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Manchester United v Spurs, 14.01.24


United scorers:-
Hojlund, 3
Rashford, 40

Spurs scorers:-
Richarlison, 19
Bentancur, 46

Attendance:- 73,489

Referee:- John Brooks
Assistants:- Eddie Smart, Nick Greenhalgh
Fourth official:- Tony Harrington
VAR:- Chris Kavanagh
Assistant VAR:- Adam Nunn

Man Utd (4-2-3-1):- Onana; Dalot, Evans (sub Martinez, 63), Varane, Wan-Bissaka; Eriksen (sub McTominay, 58), Mainoo; Garnacho, Fernandes (Capt.), Rashford (sub Antony, 88); Hojlund

Subs not used:- Bayindir, Heaton (GKs); Kambwala; Casemiro, Pellistri, Forson

Booked:- Wan-Bissaka (foul on Johnson), Hojlund (impeding free kick)

Spurs (4-3-3):- Vicario; Pedro Porro, Romero (Capt.), Van de Ven (sub Emerson Royal, 89), Udogie; Skipp (sub Dragusin, 85), Bentancur, Hojbjerg; Johnson, Richarlison, Werner (sub Gil, 80)

Subs not used:- Forster, Austin (GKs); Dorrington; Santiago, Donley

Booked:- Bentancur (kicked ball away)

Spurs gain a satisfying point

Man Utd v Spurs, 14.01.24

Thanks to Eugene Gasper for his picture

United coach Erik Ten Hag described this as a "must-win" game in his pre-match interview. Both teams were struggling for personnel. Both included two goalkeepers on their respective benches. United also included two 19-year-olds, while Ange Postecoglou could only field 8 subs which included two teenagers and an untried 20-year-old.

Injury(and absentee)-struck Spurs suffered a late blow with Kulusevski absent through illness. In his post-match interview, "Big Ange" disclosed that both Oliver Skipp and Destiny Udogie had struggled with illness (I know the feeling as I was scheduled to attend this game) but battled and played well. A big plus was the presence of our first choice back four and debuts for our latest signings. Timo Werner started, whilst Radu Dragusin made a late substitute appearance.

Spurs achieved a club record by scoring in a 33rd consecutive game. They dominated in terms of possession, corners, and shots on goal, but still had to come back twice from behind and settle for a draw. They had been hoping for a win to take them above Arsenal until the second half of matchday 21 is played. Spurs are secure in fifth place and very much in touch with the top four, so in Ange's words they are still very much in a title race.

Spurs had also been looking for a first Premier League double over United. Cristian Romero started a Spurs game wearing the captain's armband for the first time.

Team huddle, Man Utd v Spurs, 14.01.24

Thanks to Eugene Gasper for his picture

United kicked off and played towards the East Stand. They included a couple of players whose scoring records are below par this season. £72m signing Rasmus Hojlund had managed just one goal in over 1,000 minutes of Premier League football. Marcus Rashford had yet to score at Old Trafford this season. Both scored in the first half.

Hojlund's goal came in only the third minute. Fernandes hit a good lengthy pass to Rashford, who quickly fed the ball to Hojlund to his left. The Denmark striker hit an unstoppable left-footed shot into the roof of the net beyond Vicario's reach.

Rashford soon had another chance following an Eriksen corner but fired wide across the goal. Eriksen had been affectionately applauded by his former fans in the south-east corner.

Despite Spurs persistent re-cycling style, the game was of an end-to-end nature, and it wasn't long before Pedro Porro hit a deflected shot which was cosy for Onana, who flies off tomorrow to join Cameroon's quest in the African Cup of Nations.

Timo Werner was busy on the left of the front three. He started an attack and then passed to Johnson on the right. Johnson's cross was met by Werner's header and deflected out for a corner. After that corner a Bentancur header was half-saved, then cleared by Dalot just in front of his goal-line.

Spurs cleared a corner won by Rashford, then won one themselves. Taken as usual by Pedro Porro, Richarlison headed into the far corner for his sixth goal in the last seven games. Cue the pigeon walk celebration, albeit in front of the home fans!

Three minutes later Werner skied an effort from 25 yards. Romero was "Mr. Cool" at the back, taking the ball off the on-rushing Rashford. Johnson had a weak shot held by Onana after Richarlison's pass. Rashford looked offside, but hit a shot straight at Vicario, whose praises have been sung in various newspapers today.

Bentancur rescued Van de Ven after an error to take the ball off of Fernandes. Udogie headed a Rashford cross against his own post, but the ball rebounded to relative safety. However, United soon had a first half lead. Fernandes again lofted a ball into the danger zone on the edge of the Spurs area and after an exchange with Hojlund, the England man hit a shot through the legs of Van de Ven and into the net inside the keeper's left post.

Werner raced forward after a good long pass by Skipp, but hit his shot wide across the keeper. In added time, Romero's header from a corner rebounded off the bar.

Spurs kicked off and played backwards before Hojbjerg lost the ball. They recovered in the best possible way and scored a super goal in the first minute of the second half. Skipp sent a great ball to Werner on the left who turned it back inside for Rodrigo Bentancur to beat Evans inside the box and score low past Onana. It was his first goal since last February.

A Johnson cross was cleared by Dalot with Werner waiting. Richarlison had a decent effort saved after good play by Pedro Porro. Spurs won consecutive corners and Werner hooked a shot just over the bar from the second.

Eriksen was replaced by McTominay but United had to defend another corner. United chances were few and far between, but McTominay fired wide after Wan-Bissaka was blocked and the ball ran to the midfielder.

Ten Hag did have one or two of his big names returning from injury on the bench, and one of these - Martinez - replaced Evans. Udogie went down a bit easily in the United box. He got neither a penalty nor a card from referee John Brooks.

The game became somewhat ragged. Ollie Skipp had a decent effort deflected wide for a corner. Johnson hit a cross/shot straight at Onana after a pass from Skipp. One Pedro Porro pass was just too far ahead of Richarlison. Johnson was unable to take advantage of another.

Dragusin came on for Skipp and went to the right side of a back three. It wasn't long before Van de Ven had to go off with cramp, so Dragusin took his place while Emerson played on the right.

There five minutes of added time, but the closest anyone came to scoring was when Garnacho crossed and McTominay's header was just over the bar.

In the end, it was a satisfying point. Hopefully, one or two more players (such as Maddison) will have recuperated and be available for our home FA Cup tie against Manchester City. Their number one goalkeeper Ederson was injured yesterday!

. John Ellis's view from Old Trafford.

. Squad numbers,appearances,bookings & goalscorers
. Read the preview for this game.
. All the Spurs Stats you could hope for here! THFC6061 Sports Stats

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