Brighton 0 – 2 Tottenham: Top four finish still in sight for Spurs

Cristiano Ronaldo’s heroics saved Manchester United in their home game against Tottenham Hotspur on March 12th.

Although United were first on the scoresheet, with Ronaldo scoring a stunning long-range shot on the 12-minute mark, Spurs responded in the 35th minute.

Harry Kane Fires a Penalty Past David de Gea

Dejan Kulusevski barrelled down the right and whipped a cross towards the box, which was blocked by Man United left-back Alex Telles’ unnaturally positioned arm. The referee immediately pointed to the penalty spot, and Harry Kane made no mistake, driving a low ball into the back of the net.

Ronaldo restored Man Utd’s lead in the 38th minute, slotting home Jadon Sancho’s cross from six yards. Still, Spurs were the better team in the first half and a constant threat to Man U’s goal.

Kane’s shot in the 41st minute was denied by Raphael Varane, and the ball launched out for a corner. Son Heung-Min teed up with Ben Davies, sending a nice pass down the inside left channel, but Man United cleared the lines.

After the break, Kulusevski – who has impressed since joining Spurs in January – curled a shot towards the post, and Son went in for the header, but Diogo Dalot did well to head the ball out of play.

Spurs reacted positively to Ronaldo’s second goal, dominating possession and pressing forward, and the home defence soon buckled.

Harry Maguire Scores an Own Goal

Son found Sergio Reguilon, who fired a low cross into the box for Cristian Romero to slot home, but Man United’s Harry Maguire slid in and deflected the cross into the back of his own net to secure Tottenham Hotspur’s second goal.

Unfortunately, Spurs’ parity only lasted nine minutes as the Portuguese legend Cristiano Ronaldo had the final say.

Telles 81st-minute corner was met with an aerial assault by Matt Doherty and Cristiano Ronaldo, with CR7 rising above the Spurs right-back to head home the hat-trick. He was substituted for Victor Lindelof and walked off the Old Trafford pitch to a standing ovation.

It was his second Premier League hat-trick and Man United’s first win in three games. The three points saw Ralf Rangnick’s side move into the fifth position in the Premier League table, one behind Arsenal and two ahead of West Ham United.

Kane vs Ronaldo

The Man United vs Tottenham Hotspur match also saw Ronaldo become the all-time leading goal scorer in football history, with the last two strikes at Old Trafford surpassing Josef Bican’s mammoth 805 career goal record.

Ronaldo has now scored six-match winning goals for his side in the current EPL season. However, Transfermarkt revealed that Tottenham Hotspur talisman Kane boasts a more accomplished record, with 48-match winning goals in the Premier League compared to Ronaldo’s 37. Of course, Harry Kane has 271 appearances to Ronaldo’s 220 in all seasons.

Spurs are currently five points behind in seventh but have also played two fewer games than Manchester United.

While Antonio Conte’s side will feel aggrieved by the result, Spurs put in a creditable performance with a 57% possession rate and pass accuracy of 89%.

Tottenham caused United a number of problems, with Conte stating: “It would’ve been difficult for Manchester United not just to win but draw the game if they had been without Cristiano Ronaldo.”

The Spurs starting XI

H Lloris
B Davies
E Dier
C Romero
R Sessegnon
P Højbjerg
R Bentancur
M Doherty
H Son
D Kulusevski
H Kane

The Manager’s Thoughts

During a post-match interview with Sky Sports, Antonio Conte stated:

“It’s difficult to explain this loss. I think we didn’t deserve to lose, but at the same time, we need to understand how we can improve.”

What’s next for Tottenham Hotspur?

Spurs travel to Brighton for a midweek kick-off on Wednesday 16th March. Very important to close that gap in the race for 4th.

After that, it’s an all-London Derby against West Ham on Sunday 20th March, 16:30 KO. You can get VIP tickets and hospitality packages for that game from Eventmasters Travel. Prices start from £299.