Manchester United fell to an away 2-1 defeat to Tottenham in the Premier League, which mathematically ended their chances to finish in the top four. Tottenham enjoyed a fitting farewell to their stadium for 117 years, as they won ‘The Finale’ at the White Hart Lane.
Tottenham dominated the United side from the very beginning, and scored the opener through Wanyama in the 6th minute. He escaped Rooney, his marker, and shot a bullet header from Davies’ pinpoint cross. Tottenham looked very dangerous and could’ve scored two or three more goals but were saved by De Gea’s fine performance. He twice thwarted Kane and made a fabulous save from Son one on one. The score at the break did not exactly represent the action, as Tottenham were clearly better than a one-goal lead.
The second half saw Tottenham score another one instantly, as Kane pounced upon Eriksen’s free-kick to beat De Gea from close range. The visitors grew back into the game when Mourinho made a couple of substitutions, and were back into the contest when Rooney scored a tap-in from Martial’s pass. They tried their best to spoil Spurs’ day but the home side held on to record a memorable win.
Here are the Talking Points from the Match-
Fitting Farewell to the Lane
Spurs signed off in style as they beat a team that has embarrassed them many times in the past, that too at their own home. However, Pochettino’s men rose to the occasion and gave a sensational performance to heap further misery on Mourinho’s men. They will be happy to have won their last ever game at the White Hart Lane, that’s been their fortress for 117 years, and had a day to remember ahead of their shift to new stadium next year.
Spurs Exploit United through Set-Pieces
Even though United had many tall and solid men in defence, Spurs somehow managed to score both goals from set pieces. Their first was scored by Wanyama after a corner taken short, while Kane scored the second from Eriksen’s free kick. If they are to make this season a success, United need to improve their defending from set pieces.
Kane Finally Gets his Goal against United
It’s hard to imagine that a player like Harry Kane hadn’t scored against United in the Premier League. He, however, scored at their last ever appearance at The Lane against a team he hasn’t scored against in 6 league matches before. Incredibly, he has now scored against 24 of the 25 teams he has faced in the league, with Cardiff being the only one safe from his wrath.
De Gea or Romero?
Mourinho has publicly stated his decision to start Romero in the Europa League, but is it the right decision? With no disrespect to Romero, De Gea, even when not at his best, has been a better goalkeeper, and could it be a mistake to not start him in their must-win Europa League Final against Ajax? And with the Spaniard being heavily linked to Real Madrid, it would be right to send him on a high in what could be his last-ever appearance for the club at Old Trafford. Only time would tell if Mourinho got it right, and let’s hope he doesn’t regret his decision later on.
Win or Bust for United
After this loss, United are now mathematically out of the race for the top four, and their only way to qualify for the UCL is now the Europa League. Mourinho’s men cannot lose the match at any cost against a team that has been in sensational form this season. He gave up the league campaign for the Europa League, and if he fails to win it there would be serious question marks on his ability to still manage a huge club like United. Agreed, he’s been wrong done by injuries, and Ajax have 12 days to prepare compared to United’s 3, but qualifying for the UCL is the least that is expected after a net spend of £150m. It’s very difficult to imagine the extent of anger if they fail to deliver the must-win trophy now.