Manchester United 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur – BBC Sport

Anthony Martial

Anthony Martial has scored four goals as a substitute in this season’s Premier League

Anthony Martial’s late winner kept Manchester United in second place in the Premier League as they edged out Spurs in a hard-fought encounter at Old Trafford.

Martial’s introduction for Marcus Rashford after 70 minutes was not well received by some Manchester United supporters – but manager Jose Mourinho’s move proved to be a masterstroke as the French striker raced on to Romelu Lukaku’s header to beat Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris with only nine minutes left.

It was a narrow victory United just about deserved after creating the better chances in the second half, Lukaku producing an outstanding save from Lloris and hitting the woodwork with a header.

Spurs missed the goalscoring threat and presence of the injured Harry Kane, creating little other than a chance which Dele Alli steered just wide from Christian Eriksen’s cross with the game still goalless.

In the end, Mourinho’s change and Martial’s penalty box finish made the difference as United recovered from last week’s surprise loss at Huddersfield Town.

Mourinho switch pays off

Media playback is not supported on this device

Bad shots can be genius – Mourinho on Martial’s winner

When Mourinho removed Rashford and sent on Martial with 20 minutes left, sections of Old Trafford signalled – and indeed gestured – their disapproval at the move.

It was actually the catalyst for United’s match-winning surge as they finally pierced the defensive barrier erected by Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino.

Romelu Lukaku, who had endured a frustrating afternoon, burst into life with a run and shot that was brilliantly saved by Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris then had a header that bounced to safety off the post.

Martial goal<!–

The move that led to the winning goal was simplicity itself, with Lukaku flicking on De Gea’s clearance into the path of Martial

United built momentum after Mourinho’s change and it was Lukaku who rose to send a header into Martial’s path for a finish that was not clean but good enough.

Mourinho had criticism to contend with for his approach to the goalless draw at Liverpool a fortnight ago – but here he made the tactical tweak that proved decisive.

The Harry Kane Team?

Pochettino was, with very good reason, outraged by Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola’s description of Tottenham as “the Harry Kane team.”

There is so much more to Spurs than that in the shape of Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli and a superbly-drilled defence – but here they missed that edge of menace the 24-year-old would have provided.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Pochettino ‘very disappointed’ following late defeat

Spurs are not ‘the Harry Kane team’ in the slightest – but any side in the world would miss a striker in the sort of form England’s captain is currently in.

Son Heung-min battled hard before he was replaced by Fernando Llorente but neither could replicate the sort of threat Kane has been producing in recent weeks.

Mourinho will also point out he was missing key midfielder Paul Pogba – but there was no doubt, despite the defiant message from Pochettino before the kick-off, that Spurs were dealt a huge blow to their plans by Kane’s hamstring injury.

Lukaku’s persistence is rewarded – and Young is re-born

Lukaku was given a real show of faith by Mourinho when he persisted with the striker after deciding to make changes.

It could just as easily have been Lukaku who was withdrawn rather than Rashford as the game entered its final phase – but Mourinho stuck with his summer purchase from Everton and it paid dividends.

The £90m striker had been a figure of frustration for much of the game as he gestured to his team-mates for greater and quicker support as he battled against Eric Dier, Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld.

And yet, through sheer persistence and determination, he was able to make a key contribution to set up Martial’s late winner.

Another key figure for United was the rejuvenated Ashley Young, employed down the left-flank, defending tirelessly and occasionally delivering the sort of dangerous crosses that were his trademark as a flying winger.

He fully deserved the standing ovation he received from Old Trafford when he was taken off in stoppage time.

Man of the match – Ashley Young

Ashley Young<!–

Ashley Young had 79 touches of the ball, and was a potent threat from the left flank with four crosses

What they said

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho: “That was difficult, it could have been a draw. Both teams were trying to win but both knew the opponent was strong.

“Apart from Dele Alli’s chance, we controlled them well. It was tactically difficult for both and it was well refereed. It was strong, aggressive.

“We knew if we had one defensive mistake we could lose and that’s what happened to them.

“We tried and we deserved the victory.”

Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino: “It was an even game. It was a shame to lose. The chances were for one and then the other. It was a tough game and I think we deserved more. I feel proud of the effort and it was unlucky that in the last 10 minutes we conceded our goal. It was our mistake.

“It is important to be calm and in football these type of mistakes happen. We must fix that and move on. We cannot change the result.

“We contained United very well. Always we were in control of the game. We had the ball but it is true we did not create enough chances to score. In this type of game if you make a mistake you lose.”

United maintain mean mood at home – the stats

  • Manchester United have kept a clean sheet in each of their first five home league games of a season for the first time since 2007/08.
  • They have kept six consecutive home clean sheets in the league; they last managed more in March 2010 with seven.
  • United have now scored 10 goals in the last 10 minutes of Premier League games this season, 43% of their total.
  • Romelu Lukaku has had a hand in 10 goals in the Premier League this season (seven goals, three assists), a joint-high along with Sergio Aguero.
  • Only three of Spurs’ 13 shots in the game came in the second-half, with none of their four shots on target coming after the break.
  • Spurs have lost consecutive games (in all competitions) for the first time since February, when they lost to Liverpool and Gent.

What’s next?

United host Benfica in the Champions League on Tuesday, 31 October at 19:45 GMT before another tough Premier League outing, away to Chelsea at 16:30 on Sunday, 5 November. Spurs welcome Real Madrid to Wembley at 19:45 on Wednesday, 1 November and then face Crystal Palace in a midday kick-off next Sunday.

Live Text

Match ends, Manchester United 1, Tottenham Hotspur 0.

Second Half ends, Manchester United 1, Tottenham Hotspur 0.

Foul by Fernando Llorente (Tottenham Hotspur).

Chris Smalling (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution, Manchester United. Matteo Darmian replaces Ashley Young.

Attempt missed. Jesse Lingard (Manchester United) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high. Assisted by Ander Herrera following a fast break.

Harry Winks (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Ander Herrera (Manchester United).

Foul by Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur).

Ashley Young (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt blocked. Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Mousa Dembélé.

Foul by Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur).

Eric Bailly (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Goal! Manchester United 1, Tottenham Hotspur 0. Anthony Martial (Manchester United) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Romelu Lukaku with a through ball.

Offside, Tottenham Hotspur. Harry Winks tries a through ball, but Serge Aurier is caught offside.

Attempt missed. Nemanja Matic (Manchester United) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United) hits the right post with a header from the centre of the box. Assisted by Jesse Lingard with a cross.

Attempt missed. Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from very close range is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Christian Eriksen with a through ball.

Attempt missed. Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Mousa Dembélé.

Antonio Valencia (Manchester United) is shown the yellow card.

Antonio Valencia (Manchester United) has gone down, but that’s a dive.

Attempt missed. Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Nemanja Matic.

Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jesse Lingard (Manchester United).

Substitution, Manchester United. Anthony Martial replaces Marcus Rashford.

Harry Winks (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ander Herrera (Manchester United).

Foul by Mousa Dembélé (Tottenham Hotspur).

Chris Smalling (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution, Manchester United. Jesse Lingard replaces Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Attempt missed. Antonio Valencia (Manchester United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is just a bit too high following a corner.

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Fernando Llorente.

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Harry Winks.

Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Mousa Dembélé replaces Moussa Sissoko.

Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Fernando Llorente replaces Son Heung-Min.

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Son Heung-Min.

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Eric Dier.

Attempt blocked. Antonio Valencia (Manchester United) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Ander Herrera.

Attempt blocked. Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Attempt saved. Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Manchester United) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Comments

Write a Reply or Comment:

Your email address will not be published.*