|TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 1 (1)||MANCHESTER UNITED 3 (0)|
|Date : – 11th April 2021||Kick off : – 16.30|
|Competition : – Premier League||Venue : – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium|
|Crowd : – 0,000|
|Referee : – Chris Kavanagh (Manchester)||Linesmen : – Mr. Adam Nunn; Mrs. Sian Massey-Ellis|
|Fourth official : – Andre Marriner|
|VAR official : – Craig Pawson||VAR Assistant : – Harry Lennard|
|Weather : – Dry, mild, sunny|
|Manchester United kicked off the first half attacking the Park Lane end|
|Playing time : – 90 + 11 minutes
|TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR||MANCHESTER UNITED|
|Son 39m 13s||Fred 56m 31s|
|Cavani 78m 34s|
|Greenwood 90+4m 05s|
|Sissoko (foul on Fred) 90+2||McTominay (Foul on Ndombele) 18|
|Cavani (foul on Rodon) 42|
|Fred (foul on Aurier) 48|
|Shaw (foul on Moura) 67|
|Maguire (foul on Kane) 70|
|TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR||MANCHESTER UNITED|
|1.||Hugo LLORIS (c)||26.||Dean HENDERSON|
|24.||Serge AURIER||29.||Aaron WAN-BISSAKA|
|14.||Joe RODON||2.||Victor LINDELOF|
|15.||Eric DIER||5.||Harry MAGUIRE|
|3.||Sergio REGUILON||23.||Luke SHAW|
|18.||Giovani LO CELSO ( 17. Moussa SISSOKO 61 )||39.||Scott McTOMINAY|
|5.||Pierre-Emile HOJBJERG||17.|| FRED
|28.||Tanguy NDOMBELE ( 11. Erik LAMELA 78)|
|10.||Marcus RASHFORD ( 11. Mason GREENWOOD 72 )|
|27.||Lucas MOURA ( 9. Gareth BALE 82)||18.||Bruno FERNANDES ( 31. Nemanja MATIC 90)|
|10.||Harry KANE||6.||Paul POGBA|
|12.||Joe HART||1.||David de GEA|
|25.||Japhet TANGANGA||27.||Alex TELLES|
|4.||Toby ALDERWEIRELD||38.||Axel TUANZEBE|
|8.||Harry WINKS||33.||Brandon WILLIAMS|
|20.||DELE Alli||19.||Amad DIALLO|
|45.||Carlos VINICIUS||34.||Donny van de BEEK|
|Manager : – Jose Mourinho||Manager : – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer|
|Kit Supplier : – Nike||Kit Supplier : – adidas|
|Shirt Sponsor : – AIA||Shirt Sponsor : – Chevrolet
|Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : – Cinch||Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : – Kohler
|Colours : –||Colours : –|
|Images of kits courtesy of the marvellous Colours of Football website|
Amidst the welter of negative stories that have been aimed at the club this week, it was an over-cautious and negative second half that allowed Manchester United to over turn a 1-0 half-time lead. Anyone who has been following Spurs for any length of time knows that even when we are 3-0 ahead at the interval, it is sometimes not enough of a a lead to hold onto against any side, let alone United.
Reguilon and Lo Celso linked on the left wing and Son’s early ball to Lucas Moura on the right saw him shoot and get a corner off Luke Shaw that was headed out to Son on the edge of the box and his half-volley was sliced over the bar. Soon after, a Pogba elbow thrown into Aurier’s face got neither a free-kick nor a VAR review was forthcoming. Surprising when Lamela was sent of for less of a contact against the Goons.
Tottenham’s passing was as off-target in the early stages as it was last week and United’s players were getting tight to our players every time they received the ball, which seemed to work as they were forcing them back, but if Spurs could play around them, they would be in with a chance. It did bring a succession of free-kicks, as the visitors cynically prevented any progress up the pitch. With fifteen minutes gone, United’s first decent move came and Cavani set up Rashford to the right of the goal inside the penalty box, but Dier slid in to block the shot out for a corner.
