That wasn't the return to Old Trafford that Jose Mourinho was hoping for.
Tottenham Hotspur lost 2-1 to Manchester United on Wednesday, as Mourinho suffered a defeat in his first match against his former team. United striker Marcus Rashford provided both tallies for the winning side.
Rashford got the Red Devils off to a tremendous start with a powerful strike in the sixth minute that beat Spurs goaltender Paulo Gazzaniga at his near post.
🚨 Manchester United strike first! 🚨 pic.twitter.com/yVQn3PpFLk— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) December 4, 2019
He nearly added another goal midway through the first half, but Gazzaniga was able to get just enough of his drive from distance to deflect it off the crossbar.
Tottenham pulled even before halftime, as Dele Alli showed off some great ball control to tie things up, notching his fourth goal in his last three matches.
🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) December 4, 2019
🔥 Dele Alli 🔥
The home side regained control early in the second half, however, as Rashford drew a penalty kick 10 minutes into it, which he deposited for what would turn out to be the game's winning goal. With the three points, United leapfrogged Tottenham in the league table, moving into sixth place with 21 points, while Spurs dropped to eighth.
Marcus Rashford converts the pen 🥶 pic.twitter.com/veSN62mGTb— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) December 4, 2019
"It's a step back against a team that plays with the same objectives as we do," Mourinho said after the defeat. "I think the first objective is to come up in the table, the second one is to try to get in the top six, which we are not far. And then of course, the top four is far -- it was already far -- but we need to keep going. As I was saying to the players, we made mistakes, but it's not good now to be crying about them. It's just to learn from them and we have a difficult match on Saturday."
Spurs' next three English Premier League matches come against Burnley, Wolverhampton and Chelsea, so Mourinho and Tottenham have their work cut out for them.