poured forward and when Cahill again got his head to a Baines cross, Arteta kept his nerve to drive in the equaliser from just inside the box.
"We were in a completely comfortable position but we've thrown it away," said Ferguson. "We've played some good football, Berbatov was absolutely brilliant, but it was all wasted."