There was a lack of nous being shown when Spurs had throw-ins, with players not moving into space to receive the ball, which is a fairly standard tactic, but the failure to make an option for the thrower just forced Tottenham backwards. United lacked runners going forward and were pressing on the Spurs man on the ball causing the game to be played in the middle third of the pitch.
33 minutes into the game, McTominay left Son on the floor after throwing a fist into the face of Son leaving him on the floor, but the play went on and Pogba played a little pass in behind the Tottenham defence to get Cavani in to slip the ball under Lloris from ten yards out to give United the lead. Except it wasn’t, as a foul was given after Chris Kavanagh had looked at the TV, but United got away without getting McTominay getting sent off as raising your hand into someone’s face is a red card surely ? It looked as though there was intent there, as a deliberate movement to add force to his hand was evident and even if it hadn’t got Son in the face, it was more than “accidental”. The fear of sending off a Manchester United player is still there, despite Ferguson not being there and if Kavanagh had been as brave as Anthony Taylor in the earlier meeting at Old Trafford this season, it might have been a very different game.
Spurs finally managed to get behind the United defence with 38 minutes on the clock, with a long ball over Lindelhof finding Son and he played the ball to his left to Kane, but Harry’s ball across the box didn’t find a white shirt Just a minute later, Spurs worked the ball around for Ndombele to find Kane on the edge of the box and his first time touch looked as if it would be intercepted by Lindelhof. The Swedish defender completely missed his kick and Lucas Moura was in on goal on the right hand side. Showing great composure, the Brazilian squared the ball to his left for Son to slide his shot in at the near post with Dean Henderson unable to recover from the other side of his goal. It was a well worked move and Spurs punished United for their sloppy defending.
In a match where United were losing their composure, Cavani went in late on Rodon when he couldn’t reach a through ball into the box. The Uruguayan reacted badly and tried to pull Joe up and then had a go at him, so Chris Kavanagh had to pull his yellow card out again. Then Fernandes made a snide trip on Hojbjerg after he had lost the ball to the Dane, but only conceded a free-kick.
As United pressed coming up to the interval, Spurs were clearing the ball without looking for a white shirt, but they got through to the break with the one goal lead. That didn’t stop five players with red shirts gathering around the referee as he came off the pitch. United really are a horrible side, as the ref had allowed a lot of stuff that involved shirt pulling, arm-holding and dissent from the visiting team and the tactics of the Ferguson era linger at the heart of the club’s ethos.
All the TV talk at half-time was that the United goal should not have been disallowed as players always use their arms to hold players off, but this was no accident by McTominay, he made a deliberate movement and it was a closed hand, not something that you would do if you were handing off an opponent. Frankly, the United bias was coming out in full force and the question was would the pressure put on the referee at the end of the half see him try to even things up ?
The second half began with a trip on Ndombele by Fred, as United continued to halt any forward movement by Spurs and the same player’s late foul on Aurier brought a third yellow card for the Red Devils. Wan-Bissaka received a diagonal ball and tried a cross on the volley from the right inside the box, but it went straight at Hugo on his near post, which he had to block. Hojbjerg had to have some treatment after Fernandes kicked him on the knee after the ball had gone and when PEH left the field Solskjaer couldn’t resist having a word, with the response being the contact being pointed out to him.
Rodon made a good interception to a low ball in from Pogba, with Cavani lurking behind him and then Spurs defended the corner well. McTominay had a shot from just outside the area, but he side-footed it on target and Lloris punched it safely away. However, we did get caught out when United played the ball around the edge of the box and Cavani was in on goal to shoot, with Hugo reacting well to keep it out, but it ran for Fred in front of goal to lift the ball into the roof of the net. Spurs got found out by the run of Cavani, as they had with the disallowed goal and needed to learn from this to shut that door to prevent any further damage.
