ARTICLES Match Reports

Match Report: Tottenham Hotspur 1-3 Manchester United

Manchester United were victorious against Tottenham Hotspur as they fought back from a goal down to win the game 3-1.

In this Premier League encounter, United went behind yet again as Heung-min Son opened the scoring in the 39th minute. However, Edinson Cavani had a goal unfairly disallowed minutes earlier.

A superb second half performance from United turned the game on its head as they won the game 3-1, with Fred, Cavani and Mason Greenwood getting on the score sheet. This secured a vital win for The Reds after Leicester City lost 3-2 to West Ham earlier in the day. United are now seven points clear of The Foxes, in third place.

Story of the game

Spurs started the match on the front foot and created an opportunity within a minute. After some good link up play on the left, Son switched the play to Lucas Moura, with space on the right but his shot caused no trouble for Dean Henderson.

United failed to create chances in the opening minutes as they were wasteful in possession and could not win their duels, leaving Spurs to dominate the ball in the opening proceedings.

However, Paul Pogba began to influence the game as the half progressed and he was involved in United’s first clear chance 16 minutes into the game.

Bruno Fernandes aimed a long ball towards the penalty box from a deeper position on the right, and Pogba won his aerial battle against Serge Aurier, playing the ball back to Cavani. The striker played a lovely first-time pass to Marcus Rashford running on the right but his fierce shot was blocked.

The Frenchman then seemed to produce a wonderful assist for the opening goal, but somehow the goal was overturned by VAR.

Fred played a nice pass towards United’s number six and he made his way into the Spurs penalty area. He teased the Tottenham defenders before placing a beautiful pass in behind for Cavani, who made a trademark run and finished emphatically past Hugo Lloris.

However, after being consulted by Craig Pawson at Stockley Park, Chris Kavanagh went to the monitor to look at a potential foul on Son in the build-up to the goal as Scott McTominay seemed to brush the face of the Spurs forward as he ran past him.

With his eyes on the ball, it seemed that the (minimal) contact was not sufficient for a foul, and even if it was, Son made the first contact with the Scotsman, but somehow, the officials came to the complete opposite decision and the goal was disallowed.

Then, minutes later on the 39th minute, United received a killer blow as Son himself scored at the other end, giving Jose Mourinho’s side the lead.

It was a wonderfully worked goal, starting with a firm pass from Serge Aurier into Harry Kane, his first-time pass found the running Lucas in behind the United backline and he squared the ball across to the goalscorer, who couldn’t miss as Henderson scampered across his goal line.

Both Ole Gunnar Solskjær and his players were furious as the half came to a close, but they came out in the second half chomping at the bit and yet again, Pogba was at the heart of everything for The Reds.

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There were multiple early chances for United and they were rewarded in the 56th minute as Fred, of all players, scored his first Premier League goal since September 2018.

It was another great piece of interplay in the centre between the Brazilian, Rashford and Fernandes; the ball found Cavani on the left hand side of the penalty box. His shot was well saved but the United midfielder followed through and smashed the ball into the back of the empty net, giving The Reds the equaliser they so deserved.

Spurs reacted well and both Son and Kane were denied with low, powerful shots from the impressive Henderson. The United goalkeeper was not only stopping shots with his body but his proactiveness throughout the game was immaculate.

It wasn’t long until Solskjær’s side took control of the game again and they were relentless – with seven shots on target in the second half.

Fernandes had a shot from distance tipped past the post and then saw his set-up to Pogba inside the area squandered as the Frenchman couldn’t get the ball out of his feet.

The pressure eventually led to a goal as Cavani got the goal that he rightfully deserved. Just minutes after being substituted on, Mason Greenwood received the ball on the right side and played a gorgeous cross to the back post for a diving Edinson Cavani. His header found the bottom corner of the net and more importantly, put United ahead.

United continued to control the game, and had 59% of the ball in the second half. The game was put to bed in the last minute of the game by the player who created the second goal for United.

As United looked to be waiting for the whistle, Pogba saw the space in the middle and drove into it after taking the ball past Hoiberg. He then played the ball into Greenwood, who turned Sergio Reguilón inside-out before firing the ball past Lloris at his near post, winning the game for the visitors.

Super-sub Greenwood

At 19 years of age, Mason Greenwood has already been paraded and then shot-down, but his excellence shone through in his short appearance in this game.

While United were attacking well, the teenager brought the final touch to the game which saw United grab all three points.

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When cutting inside and crossing, there are not many players in the league who can produce a better cross than United’s number 11, and while he has not had many assists yet, this will most certainly not be the last time that he provides his team with an cross and assist like that.

With just two league goals to his name before the match, it is known that Greenwood hasn’t been good enough in front of goal this season, but his finish in the 96th minute was an example of the clinical nature that the United forward has.

After recent performances, Greenwood would’ve been disappointed to not be starting, but he was excellent from the bench and helped United get an important three points in the Premier League.

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