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Spurs v Manchester United Premier League Report

A fine goalkeeping performance from David De Gea ensured that Manchester United took all three points at Wembley Stadium despite an impressive performance from Spurs in which they peppered the Man United goal in the second half.

A tidy finish from Marcus Rashford after a wonderful through ball from Paul Pogba was enough to give the Red Devils victory and ensure that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer became the first Manchester United manager to win his first five league matches in charge.

Spurs continued with their midfield diamond formation with Jan Vertonghen coming in at centre back after missing out recently with injury and Hugo Lloris returning in goal. For the visitors, Solskjaer named Paul Pogba in a more advanced midfield role with Marcus Rashford starting as the central striker, meaning that Romelu Lukaku was once again on the bench.

David De Gea Inspires Manchester United to Victory

Spurs had a couple of early chances in the encounter through holding midfielder Harry Winks. He snatched at the first after being put through by Heung-min Son and a few minutes later he blazed over after a cleared corner landed at his feet at the edge of the area.

United looked dangerous on the counter attack throughout and the first instance of this was after twelve minutes. Rashford had a chance after being fed through by Anthony Martial but he could only aim his shot comfortably at Lloris. The England striker may have been better off passing to Jesse Lingard who was unmarked at the back post.

There were other half chances in the first period for both sides and Harry Kane had a goal ruled out for offside but it seemed like both would head into the break all square. However that was not the case as Spurs were hit with two big blows before the break.

The first was an injury to Moussa Sissoko, which forced him off and the second was the opening goal for United courtesy of the lively Rashford. Kieran Trippier gave the ball away for Spurs and Paul Pogba was able to pick Rashford out with immense accuracy, needing just two touches to set him on his way. Still with a lot to do, the United striker struck the ball across Lloris and into the corner to give The Red Devils the advantage at the interval.

Spurs created chance after chance in the second period but were constantly thwarted by David de Gea. The first came inside five minutes after a Dele Alli header forced him to go down to his left. At the other end Pogba had a header of his own saved by Lloris, who also had to flick his fellow Frenchman’s shot over the bar to keep Spurs just one behind.

But after that the De Gea masterclass started. The Spaniard saved from Harry Kane and then brilliantly denied Alli with his feet after the Spurs man was put through by Kane. The feet of de Gea were starting to become more important than his hands as he again denied Spurs, this time from an effort by Toby Alderweireld from a Spurs corner.

Fernando Llorente was brought on to give Spurs a more direct approach and he nearly grabbed an assist. His cushioned layoff to Kane looked like it would set up the equaliser but again de Gea got down low to save with his feet.

At the end, Llorente just over hit a pass to Kane which he desperately stretched for but could not reach. With that, the victory for Man United was all but confirmed. To rub salt into the wounds for Spurs, Kane went off injured at the end. With Son heading off to the Asian Cup for possibly the next five Spurs fixtures an injury to Spurs’ talisman could not have come at a worse time.

Spurs remain third in the Premier League table but their title ambitions have suffered a massive blow. They are nine points behind Liverpool, who won at the weekend, and could go five points behind Manchester City if they beat Wolves on Monday night.

Spurs v Manchester United Teams

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What the Managers Said

Spurs Manager Mauricio Pochettino

“Sometimes you deserve it but you don’t win, but sometimes you don’t deserve it too much and you win. My feeling today is in the opposite way to when we played at Old Trafford in Manchester. We won the game 3-0 but I wasn’t happy, today after the defeat I am very pleased with the performance. That is the way that if you want to build a team and a structure for the future and be close to winning titles, that is the way you have to work and play. Disappointed with the result of course, I cannot talk in a different way, but very happy with the reaction after we conceded the goal and in the second half we created more than enough chances to score to draw or win the game.” (football.london)

Manchester United Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

“Results wise, to come away here and beat Tottenham is fantastic. We hung on in the second half and we never got to grips with it when they changed the system, but you are allowed to have a good goalkeeper. Obviously when you make 11 saves it is a top performance, but even so, two of them were top saves but the rest you would expect David to make. We defended well as a team. It was just a complete team performance.” (Sky Sports)

Spurs v Manchester United Man of the Match

From a Spurs perspective Dele Alli was one of their best players along with Kane and Eriksen. He was involved in a lot of Spurs’ good forward moves but would have been disappointed to miss a few key chances, all of which were saved by David de Gea.

What’s Up Next for Spurs?

For the first time since November, Spurs do not have a midweek game and have seven days to prepare for their next match. That will be away against Fulham in the Premier League on Sunday 20th January before on Thursday 24th January they have their second leg against Chelsea in the Carabao Cup.


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