Thursday, 5 December 2019

Match report: Man Utd 2-1 Spurs

Manchester United produced our best performance of the season to topple Jose Mourinho and ease the pressure on manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Marcus Rashford scored twice to fire the Reds to a fully deserved victory that could and should have been secured by an even more convincing margin. There were several superb showings in Red, with Rashford, the returning Scott McTominay, Victor Lindelof, Fred and Aaron Wan - Bissaka in particular the pick of the bunch. The result, United's first win in five games, lifted us up to sixth place in the table and ended the visitors 100% start to life under Mourinho.

The in-form Rashford scored his eleventh goal of the season to put United ahead with only six minutes played. Dan James broke clear down the left, his cross deflected off Davinson Sanchez and found its way on to the 22-year-old, who continued his red hot run with a near post finish beyond Tottenham keeper Paulo Gazzaniga. The Spurs keeper probably should have done better but made amends as he kept his side in the game with a string of top stops.
The Argentine - deputising for the injured Hugo Lloris - denied Fred from distance, kept out Rashford with his legs and then pushed a piledriver from the same player onto the bar as the Reds threatened to run riot.

Rashford was everywhere and went close again with a free-kick that flashed narrowly wide and Mason Greenwood also went close, but then out of nowhere Spurs wrestled an undeserved equaliser.

Completely against the run of play, Dele Alli levelled five minutes before half-time. The otherwise outstanding Fred thought he had the situation under control as the ball looped up in the six yard box. But Alli leaned into the Brazilian, then rolled around him before he flicked the ball over Ashley Young and turned it beyond the stranded David de Gea into the far corner. The goal was checked by VAR for a handball infringement but there was nothing wrong with it and Alli's effort was correctly awarded.

But far from that goal having knocked the stuffing out of United, the Reds came again and restored our lead shortly after the resumption with Rashford again at the heart of it.
He collected the ball wide on the left, shimmied past Serge Aurier and was scythed down by the befuddled Moussa Sissoko. After a long VAR check, Rashford held his nerve to blast home the spot kick and notch his 12th goal in 13 games for both club and country.

Gazzaniga twice saved well from Dan James but soon United's threat began to negate and with our record of losing leads still fresh in the memory, Old Trafford nervously watched on as Spurs continued to press.

The Reds dug in heroically to make the transition from dangerous to dogged and - one Alli effort aside - were in fact barely tested as Solskjaer's side saw out the game for a hugely significant victory.

Overall team performance: 8/10. This was United's best performance of the season by a distance.
United Faithful Man of the Match: With honourable mentions to Fred and Victor Lindelof, Marcus Rashford gets the nod for an almost unplayable performance. Kudos.

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