Three things learned: Tottenham v Manchester United
Three things we learned from Tottenham - Manchester United, as Spurs took the lead but United fought back in a clash with huge UEFA Champions League implications.
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Steven Bergwijn’s goal put Spurs ahead in the battle between the top four rivals but Bruno Fernandes scored a late penalty kick to make it 1-1 and despite some late VAR and penalty kick controversy, that is how it stayed.
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Three things we learned from Tottenham - Manchester United, right here.
Tottenham’s counter attack works perfectly
This was a good display from Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham. Eyebrows were raised when Eric Dier and Davinson Sanchez started together at center back but apart from Dier’s foul on Paul Pogba to give away a penalty kick, they played well. That set a solid foundation for the attackers in front of them. The pace of Son, Lamela and Bergiwjn caused Man United big problems, with Lamela in a central area opening up plenty of gaps on the break. Harry Kane looked a bit rusty but the attacking unit didn’t as Spurs sat back and hit Man United on the counter. Lloris made good saves and Spurs were tough to play against. Mourinho-ball at its best.
Man United fail to get Fernandes in the right areas
Man United didn’t play badly (regardless of Roy Keane threatening to punch David de Gea and his general thoughts) but they struggled to get Bruno Fernandes, among others, in the correct spots as much as they would have liked. A draw was probably the fair result as Man United improved in the second half, with Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford more dangerous and Paul Pogba had an impact off the bench. Man United are still not at their best as they can’t string a full 90 minute performance together.
David de Gea and Harry Maguire was at fault for Tottenham’s goal but DDG made a fine save from Son and Lloris denied Rashford and Martial. This was a game of fine margins and Fernandes couldn’t get on the ball enough in dangerous areas as Harry Winks and Moussa Sissoko worked so hard to shut him down. When Fernandes did find gaps he was majestic and he will be the difference for Man United in their Champions League push.
Pogba makes the difference
Paul Pogba jumped off the bench, won a penalty kick which Fernandes scored to make it 1-1 and showed flashes of brilliance with flicks and fine passes. Pogba looks back to his best. Now, can he start alongside Bruno Fernandes for Man United? Will their midfield balance be okay? Pogba has shown he has the quality to start. We always knew he had that. Now Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has the tough decision to make. Man United were so much better when Pogba came on.