Manchester United won 1-0 on Saturday afternoon against Tottenham Hotspur and showed real strength of character. The match came just seven days after the 2-1 defeat against Huddersfield, during which the team did not even resemble a good side.
It was an appalling result, but furthermore, it was an appalling performance overall. The players did not look like they were doing their best and Huddersfield were deserved the three points. However, Manchester United did exactly what they were supposed to do after such a match.
Man United returned to the winning ways. It sounds simplistic and easy to say, but that was very important thing to do. The media stopped talking about the blip and the poor performance, because they now turned attention to United’s better results.
First, it was Swansea City in the League Cup during midweek. Jose Mourinho expectedly opted for a rotated starting XI and the Devils controlled the game against a rotated Swansea team. The 2-0 win was what was needed to bring some of the peace back to Carrington and the match against Tottenham was awaiting.
Manchester United Controlled Tottenham
After the last weekend, it was supposed to be a very different game at Old Trafford. Tottenham were playing a swashbuckling manner against Liverpool, scoring four goals in the process and catching up with Man United in the league standings. United lost at Huddersfield and a lot of things looked grim for the Reds. However, Tottenham’s inexplicable loss to West Ham in League Cup after a 2-0 lead at half-time and the injury of Harry Kane meant their mood was not as great by the time they arrived to Manchester.
Mourinho’s team controlled the game for the most part. Tottenham’s ball possession was not of great importance as the players in red shirts were concentrated and well organised. Tottenham wanted to be dangerous once again with Heung Min Son as a makeshift striker, but he was denied of space. Liverpool were almost happy to give it away at Wembley, while Mourinho organised his team to seat deeper and negate the pace of Spurs players. The visitors were dangerous one occasion when Dele Alli could have scored easily. Yet, Manchester United players made sure his miss was punished.
Plenty Of Room For Improvement
Manchester United won the game in a proper Jose Mourinho match. Yet, throughout the match, there was no feeling that this was the best Man United display. No, the Reds played without some important players, including Paul Pogba, and they did not shift through many gears.
The Reds worked well in central areas of the pitch. They let Tottenham going around them but they could not find any solution. Manchester United were not attacking with flair or too much freedom, which only shows how rigid they were. They have already showed this season they know how to attack in numbers and score handful of goals. However, against a strong side like Tottenham, and without important players, Mourinho did not want to gamble too much. He found the way how to win, and performances from Romelu Lukaku and Henrikh Mkhitaryan in particular can only improve from this point.