Manchester United vs Tottenham Match Analysis

Manchester United vs Spurs Match Analysis

Source: The Guardian

After the utter shambles which was Manchester United’s 3-2 defeat at the hands of Brighton last weekend, United looked to bounce back and in a big way against fellow top 4 rivals Tottenham. The result after last week’s game, put Mourinho and his men under huge scrutiny, with the negativity around the club growing worse every day. This meant it was imperative that the performance of the team improved against Spurs.

Mourinho shocked many people with his team selection as there was wholesale changes to the line up after last week’s game. The team sheet saw a change of formation for United, who started the game with a 3-5-2 formation, the first time since pre-season we have used it. Mourinho also made key personal changes with Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Ander Herrera coming in as a make shift back 3. The midfield looked similar to before, with the only change being Matic coming in for Andreas Pereira. Finally, United started with two attacks, as Lukaku played up front with Lingard playing just off him.

Manchester United XI: David De Gea, Ander Herrera, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Antonio Valencia (c), Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Luke Shaw, Jesse Lingard, Romelu Lukaku

Spurs XI: Hugo Lloris (c), Kieran Trippier, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Danny Rose, Mousa Dembele, Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen, Lucas Moura, Harry Kane

The first half was very open for both sides and there were plenty of chances created. United missed a golden opportunity to take an early lead as Romelu Lukaku rounded Hugo LLoris but couldn’t get his shot on target. Additionally, Spurs had some golden chances as well as Dele Alli had to be well martialled to stop him from getting several clear-cut chances. Overall, United actually shaded the first half and would have been extremely disappointed not to be going in with atleast one goal.

However, United fell apart defensively in the second half given Spurs chance after chance without getting close to them. And it was poor defending that let to the first Spurs goal, as Harry Kane lost Phil Jones in the box and headed home from the corner. Going 1-0 down United tried to push back straight away and almost did with a Lukaku shot being well saved by the hand of LLoris. However, it soon went from bad to worse as within a minute of that chance United were 2-0 down as Spurs counter attacked and score via Lucas Moura, a reported long-time target of Manchester United at the back end of the Ferguson reign. Once again United pushed for a goal and once again they were hit on the counter with Lucas Moura grabbing his second. And that was how the game ended, a hugely disappointing 3-0 loss at home to Spurs.

When looking at the game, the first thing that stands out is just how poor United’s defence was in the second half. It was a make shift defence put out by Jose Mourinho but that doesn’t excuse how poor our ‘defenders’ performed for us. Phil Jones had a nightmare game as he was constantly out of position and all over the place. Ander Herrera did his job as well as he could but he’s just not a centre back and that was clear to see. Chris Smalling had a decent game overall, but there are just too many mistakes in his overall game. It was clear from this performance why Mourinho wanted another centre back in the transfer window, and honestly if the rumours of Ed Woodward denying him that are true then it is a disgrace and we desperately need a director of football at the club in order to make sure we have a football man in charge of our transfers instead of a business man, who while having great business acumen isn’t at all suited to be at the position he currently is at the club. On the other hand, there was one positive in our defence and that was once again Luke Shaw, who looks completely revitalised this season. His performances so far have been amazing this season, and he has arguably been the best player in a United shirt so far. It’s so great to be seeing someone, who we all fought had missed his chance, fight back and regain his starting eleven spot.

Nevertheless, once again we must go back to the negatives, our two most expensive signings of all time in Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku looked terrible in this game, and that is a huge worry for us. Lukaku looks short of match practice, as can be seen with his hugely significant miss earlier on in the game, which is surprising as he’s just come off the back of getting a third-place finish with Belgium at the FIFA World Cup. Moreover, the same can be said for Paul Pogba, who once again at an awful performance in a United Shirt. It’s hard to understand just why Pogba is so inconsistent for us, as one week he can be man of the match and the next he is almost completely invisible. This is certainly a problem that needs sorting sooner rather than later, as I just can’t see United doing well if we are playing a Paul Pogba in this sort of form.


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