Manchester United 2 – 2 Spurs Match Review
Ange Postecoglou’s Tottenham side were dominant in their draw at Old Trafford, and they were unlucky not to be walking away with all three points.
Ange Postecoglou’s Spurs are in the midst of a heated and competitive battle for the top four and qualification for next season’s UEFA Champions League. They knew that a win would see them leapfrog Arsenal into fourth place, whilst a draw would move them level on points with their North London rivals.
Tottenham had won four of their last five Premier League games ahead of this game. They were a 4 -1 win at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium against Newcastle United, a 2 – 0 victory against Nottingham Forest, and 2 – 1 and 3- 1 home wins against Everton and Bournemouth respectively.
Starting with the win against the Magpies, Destiny Udogie (26’) and Richarlison (38’) made it 2 – 0 to the home side before the half time break. Richarlison scored again (60’) before Son Heung-Min found the net from the spot to make it 4 – 0 to Tottenham (85’). Joelinton got a goal back for Eddie Howe’s Newcastle in second half stoppage time (90+1’).
Richarlison (45+2’) and Dejan Kulusevski (65’) were the goal scorers in the 2 – 0 win against Nottingham Forest. Richarlison (9’) and Son (18’) were on the scoresheet again in Spurs’ 2 – 1 Premier League win against Sean Dyche’s Everton. Andre Gomes was the sole goal scorer for the Toffees that day (82’).
Finally, in the 3 – 1 victory against Andoni Iraola’s Bournemouth, Senegal midfielder Pape Matar Sarr gave Tottenham the lead in the opening ten minutes of the game at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium (9’). Son Heung-Min doubled his side’s advantage with less than twenty minutes of the game remaining (71’).
Richarlison then put the game beyond doubt, making it 3 – 0 with ten minutes left. Summer signing Alex Scott got a goal that turned out to be a consolation goal just a few moments later (84’).
This run of form meant that Ange Postecoglou’s side were sitting in 5th place with 39 points accumulated after 20 matches.
Let’s now move on to Sunday’s Premier League game at Old Trafford between Postecoglou’s Spurs and a Manchester United side led by their Dutch Head Coach Erik Ten Hag. In the end, it was a 2 – 2 draw where the visitors were unlucky not to earn all three points at the Theatre Of Dreams.
Signs of Tottenham being the dominant form were not there in the opening 5 minutes of the game, which saw Rasmus Højlund find the top left corner to give the Red Devils what was a very early lead in this match (3’).
Spurs’ first big chance came through Pedro Porro, who thought that his shot was destined for the bottom right corner, only for Andre Onana to make the save to deny the Portuguese full back scoring the goal to restore parity (9’).
New signing Timo Werner then came close himself for the Lilywhites, with his powerful header on goal being blocked well by the Manchester United defenders. Uruguayan international midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur then also had a follow-up shot blocked (11’).
Spurs were piling on the pressure, and they would indeed find the goal to restore parity in this match before the twentieth minute of the match had elapsed. Richarlison was on hand to head the ball home into the bottom right corner following a sumptuous cross into the Manchester United penalty area by Pedro Porro (19’).
Tottenham debutant Werner almost gave his new club the lead for the first time just a few minutes later, only for his shot to fly narrowly wide of the post. The German had been found by a fantastic pass into his feet by Destiny Udogie (22’). Werner then had a shot blocked a couple of minutes after that (24’).
Then, with half an hour of the game gone, former Nottingham Forest forward Brennan Johnson forced a great save out of Red Devils goalkeeper Andre Onana with the ball looking like it would find the bottom right corner (30’).
Despite having most of the chances, it would not be Spurs who would score next. United managed to re-take the lead when Højlund found Marcus Rashford, who could find the bottom right corner just before the half time interval (40’). 2 – 1.
Tottenham did not take long to find that all-important equaliser in the second half. Bentancur found the back of the home side’s net from close range after a pass into his feet from Werner (46’). The RB Leipzig loanee had a fantastic debut for his new club. 2 – 2.
Spurs came close to taking the lead a short time after that when Brazil international Richarlison received a ball into his feet from Oliver Skipp before unleashing a powerful, close range effort that forced Onana into yet another fantastic save (52’).
Timo Werner then came close again to finding the back of the net, but his effort flew just too high following a Porro cross from a corner kick (58’).
Later on in the contest, Skipp and Bentancur would have further chances to give Tottenham the lead. Skipp had a long range effort well blocked (69’), before Bentancur’s shot flew narrowly wide (70’).
Spurs would continue to have chances, with United having a few efforts well blocked as well.
The game ended in a 2 – 2 draw at Old Trafford. It was a game that Spurs almost definitely deserved to win with the chances they created and Ange Postecoglou’s side’s general domination of the match.
Spurs dominated the ball with 63.7% possession compared to the Red Devils’ 36.3%. Tottenham also had 16 shots (6 on target) compared to United’s 9 (2 on target).
Following this game, Tottenham still sit in 5th place, but with 40 points, they are just outside of the UEFA Champions League positions on goal difference.
Spurs Head Coach Ange Postecoglou had the following to say following the game (via Tottenham Hotspur’s Official Website): “I’m really pleased with the boys, an outstanding performance. We’ve had a tough week, and the fact that they could deal with what they’ve had to deal with today, not an easy place to come, they were pretty desperate for a result, I thought, and we conceded early, but our response to that and what other adversity we had I thought was brilliant. We played some great stuff, scored a couple of goals, probably unlucky not to win the game.
“I thought it was an outstanding performance considering the challenges we had putting a team out there today. It’s a difficult place to come and play, obviously a big game for United as well – a win today would have given them some momentum. We went a goal down pretty early and this group of players, every time we’ve had to deal with adversity, have just done it in an outstanding manner. I couldn’t be prouder of them. It was an outstanding effort, and I thought some of our football was fantastic. I thought we were unlucky not to win the game. Irrespective of that, the performance and the effort the boys put in was first rate.”
Spurs’ next game will see them take on Manchester City in the Fourth Round of the FA Cup at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Friday 26th January 2024 in a 20:00 Kick-Off. They will then face Thomas Frank’s Brentford in their next Premier League match – this game will be played on 31st January 2024 in a 19:30 Kick-Off at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
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