Anthony Martial came off the bench and scored a late goal as Manchester United defeat Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 in the Premier League.
The game was equally fought by both sides, but it was evident that Spurs were missing the injured Kane from the very start. The visitors tested De Gea from distance, and despite the game full of action, neither team came close to scoring in the first half. After the break, however, things started to change. Lukaku’s header from Lingard’s cross came off the post while Alli’s one-on-one shot from Eriksen’s lob went wide. Martial then came on and scored a goal after being sent through by Lukaku’s header, as Mourinho’s men returned to winning ways after last weekend’s shock defeat to Huddersfield in the league.
Here are the major Talking Points from the match:
Another Late Goal Wins it for United
For the umpteenth time this season, Manchester United ran away with all three points courtesy of a late goal. Anthony Martial’s 83rd minute goal was United’s 10th goal scored after the 80th minute this season, which is a staggering 43% of the 23 goals they’ve scored this season in total. After all it’s José time!
Spurs miss Kane
Tottenham were riding high in the league after that 4-1 demolition of Liverpool last weekend, and many pundits and betting agencies favoured Pochettino’s men to come out on top here. However, Spurs never really threatened to steal all three points, despite dominating possession. The biggest reason for this was the absence of talisman Harry Kane, who missed this crucial tie with hamstring injury. Without him up top, Spurs never really had any clear chances, and United took advantage of that. Even though Son and Llorente are more than able deputies, does this display mean that Spurs indeed are a one-man army after all?
Bailly and Jones return
This match marked the return of both Jones and Bailly, who’d both been missing through injury, and their return has boosted the mood amongst the supporters. Jones, who hasn’t been considered an important player for majority of his United career, had a shaky moment as he could’ve gifted Spurs a goal, and Bailly’s passing was wayward in the first half. Despite that, fans weren’t worried and that was evident by the duo’s display in the second half. Time for Smalling, Lindelof and Co. To return to the bench?
Mourinho Silences Critics
Mourinho silenced his critics not just on the field but also with his gesture after the final whistle. He even talked of some people who speak too much, and his record against top 6 sides has probably improved after this win. The critics will probably remain silent at least until next weekend, when Mourinho faces his former club Chelsea in the league. A win there and you can silence them for even longer, Jose!
Mourinho’s men lined up in a 3-4-1-2 formation, with Valencia and Young as the wing backs. And both players were simply superb tonight. Valencia was flawless in defence and brilliant in attack, while Young had a great game, coming out on top after a battle with Aurier and a crowd-pleasing tussle with Alli in the second half. With United having some crucial games up next, fans would be hoping that these two converted wing-backs stay on top of their form. Simply because their good performances make United tick.