Manchester United came in to today’s game against Tottenham Hotspur knowing that a win could kick start their season and send them in to the international break on a high. No way could anyone foresee how the game panned out. United produced a shambolic performance, finished the game with 10 men and obliterated 6-1 by Spurs. A team playing their fourth game in seven days. Two goals from Son and Kane and a goal each for Ndombele and Aurier condemned United to an embarrassing defeat.
First Half Analysis
United started perfectly after Davinson Sanchez bundled Martial over in the penalty area in the first 30 seconds. The referee awarded a penalty, which Bruno Fernandes duly tucked home. However that was as good as it got for United, Tottenham were 2-1 in front just seven minutes later. After a mixture of shambolic defending from United and quick thinking from Spurs the North London side were in front.
For the equaliser, it epitomised the match as a whole. The ball was bouncing around in the box Maguire attempts to head the ball back to keeper David De Gea, but doesn’t get enough on the header. There’s a scrabble in the box, Maguire appears to then pull down teammate, Luke Shaw inexplicably. Ndombele was on hand to smash home from close range. The second goal came due to a foul by Maguire on Kane. He gets up quickly and plays a smart ball to Son, who caught Bailly napping and finished expertly pass De Gea.
Tottenham continued to cut United apart on the counter. The Reds could have been even further behind if Son, Aurier and Lamela had converted their clear cut chances. 28 minutes in, just when things could not get any worse, a red card. The referee dismissed Anthony Martial for slapping Lamela on the neck. It was a soft decision. Coupled with Lamela elbowed Martial in the neck first, the referee and VAR somewhat unfairly decided it was just the Frenchman who should see red.
United never got themselves organised both positionally and mentally after Martial’s sending off. Two minutes after the red card and it was 3-1. Bailly played a careless ball across his box finding Son, who squared the ball to Kane. Opening his account in the game. Seven minutes later the game was over, but the embarrassment wasn’t. Once again, woeful defending from United and players badly out of position meant that Serge Aurier could play a simple low cross to the near post. Shaw vacated the area inexplicably. Leaving space for Son to slot the ball through the legs of the keeper, giving Spurs an unassailable 4-1 lead.
Second Half Analysis
At the start of the second half Solskjaer made a double substitution, a change with damage limitation in mind. Fred and Scott McTominay replaced Bruno and Nemanja Matic. The way United started the second half you could see the intention was to ensure they kept things tight. That plan worked for all of six minutes. Luke Shaw, for what felt like the umpteenth time found out of position, and Paul Pogba failed to follow his man as Hojberg played a simple pass to Aurier who just had to finish past an helpless De Gea. With that it was 5-1!
At this point United’s players were starting to lose their heads and flying in to challenges. Where this passion was earlier in the game I cannot say. Solskjær’s men were showing it in the wrong way. Bailly (a rake to Son’s Achilles) and Pogba (a kick out on Hojberg) were lucky to not see red themselves.
Pogba’s awful performance culminated in him giving away a clumsy penalty sliding in. In doing so he completely wiped out Spurs full back, Ben Davies. Harry Kane put away the subsequent penalty to make it 6-1 and complete the rout for Tottenham and humiliation for United. The game ended with Luke Shaw also lucky not to be sent off from the field. The team looking like a team at rock bottom.
United are left with serious issues facing the club. With one day remaining of the window and only three points from their first three games. Identical to that of the 2018/19 season in which United also lost to Spurs at home in a somewhat less embarrassing nature. It’s also the first time United have lost the first 2 home games of a campaign for the first time in their history.