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Manchester United vs Tottenham a few quick thoughts

  • Once again Tottenham’s woes against their nearest rivals continues after being edged out by Manchester United at Old Trafford yesterday lunchtime
  • It is fair to say that the game was not classic and Tottenham offered nothing resembling a classic performance but it was an incredibly galling way to lose
  • One lapse in concentration from Eric Dier was all it took as United substitute Anthony Martial’s effort was enough with just under 10 minutes to remaining
  • Even Martial’s strike pretty much summed the game up, his half scuff was still enough though to beat Hugo Lloris and finally break the deadlock
  • Going into the game the question was whether or not we were the ‘Harry Kane’ team
  • It was a performance that did not do anything to dispel that notion but at the same time you do have to wonder just how much the England international could have done
  • Heung min-Son cut something of a lone furrow and although you cannot fault his effort and endeavour he was largely ineffectual
  • The fact that Martial came off the bench to score, highlights the strength in depth that United have and how they have used it to great effect at Old Trafford with some many of their goals coming in the last 10 minutes
  • Are plan a in Son did not work and unfortunately our plan b in Fernando Llorente did not work either
  • But it was the manner of the goal that will rankle the most
  • To have the ball in their net (albeit offside) and concede from the resulting free kick can only point to not being switched on
  • Tottenham started the first five minutes looking slightly disjointed but grew into the game and in the first half you could make the case that they were on top if not they were certainly handling all that was thrown at them
  • The main flash point of the first half was the set too between Ashley Young and Dele Alli
  • After that Alli became something of a marked man and was on the end of some slightly robust tackles
  • Credit must at least go to him for not snapping back and doing something which would have seen him be sent for an early bath
  • Alli was perhaps responsible for Tottenham’s most clear cut chance, an inch perfect lofted pass from Christian Eriksen saw the England international clip the ball the wrong side of the post just minutes before Martial’s winner
  • Would Harry Kane have scored? – Probably but ifs and buts don’t win you football matches
  • But for a first half that saw Tottenham ahead on the scorecards without landing any real jabs the second half was a different story
  • Once again United started brightly and had Spurs on the ropes but they themselves could not land the knockout blow (no more Boxing phrases I promise)
  • There was a heart in mouth moment when Hugo Lloris spilled the ball back into the six yard box after a relatively tame shot
  • Thankfully though Ben Davies was on hand to clear to safety
  • In terms of the defence quesions were asked as to whether or not Davinson Sanchez should have been part of a defensive three
  • I guess it is easy to ask that question in defeat
  • That heart was back in the mouth when Romelu Lukaku’s arched header cannoned off the post
  • Tottenham perhaps riding their luck but still doing enough for a point
  • Harry Winks failed to get a foothold of the game in midfield as he was squeezed out by his United counterparts
  • While any credit that Moussa Sissoko has built up over the last few weeks would have taken a serious dent after ballooning that after effort high and wide
  • It was always going to be a case of pragmatism rather than performance but unfortunately even a less than vintage showing came away with nothing
  • The more you watched the game the more you felt that it was only going to take one goal
  • It was almost imperative that Tottenham did not go behind if they were to get anything from yesterday
  • As we now know the rest as they say is history
  • A tough way to lose at Old Trafford
  • The focus now shifts to Real Madrid on Wednesday and the hope that Harry Kane is fit enough to return
  • Opportunity missed for Tottenham as a point would have arguably suited them better, but a win that Manchester United will feel they deserved and one that is justified.
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