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Spurs v Manchester United, 25.07.19

(7.36pm – local time)
At the Hongkou Stadium, Shanghai

Spurs scorer:-
Lucas Moura, 65

Man Utd scorers:-
Martial, 21
Gomes, 80

Attendance:- TBC

Referee:- Mr. Ai Chun (China)

First half (4-4-2):- Gazzaniga; Walker-Peters, Tanganga, Vertonghen, Georgiou; Sissoko, Winks, Ndombele, Dele; Kane (Capt.), Parrott

Second half (4-2-3-1):-
Gazzaniga; Foyth, Alderweireld (Capt.), Tanganga (sub Marsh, 70), Georgiou (sub White, 62); Skipp, Sissoko (sub Roles, 55); Lamela, Dele (sub Eriksen, 62), Son; Lucas Moura

Subs not used:-
Whiteman, De Bie (GK); Lyons-Foster; Bowden

Booked:- Dele (foul on McTominay), Tanganga (foul on Greenwood)

Man Utd:-
First half(4-2-3-1):- De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Smalling, Rojo, Young (Capt.); McTominay, Pogba; Greenwood, Andreas Pereira, James; Martial

Second half (4-2-3-1):- Romero; Dalot, Bailly (sub Tuanzebe, 56), Lindelöf, Shaw; Fred, Matic; Mata, Lingard, Gomes; Rashford

Subs not used:-
J. Pereira (GK); Chong

Booked:- A. Pereira (foul on Kane)

Spurs’ second half rally spoiled by 18 year old Angel Gomes

This was Spurs’ second pre-season game and the fourth for Manchester United, who played arch-rivals Leeds in Perth, Australia before moving to Asia. With this win, United have won all four games they have played. Today’s game was played in front of an enthusiastic crowd in very hot and humid conditions. Without doubt, United had the better of the first half, and looked sharper than Spurs, who rallied with their second half team, equalising through Lucas Moura before 18 year old Angel Gomes secured the win with an 80th minute goal.

United had a strong first half team featuring new signings Wan-Bissaka at right back and winger Daniel James, who was signed from Swansea. Pogba also played – primarily in deep midfield – but there was no sign of Romelu Lukaku or Alexis Sanchez. Harry Kane started for Spurs, beside Troy Parrott, but Spurs’ once again featured young defenders Walker-Peters, Tanganga, and Georgiou. Tanguy Ndombele made his first start, but perhaps is still a little short of the level of fitness which he will require under Pochettino. Spurs played a diamond midfield with Winks at the back, and Dele at the front.

In order to view this game, I took the plunge and paid up for MUTV who covered this game. This was a chore as you had to get past the natural bias of all involved in the coverage. Spurs kicked off and Tanganga did well to recover from an early mistake, before Ndombele had a useful drive into the United area before the ball was cleared. United had the better of the early exchanges. Sissoko made a mistake allowing james to escape him and feed the ball to Martial on the left of the Spurs area. Martial’s shot beat Gazzaniga but rebounded into the play off the in side of his left post.

Sissoko was being pressurised by close attention from McTominay. Moussa also took responsibility for trying to block attacks by James.

After 9 minutes, Troy Parrot passed to Dele on his right and Dele didn’t make a full connection with his shot which did bring a save by De Gea and a Spurs corner. This was taken, and heavily over-hit by Ndombele. Dele got an early yellow card for a challenge on McTominay, and Spurs were not holding back with their challenges. Shots by Pogba and Martial were blocked just inside the Spurs area without threatening goal, before Sissoko let James know in no uncertain terms of is presence. The foul was on the edge of the spurs area and Ashley Young’s right foot free kick was held by Gazzaniga. The new rule of an attacker not being allowed within the defensive wall caused a little confusion, but it was enforced.

