It was a game full of inspiring moments from David De Gea who made a remarkable eleven saves to keep the Red Devil’s singular goal lead intact. The man of the match performance from the superb Spanish shot stopper saw United pick up perhaps their most hard fought three points under caretaker manager Ole Solskjaer. “To come here and beat Tottenham is fantastic,” Solskjaer exclaimed, “we hung on in the second half, but you’re allowed to have a good goalkeeper.”
The ex-Manchester United player has got off to a record breaking start winning six out of his first six games, something that has never been achieved by any other Manchester United manager. The man favourite to be the permanent United manager next season, Mauricio Pochettino, sat in the opposite dugout and watched his deflated Spurs side fail to score for the first time in eleven premier league matches. Despite not scoring, Tottenham had nineteen shots with eleven on target. “I think that’s why we love football,” Pochettino stated “it’s a game that can be unfair, but De Gea was incredible, all credit to him.”
Son slickly played a ball in behind the defence in the opening ten minutes to Harry Winks, whose uncontested shot went just wide of the post, it was a real opportunity for the young English midfielder to give Tottenham their dream start from ten yards, one that a more experienced finisher would’ve at least put on target.
United’s first chances fell quickly after. An Ashley Young cross which found Jese Lingard at the back post came to nothing as the scuffed shot went high of Hugo Lloris’ net. Marcus Rashford’s tame effort was easily caught after the end of an impressive counter attack just one minute later. The danger signs were emerging as Tottenham’s full backs attacking prowess left acres of space for Rashford and Martial to run into, it was a weakness that United learnt to expose more and more in the first half.
A beautiful cross by Trippier found Dele Alli knee it into the path of Harry Kane who tapped it into an open net. The English striker thought he had his fifteenth goal of the season only to be correctly judged offside by Mike Dean’s assistant.
Dead lock was broken just three minutes from half time as Kieren Trippier’s careless pass was intercepted by Lingard, Pogba picked up the ball and effortlessly placed a cross field pass into the simple run of Marcus Rahsford who was always going to beat Vertonghen in a foot race. The Manchester born starlet gained half a yard on the Belgian defender, who had just come back from a three month injury, to slot the ball into the far corner of the net. Hugo Lloris’ dive saw the French goalkeeper get a hand to the ball but it wasn’t enough to keep the precise, accurate shot from finding its target. 0-1, advantage, Manchester United.
Paul Pogba was exceptional for United throughout the game, he was the conductor behind the majority of the Red Devil’s chances. With four goals and five assists in his last six games under Ole Solskjaer it seems as if this may finally be the manager to unlock all of Pogbas endless potential and talent. Tottenham simply did not have an answer for the pure athleticism of the French world cup winner. An excellent individual performance from the Manchester United midfielder.
Manchester United looked rejuvenated and fresh after the team’s week of training in Dubai whilst Tottenham’s first half performance was lacklustre due to their midweek semi-final triumph against London rivals, Chelsea. “I don’t want to use all the games we have as an excuse,” Poccetinho explained. Midfield workhorse Moussa Sissoko pulled up with a groin injury just before halftime. “It was the reason we conceded our first goal,” said Poccetinho “Moussa is a key part of our midfield, we hope the injury isn’t too serious.”
Despite a jaded first half, Spurs started the second half with one aim, to win the match. Chances from Dele Alli and Harry Kane were expertly saved by De Gea, the the Spaniard had no idea the heroics he would have to conjure up in the upcoming forty-five minutes to ensure United got all three points.
David De Gea was immense throughout the second half, with his next save stopping a Harry Kane poked effort from seven yards out; however, his first phenomenal save came in the sixty-sixth minute when Marcus Rahsford was caught ball watching from a corner. Toby Alderwield darted to the front post to get a powerful, low driven shot off. De Gea quickly reacted by sticking out his left foot and kicking the ball off the line, an incredible save that left Spurs fans around Wembley thinking what more did their team have to do to score.
Spurs kept possession throughout the second half and accepted United’s invitation to attack. But with De Gea in super human form you could tell it wasn’t meant to be Spurs’ day. “We could’ve been more clinical,” Poccetinho sighed “but that is football.”
Tottenham’s final throw of the dice fell to Fernando Llorente whose chipped pass to Harry Kane was inches away from reaching the English strikers outstretched boot, if contact had been made it was almost guaranteed that the ball would’ve nestled in the back of the net. That small segment of the game in the dying moments of added time summed it up for Spurs. So close, yet so far.
To rub salt into the wounds, Harry Kane was saw limping off the pitch after the full time whistle. “We don’t know the extent of Harry’s injury,” said Poccetinho “we will know in the next few days the damage that has been caused.”
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