Saturday, January 12, 2019 15:00
London HA9 0WS
Homeground of England
Match Report for Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester United
Wednesday, January 31, 2018 Wembley Stadium
What a night this turned out to be! The match was an incredible spectacle, set against the backdrop of personal ordeal for some of the Manchester United players, Jose Mourinho losing his temper, his patience and any dreams of still being in the title race and almost a record-breaker for first goal in the Premier League for Eriksen. In an interesting note, that record belongs to ANOTHER Spurs player: Ledley King against Bradford in 10 seconds back in 2000.
The match was off to an electric start when, from the kick-off, Vertonghen's pass was intercepted by Kane, knocking it down to Son, who was blocked, then a flick from Alli to Eriksen catches the United defence asleep. Eriksen gets the ball 12 yards from the goal and first-touches the ball into the left side of the net.
United tried to attack back, but were denied at every opportunity. Along with that, their defense just couldn't handle the onslaught from Spurs, who had their best showing since their war against Real Madrid in early November. Eriksen, Son and Kane had them out-played physically and mentally in every way.
The 28th minute was when the writing was on the wall for Manchester United and any hopes they had for the title. A cross from Trippier to Kane got intercepted by Phil Jones, unfortunately the defender couldn't get a good stop on the ball, and knocked it past De Gea, conceding an own goal. From then, United's players morale was shattered, Mourinho was in a fury & Spurs dominated the game and never looked back.
While Spurs continued the onslaught for the rest of the game, unfortunately they couldn't close the deal on any more chances, with De Gea putting in more effort than he has had to in a while. As hard as Kane was trying to break into the century club, he wasn't able to score his 100th goal in the Premier League on this occasion.
The rest of the first half ended up being a montage of United conceding fouls, Spurs carving through their defense and then missing their final touches. Special mention should go to Dembele for being almost omnipresent and taking full control of the midfield.
Half-time started early for Mourinho as he shuffled into the tunnel in the 43rd minute, presumably to get out some frustration before talking to his team in the break.
Spurs started the second half on the right foot, with Kane being left unmarked in United's area, though he was offside, and kicked it straight at De Gea. Son then wasted an opportunity for an open goal by sliding down to Kane, opting instead to try to face De Gea head-on and clearing the ball well wide. Kane ended up understandably furious.
Kane wasn't the only furious person in the stadium, with Mourinho's patience failing him. He tried to save some face for his team by sending on Fellaini for Pogba, but after seven minutes, Fellaini's old knee injury recurred, forcing the manager's hand into sending Herrera on instead. After this strange turn of events, it was obvious United weren't getting back into the game, with Spurs attacking team just messing around with United's defense.
This evening, Tottenham out-performed Manchester United in every way and again told the story of a global power-house underestimating the little team from North London. 6 shots (3 on target) from Manchester United, 22 shots (6 on target) from Spurs.
It's fair to say, this match may well be the sounding-bell for the days when playing cautious, defensive football could win Premier League titles. Those tactics won't play anymore now that managers like Pochettino and Guardiola are ruling the league.