Manchester Utd 1:0 Tottenham Hotspur

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Anthony Martial scored soon after coming on, with about 10 minutes before the end of regulation. Some might argue the goal was against the run of play. But really it had been coming; as the longer the second half drew on, the more effective and the dangerous Manchester Utd counter attacks became.

Yes, Spurs had more of the ball and more initiative. This is how they win most of their games. They out work opponents, with energy levels allegedly gotten through illegal means. However, for all of their attacking verve they are not a very creative side. With the exception of Erickson, their midfield is filled with high energy, physical players. Dembele is a good dribbler but is he going to find that killer pass? Alli is more of a finisher than a creator, which is why he’s not very effective in an England shirt. Dyer is a good passer and a good set piece taker, but usually sits too deep to really make an impact in the final third. With Erickson having a sub par performance, Tottenham punched themselves out.

Failing to score in a dominant first half, the patience employed by Mourinho’s men, paid off in the end; as Lukaku’s header which came off the post in the second half, augured what was to come from Martial, not long after.

Mourinho, who is oftentimes criticized (fairly) for employing dull tactics against fellow top teams, was clearly going for the win, especially after having weathered the first half storm without conceding. Tottenham’s attacks became less and less effective as Manchester Utd took more and more chances on the break, eventually leading to Martial’s goal. Alli did miss a chance right before that goal, but for all of Tottenham’s attacking, one good chance in the second half was not enough for all of their endeavour.

Many people will look at Harry Kane’s absence as the reason for Tottenham’s defeat at Old Trafford, but even with Kane on the pitch, they are a team over reliant on Erickson’s creativity. Their physicality and high energy levels, along with their relentless attacking displays, will get them many points this season, but they have yet to show the creativity of the other top teams in the BPL.


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Dean Nestor

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