SUNDAY 13th JANUARY, 2019
(4.30pm - at Wembley)
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 0(0) MANCHESTER UNITED 1(1)
Man Utd scorer:-
Referee:- Mike Dean
Assistants:- Darren Cann & Dan Robathan
Fourth official:- Andre Marriner
Spurs (4-2-3-1):- Lloris(Capt.); Trippier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies; Sissoko (sub Lamela, 43), Winks (sub Llorente, 81); Son, Dele, Eriksen; Kane
Subs not used:- Gazzaniga; Rose, Sanchez, Foyth; Skipp
Booked:- Dele (foul on Pogba)
Man Utd (4-3-3):- De Gea; Young (Capt.), Lindelof, Jones, Shaw; Herrera, Matic, Pogba (sub McTominay, 90+2); Rashford, Lingard (sub Dalot, 83), Martial (sub Lukaku, 73)
Subs not used:- Romero; Pereira; Mata, Fred
Booked:- Herrera (foul on Eriksen), Pogba (foul on Dele)
De Gea man of the match, surely?
So, Manchester United's caretaker manager has now won his first six games in charge, going one further than the record of Sir Matt Busby, who won his first 5 league games in charge back in 1946. By beating Spurs 1-0 in front of one of the the biggest crowds seen at Wembley for a Spurs game this season, United have drawn level with Arsenal on 41 points, and sit just 6 points off a top four place. Perhaps the press will stop touting Mauricio Pochettino for the United job now.
United goalkeeper David De Gea was the BBC man of the match, and I wouldn't argue with that accolade being given to the man who stopped so many Spurs shots, particularly in the second half. He made at least 11 crucial saves, but very few of them really stretched him to the limits of his undoubted ability. Perhaps if Spurs had put the effort into the first half that they did the second, they would have reaped some reward from this game. As it is, they hold onto third place - by just one point - but a title race is perhaps a forlorn hope now, with Liverpool 9 points ahead.
There was a welcome return for Jan Vertonghen, making his first appearance for a month, but otherwise with the exception of Davies for Rose at left back, and Hugo Lloris returning in goal, the Spurs team was unchanged. It is upsetting to know that Spurs have failed to score against a United defence which earlier in the season, and even in Solskjaer's first three games in charge struggled to keep a clean sheet.
Spurs kicked off and played towards the East goal in the first half. After only one minute, Vertonghen found Trippier with a long ball, but the right back sent his cross wide beyond De Gea's goal. Harry Winks started and ended a move involving Eriksen and Son, winning a corner, following which Winks himself hit a right foot shot over the target.
Jesse Lingard hit a shot over the bar following a cross by Ashley Young who was the United skipper today. Lloris was required to make a save from Marcus Rashford, who fired a shot on target after a break featuring Martial.
Not for the last time in the game, a failed ball by Trippier gave United a chance and Lloris had to save from Martial as he entered the Spurs area.
Sissoko and Trippier combined as Spurs moved forward, with Dele meeting Trippier's cross and providing a pass for Kane, who had the ball in the net, but was corrrectly called offside. Sissoko also impressed with a midfield win against Pogba. Eriksen had a shot blocked after good work by Son Heung-min on the left. Harry Kane also had an effort blocked, as Spurs pressed.
Son was caught offside trying to latch onto a Dele Alli ball. Winks started another attack and received a ball back from Davies, but hit a shot well over the target. Sissoko went down, needing treatment and had to be replaced by Lamela before the break. Spurs reverted to a 4-3-3 with Dele and Eriksen playing either side of Winks, and Lamela, Son and Kane across the top of the Spurs formation.
Unfortunately, Spurs were caught on the break by United, as Pogba found Rashford towards the right of the area, and he beat Lloris inside his right post with a low shot.
Spurs came out for the second half with clear attacking intent. Kane pushed a ball to Son on his left and he hit a right footed shot from 25 yards which was, in truth, easy for De Gea. Kane then had a right footed shot saved after good work by Eriksen and Dele. Son fed Dele from the left and Dele hit a shot, but De Gea was happy to let this one go in the knowledge it was passing wide of his left post. Eriksen and Kane had been involved earlier in this move.
Trippier crossed after 49 minutes and Dele met the ball with an on target header, but De Gea was equal to the attempt.
Lloris was required to save a Pogba header following an Ashley Young cross from the right. Eriksen won a corner which was taken short by Lamela, and crossed from the right by Eriksen. Kane's header was on target, but It was held once again by De Gea, who was not sorely tested.
Lamela then had a header saved from Trippier's cross, after Winks' ball to the right back. Lloris was required to save a Pogba shot after Martial crossed.
Kane got down the left side of the area, and fed the ball to Eriksen, who tried a right footed shot from distance, but this was again too comfortable for the United keeper. Dele Alli also had a shot held by the keeper, after Kane's pass.
Eriksen was fouled by Herrera, who was booked. Eriksen took the free kick which passed wide of De Gea's right post. A Trippier cross reached Son beyond the goal and his shot was deflected winning a corner. The corner was taken by Eriksen and met by Toby Alderweireld with a low shot that was very well saved by that man De Gea.
There were 20 minutes left and you still fancied Spurs to at least get a goal back. A free kick taken by Kane was well saved by De Gea diving to his right to hold the shot cleanly. Next up for Spurs, after Lukaku replaced Martial, was Dele, hitting a right footed shot, well saved by De Gea moving to his left. Eriksen had provided Dele with the opportunity.
Pogba got a second United booking for a foul on Dele. Lamela came inside from the left of the area, and fed Kane, who hit a left foot shot over the goal. Now Harry Winks was replaced by Llorente, but ultimately Pochettino again failed to find a third substitute to improve our chances.
Llorente fielded a ball by Dele and gave Kane a shot on goal, but again De Gea was in charge. Llorente himself had a chance, but needed two touches after receiving from Trippier, hitting a shot which was too easy for the keeper.
There were four minutes added time and Spurs' best chance to equalise came when Llorente tried to tee up Kane who could not quite reach the ball at De Gea's left post.
Now we do have a full week off before we face lowly Fulham at Craven Cottage next Sunday. We should at least consolidate our third place.
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