Spurs broke away and had to move the ball around to get PEH picking out Serge Aurier’s run into the box. He got the break of the ball and fired a shot at goal that flew off a defender to wide of the goal on the left, where Sonny took the ball down and shifted it to shoot between Wan-Bissaka’s legs and Henderson stopped it with a leg he stuck out to his right. Reguilon got to the ball on the 18 yard line, but the it got stuck under his foot.
Fernandes struck a shot from the left of the D across goal and Hugo went full length to push the ball wide of his left hand post, as the ball dipped onto the turf. The Portuguese midfielder then popped up at the far post on the right to hook the ball back for Pogba, who tried to drag the ball behind him, but it was blocked by Dier getting a good foot in. Spurs broke away and Moura was crudely brought down by Shaw and the referee allowed a quick free-kick to be taken, but did go back to book the United defender when the ball went dead. The same punishment headed Maguire’s way when Kane embarrassed him by nipping the ball away from his England team-mate, causing the United defender to drag Harry down.
Spurs broke once more from their own box and Ndombele was instrumental in moving the ball across the pitch, where Son played Kane in on the left to cut back and drove a shot at Henderson’s near post, which again the keeper kicked out. From the corner, a clearance was fed back into the box and resulted in Serge Aurier hooking the ball over his head from close range over the bar, but he was offside anyway.
Substitute Greenwood was looking lively and cut in from the right to shoot into Hugo’s side-netting and then a soft free-kick 30 yards out for a foul on Pogba by PEH gave United a chance to push the ball into the box, but they went sideways instead and the move petered out. Mourinho decided to bring on Erik Lamela for Tanguy, which, in such a tempestuous match might have been regarded as a brave move. A cross in from the right wing immediately after the substitution saw Greenwood cross from the right into the area, where Cavani drifted in behind Dier and Aurier to dive in to head low past Lloris to turn the game around in United’s favour. It was a lack of awareness of where the striker was that cost Spurs and again, it was a goal that could have been prevented.
The last throw of the dice came from the Spurs bench when Bale replaced Moura, which was a bit odd, as Lucas was the one Spurs player troubling the United defence the most. When Aurier’s low cross in was hacked out for a corner by Lindelhof, the ball came in and Cavani headed against the angle of crossbar and post of his own goal with Son’s follow-up sliced across goal.
United were killing the game with Henderson holding onto the ball as long as the referee would let him and Pogba going to ground way after play had moved away from him and then jumping up straight away when he realised play was going to restart. As time ran down, Tottenham couldn’t get the ball away as United were happy to play around the corner flag. By the time Mason Greenwood had cut inside from the right to power a shot past Hugo’s left hand at his near post, the game had gone and it was almost the last kick of the match.
United’s away record has been based on coming from behind and Spurs weren’t great in the first half and were weaker in the second. It is hard to see the side getting a top four finish unless they change their attitude, as too many players were either not strong enough or were not making an effort to receive the ball. It might be a blessing, as whenever we come up against a half decent side, we are taken to the cleaners and a Champions League campaign might be somewhat painful to go through.
Whether this is with or without Harry Kane or any other of the players the media are keen to see leave, the final few games of the season and the League Cup final will determine.
While it will be a blow to lose someone like Harry Kane, should he decide to go, players come and players go and only those like Ledley King show the loyalty to the club that is singularly missing these days as players move on to win trophies with the few clubs who are able to challenge for them by cherry picking talent from other clubs. Anyway, what is important now is to put a run together for the remaining games to try and push into the top six … and beat Manchester City in the League Cup final !
|Sheffield United||0||Woolwich Wanderers||3|
|West Ham United London||3||Leicester City||2|
|Manchester City||1||Leeds United||2|
|South Coast Big Club||–||–|
|Brighton & Hove Albion||–||–|
|West Bromwich Albion||–||–|
Premier League Table 2020-21
|4||West Ham United London||31||16||7||8||51||39||55||0|
|14||South Coast Big Club||30||10||6||14||39||53||36||-14|
|16||Brighton & Hove Albion||30||7||11||12||33||38||32||-5|
|19||West Bromwich Albion||30||4||9||17||25||59||21||-34|