United Slip to Disappointing Defeat in final game at White Hart Lane

Match Report

Amid all the celebrations and joy of Tottenham’s goodbye to White Hart Lane, United were mathematically out of the equation for the top 4. Spurs too sealed their runner-up position behind Champions Chelsea.

The starting XI saw Axel Tuanzebe keep his place after his eye-opening display against Arsenal. Players like Rashford, Mkhitaryan and Ander Herrera dropped to the bench and only came on as late substitutes.

United got off to the worst possible start by conceding a goal just 6 minutes into the game. Victor Wanyama lost Wayne Rooney and gave Spurs the lead courtesy of a bullet header. There was little De Gea in goal could do about the finish and United would want to thank the Spaniard after his heroics in the first half kept the game from turning into a rout.

De Gea’s standout error was a judgmental error. He came for a cross but got there after Harry Kane whose header clipped the woodwork.

United’s response to the goal was a positive one as they tried to get a firm foothold in the game. Rooney had a header go over and Martial lost Alderweireld but his curling effort did not have enough bend to sneak into Lloris’ far post. But United quickly lost the momentum they had generated as Spurs continued to play and attack with a fluidity one expects from a side like United.

Son got a lucky break as a ricochet put him one-v-one with De Gea but fired straight at the keeper as United survived. De Gea also had to scramble across his line and punch out a deflected Christian Eriksen cross and denied Dele Alli with a superb one-handed save.

Minutes before the break, Harry Kane rifled shot in at De Gea’s near post saw the Spaniard use his feet to deal with the danger. But minutes after the break, Kane got his goal against United. An intelligent flick on from Eriksen’s cross combined with questionable defence doubled Spurs’ advantage.

Kane and Son tried to force the issue from far but did not trouble De Gea. For United, Martial had a carbon-copy of his first half effort, shooting just wide again. But Martial’s fine footwork and change of pace down the left brought him a decent amount of space for an accurate cross. It was turned in by Rooney to give United hope with 20 minutes left on the clock.

The introduction of Rashford, Mkhitaryan and Herrera seemed to lift the quality of United’s game albeit slightly. Rashford’s pace helped him get to a Carrick ball in behind Spurs’ defence but could only slice his shot wide under pressure from 3 retreating defenders. It was the closest United got as Spurs seemed to switch gears and put United on the defensive once again.

Dele Alli’s shot destined for the back of the net prior to Jones’ goalline clearance. The 30k strong Spurs’ fans got their fairytale ending of their tale at the Lane against the Premier League’s most successful tea as it was another disappointing result and a second consecutive defeat in the League.