Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester United Match Analysis

Pictures: Tottenham vs Manchester United - Manchester Evening News
Image from Manchester Evening News
Bruno Fernandes' penalty rescued a point for Manchester United as they competed in their first competitive football match against Tottenham since the season was curtailed back in March. Though it was not our best performance, we showed promise at times and created a number of good chances but just weren’t clinical with them.

It had been 102 days since we had seen Manchester United in action as excitement and nerves built ahead of the game against Tottenham as we looked forward to seeing Bruno and Pogba in action together, though the latter would be starting on the bench. As the game started, both teams were feeling their way into the game as they looked to find some sort of rhythm. United had made the better start as we were pressing Tottenham back and could have made it 1-0 on the twentieth minute when Marcus Rashford’s side foot volley at goal was kicked away by the feet of opposition goalkeeper Lloris.

United seemed to have gained control of the game but when the first drinks break happened after 25 minutes, it seems we had lost a bit of focus. This was clearly seen when Tottenham’s goalkeeper Hugo Lloris hit a long ball into the United half is where the problems began as Luke Shaw header was collected by Serge Aurier who had got ahead of Rashford to nick the ball, which then landed at the feet of Steven Bergwijn who went on a run to cut inside of Harry Maguire and his powerful shot was a made of mess by De Gea as Tottenham grabbed the first goal of the game.

De Gea would soon be in action again as he pulled off a terrific save to stop Spurs from going 2-0 up when Heung-Min Son's header went over the bar. As United went into the dressing room for half time, on Sky Sports Roy Keane was unleashing on United's first half performance particularly referencing De Gea and Harry Maguire’s fault at the conceding of Spurs’s goal.

He said, “I'm shocked. I'm shocked at that goal. I've watched a lot of football over the years, but to give that away, I'm fuming. I can't believe [Luke] Shaw heads the ball up and then runs forward, I'm staggered at Maguire, staggered that an international player can get done like this, and I'm sick to death of this goalkeeper.

De Gea was to receive further criticism from former United player Keane, as he said "This is an established international goalkeeper. I'm flabbergasted. There's got to be something going on at half-time. If I was Ole, make some changes, get some lads off the pitch, some of them are going through the motions at the moment. Spurs have been okay, they've been compact. But Maguire and De Gea, I wouldn't let them on the bus after the match, let them get a taxi back to Manchester." Keane would go on to say that De Gea is the most overrated goalkeeper he has seen in a long time.

In the first half, I felt we did not see enough of Anthony Martial and he needed to get more in the game though he was not getting the service from the other players to be fair. Bruno Fernandes looked sharp and was always looking to create something when on the ball. Maybe Ole could have made a couple of switches at half time bringing on both Pogba and Greenwood.

Once the second half began, United began brightly as they pressed Spurs even more pinning them in their own half as we chased to get the equaliser. Rashford had an opportunity with a header and so did Bruno Fernandes as his shot went wide of the post. Just over the sixtieth minute mark, we would get to see Bruno and Pogba in action as the latter replaced Fred. Pogba started making an instant impact as his link up with Fernandes saw the ball fed into Martial’s feet with his shot at goal blocked by Eric Dier. On the sixty-sixth minute of the game, Martial's brilliant strike was tipped over the bar by Spurs Hugo Lloris.

Pogba was beginning to make the difference as he was on the right hand side of the opposition box when he skipped past Eric Dier into the six yard box who brought him down and United won the penalty, which was duly converted by Fernandes. This has seen him score three goals and three assists in his first six Premier League games for United. When we had scored the equaliser, Spurs pushed back against us as they looked for a winning goal as well as us. We had thought we would be taking home the three points when referee Jon Moss had judged that Bruno Fernandes was fouled by Eric Dier and awarded United another penalty. VAR would determine that Dier had not fouled Fernandes and the penalty decision was reversed.

As we headed into injury time with both teams looking to attack, Mason Greenwood who had come on with Pogba to turn the tie back in United’s favour looked to nick all three points at the end but his shot at goal was just off target. Overall, the second half was much better than the first as we pinned Tottenham in their own half and we created a number of good chances. As Ole said in his post match interview with Sky Sports, the first 25 minutes United were a bit slow even though we were in control of the game, we just needed to be more quicker on the ball putting passes together and trying our luck at goal. Bruno Fernandes was my man of the match as he looked to create something when on the ball and his link up play with the other United players was good. Pogba looked impressive when he came on and certainly made a difference as he got us the penalty. Maybe Ole could have also made the substitutions to bring on Pogba and Greenwood much earlier. Rashford also looked good as well.

Yes it was 2 points dropped, but at least it wasn’t all 3 in the end! Maguire and De Gea were at fault for Spurs’s goal. We just need to be more clinical with the chances we are getting. We probably should have nicked the win at the end. The game against Sheffield United on Wednesday has now become all important especially if they secure three points against Newcastle United on Sunday and go above us into fifth place.


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