Premier League runners-up Tottenham Hotspur had little to fight for against Manchester United with Chelsea already securing their Premier Leeague title, but Mauricio Pochettino’s men were still rather motivated to bid farewell to their iconic ground White Hart Lane with a win over Red Devils.
As Tottenham wave goodbye to the Lane and clinch their second spot in the standings, here is a full match report:
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The hosts headed into the high-profile clash against Manchester United unbeaten throughout the entire season and were eager to continue the trend and go unbeaten in a campaign for the first time since 1964/65 season. The Spurs were rather motivated and went on against Red Devils in high spirits, despite their demoralizing loss in the previous round at West Ham, which effectively ended their Premier League dream.
Manchester United seem like they’ve given up on Premier League top-four hopes long before their trip to White Hart Lane. Jose Mourinho’s men saw their 11-match unbeaten run in all competition come to its end at the Emirates last time out as the Portuguese tactician made even eight changes to his first team. Red Devils have their heads in the Europa League finals already and motivation was the questionable factor ahead of the match.
Spurs welcomed United without Danny Rose and Harry Winks, who are still suffering from knee and ankle injuries, respectively. Red Devils’ injury list is quite lengthy as Mourinho was forced to do without Fosu-Mensah, Ibrahimovic, Pogba, Rojo, Shaw, Young and suspended Fellaini.
Both sets of players were greeted by a wonderful atmosphere at White Hart Lane with Spurs fans signing throughout the match to provide wind into their team’s wings in the last-ever match on the iconic ground.
Their support was given credit after only six minutes into the game as Victor Wanyama puts Tottenham up with a wonderful header. Ben Davies provided a perfectly lofted pass for Wanyama who soared up in the sky to latch on the ball with full power from inside the area and send it into the left side of the goal.
Spurs took full control early in the match and only allowed Manchester United to come close to scoring once, through Anthony Martial after 18 minutes in the game. The French forward found himself unmarked on the edge of the box and attempted a clever drag into the far corner, but saw his effort go just wide of the right post.
The hosts responded through Heung-Min Son who made a wonderful run into the area and in front of David De Gea, only to see his shot towards the middle of the goal thwart it with a sublime save.
The Spanish goalkeeper singlehandedly kept Manchester United alive through the first half as he made a couple of decisive clearances to give his team some sort of hope. His teammates, on the other hand, produced one of the weaker displays of the season thus far as their failed to get the hold of the game and produce anything noteworthy for the better part of the first period.
The second term started the same way first started.
It only took four minutes for Tottenham to double the lead and turn this match into a comfortable cruise. Harry Kane will love his goal today as it is his first-ever against Manchester United. The England international pulled of a brilliant flick to divert Eriksen’s free kick into the top corner and celebrated with great emotion as he couldn’t have chosen the better time to open his scoring versus the only top-flight side he was yet to score against.
Having scored their second goal in the game, Tottenham looked as if they pulled back a bit, allowing Manchester United more breathing space than it was the case in the first part of the match.
Jose Mourinho made a couple of tactical changes to his team with Tuanzebe making way for Herera and Lingard stepping down for Mkhitaryan on the hour mark and these paid dividends. Wayne Rooney got pushed further up the field from his midfield position, whereas Martial was instructed to go wider on the left and it was exactly these two who ended up making a crucial move with 20 minutes on the clock to offer a lifeline for Red Devils.
Anthony Martial did well down the left side before picking out the run of Wayne Rooney, who stepped in front of Jan Vertonghen and made a decisive tap in to make the result 2-1. The ball bounced off slightly off the Belgium defender’s foot, but it was Rooney who takes full credit for adding some spice to the finish of the match.
Rooney’s goal woke the hosts up, who could have added the third goal with five minutes on the clock when Dele Alli collected a brilliant pass inside the box to find himself into a fine goalscoring opportunity. The England international, however, was unlucky as his shot got blocked out from the goal line.
There were no changes to the scoreline in the end as Tottenham wrapped up the match with a well-deserved victory over an opponent whose head was elsewhere for the good part of the game.
- Tottenham will finish the season unbeaten at home
- Harry Kane scored his first-ever goal against Manchester United
- Rooney’s goal at White Hart Lane makes him the best away scorer (7) at Tottenham
- Spurs dominated possession with 61% to United’s 39%
- Tottenham made the total of 14 goal attempts to United’s 7
TOTENHAM: Lloris 7 – Trippier 7 (Walker 6.5), Alderweireld 7.5, Vertonghen 7, Davies 7 0 Dier 7.5, Wanyama 8 – Eriksen 7.5, Alli 7, Son 6.5 (Dembele 6.5) – Kane 8.
Unused subs: Janssen, N’Koudou, Sissoko, Vorm, Wimmer.
MANCHESTER UNITED: De Gea 7.5 – Bailly 7, Smalling 6.5, Jones 6.5, Blind 6 – Carrick 6.5, Tuanzebe 6.5 (Herrera 6.5) – Lingard 6 (Mkhitaryan 6), Mata 6 (Rashford 6), Rooney 7.5 – Martial 7.5.
Unused subs: Darmian, McTominay, Mitchell, Romero.
REFEREE: Jonathan Moss
Other results today
Crystal Palace 4-0 Hull City
West Ham 0-4 Liverpool
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