There was some good build up play at the United end involving Parrot, Dele and Sissoko, before Walker-Peters’ cross didn’t reach its intended target and was cleared. United took the lead in the 21st minute when Andreas Pereira threaded a good ball to Martial who was at a sharp angle right of Gazzaniga’s goal. Martial scored with a shot that squeezed inside the goalkeeper’s left post, when it should have been saved.

The MUTV commentators had an apoplexy when Sissoko fouled James near the corner flag, and in their eyes left his foot in with a stamp. I do not think there was any pre-empted move here. The action led to a melee with Harry Kane moving in as peacemaker and the Chinese referee having words primarily with McTominay.

Ashley Young had another right footed shot from the edge of Spurs’ area, and this was held by Gazzaniga. At the other end, Harry Kane hit a free kick way over the target. Pereira was booked for a foul on the Spurs captain. A good move featuring Ndombele, Parrott and Kane led to another corner, but nothing came of that. Tanganga was booked for stopping Greenwood in his tracks. MUTV mistook the Spurs centre-back for the “villainous” Sissoko.

Dele fed a ball out to Sissoko on his right and when the cross came in, Smalling headed clear from Kane. Pogba took a pot shot from well outside the area after Ndombele had been slow to react to Sissoko’s pass.

Spurs’ second half team reverted to 4-2-3-1 with Skipp next to Sissoko, and Dele between Lamela and Son, behind Lucas Moura. Dele was getting persistent boos from the United fans, due to his early foul on McTominay. The United side also had many changes and had to replace Bailly with Tuanzebe early on, after Bailly went down seemingly over-stretching when challenging the dangerous Son. Both Fred and Lingard had threatened the Spurs goal. Fred had a shot go wide. Lingard had a run which faded to nought.

Spurs were definitely on top early in the second half with Son and Lucas Moura prominent. Alderweireld was sending trademark passes and the move by Son which led to Bailly’s injury led to a very late offside flag. Lucas Moura received a pass from Lamela, but the ball basically ran to Romero. Lingard gave Fred shooting chance, but Gazzaniga saved this confidently. Spurs made three more substitutions with Georgiou replaced again by 17 year old Harvey White, Sissoko replaced by Jack roles, and Dele replaced by Eriksen. Eriksen generally played deep and had little impact on the game.

Spurs got a deserved equaliser in the 65th minute. Son refused the opportunity to shoot and passed to Harvey White who took the ball to the bye-line before crossing. The ball was only partly cleared to the edge of the area where Lucas Moura demonstrated footwork similar to that seen in the Ajax stadium in the Champions League semi-final. Lucas hit a shot, which had little strength and took a deflection which beat Romero. This was the first goal conceded by United in their four matches so far.

Tanganga was replaced by George Marsh who went to right back, with Foyth moving inside to the left of Alderweireld. It wasn’t long before Foyth was clearing well from a Dalot run. After another drinks break (there was one in each half), Eriksen did get forward and fed the ball to Lucas Moura who in turn teed up “Sonny”, whose shot was blocked.

With 10 minutes remaining, United took the lead, somewhat out of the blue. Gomes advanced in from the left flank, exchanged passes with Mata and then beat Gazzaniga from a sharp angle on the left of goal. Rashford also hit the ball into the Spurs’ net, but only well after he had been flagged offside. Romero did well to save and hold a powerfully hit low cross by Son from the left of goal. As we entered added time, Son hot a shot way too high, and Eriksen had a left foot shot cleared. In the last minute, George Marsh hit a deep cross which was returned by White. Both Foyth and Lucas Moura challenged for the headed which passed just wide.

Spurs’ next game will be against Real Madrid next Tuesday in the Audi Cup, which also features Bayern Munich and Fenerbahce. Hopefully, Mauricio Pochettino can round up one or two of the players he left recuperating (or contemplating a move) at the Spurs training ground.

Both Spurs and Manchester United have fans all over the world. Fotboll.com is a great site and has an app to follow various football teams, especially for Swedish fans.

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