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Five things noticed: Manchester United 2-2 Tottenham (Premier League)



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Five things noticed as Manchester United drew 2-2 with Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon.

With Casemiro and Lisandro Martínez back in the squad, Erik ten Hag opted to play Rasmus Højlund, Alejandro Garnacho, and Marcus Rashford as his front three as they welcomed Tottenham Hotspur to Old Trafford.

Manchester United‘s first Premier League tie of 2024 got off to a flying start, with Højlund smacking the roof of Guglielmo Vicario’s net just three minutes into the tie.

Read More: Player Ratings: Manchester United vs Tottenham Hotspur (Premier League)

Spurs grabbed an equaliser after 20 minutes as Richarlison headed in a corner, but Marcus Rashford replied not too long after, handing United the lead at half-time.

The second half saw Rodrigo Bentancur grab a second for Tottenham within 50 seconds of kick-off, with both teams failing to find the net for the remainder of the fixture.

#1 – Højlund is getting to grips

Rasmus Højlund is well and truly getting to grips with Premier League life, having displayed all his best traits against Tottenham on Sunday afternoon.

After proving his finishing abilities in the opening minutes, he then assisted Rashford later in the first half, showing that he also knows how to create if it’s the better option for the team.

He was quieter in the second half, but individual moments still allowed him to flourish, and there is hopefully much more to come from him in the second half of the season.

#2 – Still conceding from crosses

United are still showing a huge weakness, having conceded yet another goal from a cross. Richarlison’s first-half header from Pedro Porro’s corner seemed way too easy, especially considering that the Brazilian is 6-feet tall – both United’s centre-backs on the night were taller than him.

There were many bodies in the area that Richarlison was able to overcome, which is a warning for Ten Hag.

#3 – Rashford’s confidence growing

Rashford’s goal was his first at Old Trafford in 7 months – he has gone 15 games without scoring at United’s home ground.

He still has moments where he can make better decisions, such as in the 65th minute, where he failed to get a shot off when the option to pass to Garnacho was a much better one, but the goal will continue to do him good for his confidence.

With no other real option on the left-hand side, as Garnacho has been so positive on the right wing, United need Rashford to step up.

#4 – Martínez returns

Lisandro Martínez returned to the field for the first time in four months during the fixture, playing his first 30 minutes of football having undergone surgery on his foot.

Despite injuries sometimes causing players to lose confidence or ability, this did not seem to deter the Argentinian at all, who seemed composed in defence and even nutmegged Johnson within 10 minutes of his substitution.

Martínez seemed to slip rather seamlessly back into football despite his enforced break, and it will not be long until he rejoins Raphaël Varane in the starting XI under Erik ten Hag.

#5 – The Champions League spot is slipping

With United out of all European competition, the only way they are able to qualify for next season’s Champions League competition is if they finish in the top four of the Premier League – which is looking less likely with every point dropped.

United currently sit eight points behind Arsenal in fourth, who still have a game to play, and with every game the club don’t win, Europe’s premier competition slips further from United’s hopes for the campaign.