It will be blood and thunder on Sunday evening as Ole’s United team will take on Jose and his Tottenham side at Old Trafford. The Lilywhites played well recently, winning the contest against Chelsea in the Carabao Cup. They played exceptionally at the weekend but only managed a draw against Newcastle United in the Premier League. Lucas Moura scored his first goal since December 2019 and gave his club a well-deserved lead in the 29th minute. However, it was another controversial VAR decision that came into the limelight. The referee awarded Newcastle a penalty in the 90+7th minute where Wilson equalised with perfection. Eric Dier found cupable for the foul with a controversial handball inside the penalty box.
Whereas United had a nervy win over Brighton and certainly haven’t had the best of starts to this campaign. It was Fernandes’s late and dramatic stoppage time penalty that saved United from the jaws of embarrassment. United managed 47% of possession with just 7 attempted shots in the match. And it showed as Matt Ryan had very little to do in comparison to David de Gea. The Seagulls hit the woodwork five times which kept the Spanish international vigilant throughout the entire 90 minutes. United’s performance was truly an epitome of poor team coordination and a lack of a game plan. Their urge and knack for scoring goals was completely missing at the Amex.
Son Heung-min, who was awe-inspiring against The Saints, scored a stunning hattrick which helped his club in a 5-2 triumph. He was also unlucky to hit the woodwork in two occasions against The Magpies. Tottenham have to travel to Manchester without Son as he left the field at halftime due to hamstring injury. Manchester United would like to capitalise on the opportunity to make an impression this time after horrendous shows in their last two league games. In order to get a much-needed comprehensive victory, they need to play their hearts out against a good Spurs side.
United looked in good touch when they last played against Tottenham away from home back in July. Ole’s Tricky Reds came back from behind to earn a point courtesy of a well-deserved penalty from Bruno Fernandes. Eric Dier at fault in that match as he fouled Pogba in the 18-yard box. United deserved more than a point. From possession to chances created, all stats were far superior in a dominant performance against Jose Mourinho’s side. Bergwijn produced a brilliant opening goal and gave his club a crucial lead in the 27th minute. A great run past the United defenders and a powerful finish to beat De Gea.
When United will take on Spurs on Saturday, it will be their fourth game in eight days for Spurs. As a result they may suffer from an early-season fatigue. Solskjaer should now start believing on Donny Van de Beek as he has all the capabilities of becoming one of the potential midfielders for the Red Devils. They would like to find their rhythm back before it gets too late. Although Paul Pogba scored a stunner from a long range in the last match he has not been in greatest of form since his recovery from COVID-19. The former Ajax player has not featured in the starting line-up in the league matches yet, can be a great replacement for Pogba. At least while he remains not fully fit.
Juan Mata, who has been in and out of United’s starting lineup over the past few seasons, has proved his mettle once again by providing an assist and a goal in his name. The Spaniard was one of the main architects of United’s victory over the Seagulls yesterday. The fans now demand for Mata to be in the starting XI for Sunday’s epic clash.
With this shaky United defence, Tottenham slightly have the upper hand to get past the victory line. If Solskjaer really wants to get a positive result this time, he should start Eric Bailly in place of Lindelof. The Ivorian had an excellent record with 100% tackles won and 91% pass accuracy in his last match against Brighton.