Spurs make ‘statement’ with emphatic win at Old Trafford
Second-half goals from Harry Kane and Lucas Moura clinch three points against Man United
28 August, 2018 — By Dan Carrier
FA Premier League
MANCHESTER UNITED 0
SPURS 3 (Kane 50, Moura 52, 84).
SPURS sent the rest of the Premier League a huge statement last night (Monday) as they destroyed Manchester United at Old Trafford in a comprehensive 3-0 win.
While much focus in the aftermath of the victory, which featured three excellent second-half goals from Harry Kane and Lucas Moura, was on the perceived failings of Jose Mourinho’s side, Tottenham showed they have come of age.
Speaking after the game, Kane, who set the ball rolling with a brilliant headed effort early in the second half, said winning against the likes of United showed he and his team-mates were ready to offer a genuine challenge for the title.
He said: “It’s what we needed. We wanted to put a statement out. We knew it was going to be tough and it was, especially in the first half.”
After an evenly matched opening period, Spurs came out and blew United away.
Kane added: “We said at half-time we needed to step it up a gear and that’s what we did. In these games, the first goal is so important, getting that breakthrough. We got it and punished them after that. The team was fantastic, the defence stayed solid. It is a huge win.”
On top of the victory, Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino gave games to Toby Alderwerield, Danny Rose and Mousa Dembele – all recently linked with moves away – and showed they are still very much in the first-team fold.
In a slap-dash first half, United offered plenty of huff and puff – there was no way Mourinho’s players could be accused of not playing for the shirt – but not enough guile to get their noses in front. Romelu Lukaku was guilty of one terrible miss. Latching onto a sloppy backpass by the ring-rusty Rose, he rounded Hugo Lloris but skewed wide of an open goal.
Spurs went toe to toe with United, scrapping for everything, and the bright Moura should have win a penalty when a mazy run was brought to a shuddering halt in the box by a hefty shove from Phil Jones. Referee Craig Pawson was on hand and should have given the spotkick. Instead, he waved play on.
Whatever Pochettino said at half-time was magic as Spurs came out with the same level of aggression but this time applied composure too – and immediately looked dangerous.
Kieran Trippier lofted a corner in, Kane lost his marker and placed an arching header home.
United could not respond. Two minutes later, Christian Eriksen broke into space and picked Moura out. The Brazilian made no mistake and United went from being on the ropes to hitting the canvas.
Mourinho sent on substitutes Alexis Sanchez, Marouane Fellaini and Victor Lindelof in a six-minute tactical flurry but it smacked of desperation rather than any careful assessment of why his side were being battered by this exuberant Spurs team. For Tottenham, two goals up, came a ruthlessness not usually associated with the club as they closed the game down and sucked the rhythm out of United.
On 84 minutes, Moura set off after a Kane ball, skinned the hapless Chris Smalling, and buried a low effort past De Gea to seal this famous victory.
Manchester United: De Gea, Jones (Lindelof, 58) Matic (Fellaini, 61), Smalling, Valencia, Fred, Herrera (Sanchez, 55), Shaw, Pogba, Lingard, Lukaka.
Subs not used: Grant, Young, McTominay, Rashford.
Spurs: Lloris, Vertonghen, Alderweireld, Rose (Davies, 81) Trippier (Aurier, 76) Dembele, Dier, Eriksen, Alli, Moura, Kane (Winks, 89).
Subs not used: Vorm, Sanchez, Llorente, Amos.