Article by Rory Thompson -Follow @rory4spurs
Truly a game of 2 halves, in the past the first half could have led to a “Spursy” performance but Pochettino has improved the resilience of this squad. The final result seemed impossible after the first half. United could have gone in 2 nil up at least. Eriksen, Dembele and Rose seemed to be playing the worst of a woeful Spurs team. Lukaku could have scored, Lucas could have been sent off and the vast majority of Spurs passes were either off target or intercepted. Spurs were incredibly sloppy and were lucky to go into half time drawing.
Thankfully Pochettino focused the boys at half time and the first 10 minutes of the second half was scintillating. Moura could have scored after a Kane had a shot that was parried. Then a glorious corner from Tripper (who seems to now take a fair share of set pieces) allowed Kane to get his first goal at Old Trafford. Kane towered above Jones to head inside the side netting leaving De Gea with no chance.
A minute later, Lloris had to make a fantastic save from Pogba and then immediately after that, Lucas Moura got his first goal. Eriksen, who was arguably Spurs’ worst player in the first half, beat the United offside trap and then crossed for Moura to finish into the bottom corner.
Once Spurs went 2-0 up, United made changes with Alexis Sanchez and Marouane Fellaini coming on and United changing from a back 5 to a back 4 and with a more attacking focus. However, Spurs were resolute in blocking them out. Alderweireld and Vertonghen looked fantastic together at the back, reminding fans of how fantastic they were two years ago.
Pochettino could have brought on Davison Sanchez, moved to a back 5 and played defensively but instead he focused on refreshing the full backs. Originally, Pochettino had planned for Moura to come off for Winks but with Rose needing replacing Davies came on. Three minutes later, Moura got the ball and skipped past Smalling and smashed the ball past De Gea to consolidate the win. After that, the game drifted on until the final whistle confirmed Spurs biggest win at Old Trafford for over 40 years.
Pochettino: Was incredibly proud of the team. Realises that the first half was disappointing but the second half was much better. Focusing on fans lowering expectations as we are only three games into the season. Respect is mutual between him and the squad as shown by the way he greeted each player after the final whistle.
Mourinho: Proud of the fans and showed it by his bizarre applause after the final whistle. Explained how the team are all united together. Is he trying to get all fans on his side, against the board and potentially into a similar position to Rafa Benitez? He would not be questioned on the centre back problem. However, the post-match conference shows that he seems to be feeling the pressure.
Lloris: 7 – Pivotal save from Pogba, enabled Spurs to get a 2-0 lead rather than a 1-1 draw.
Tripper: 6 – Good but uninspiring performance. Fantastic assist for Kane goal.
Vertonghen: 7 – Solid at the back, barely put a foot wrong.
Alderweireld: 7 – Showed how much he has been missed by making several key challenges.
Rose: 6 – Still working his way back to form of about 2 years ago.
Dier: 6 – Frustrating first half but was particularly good against Fellaini when he came on.
Dembele: 7 – Awful first half but was vintage Dembele in the second half, much calmer on the ball and stopped several United attacks.
Lucas: 9 – 2 goals and is now Spurs top scorer at Old Trafford, chased down every ball.
Eriksen: 6 – Worst half I have seen in the first half. He improved, got an assist but was generally a match to forget.
Alli: 8 – Good on the ball, always looking to get past a player and deserved a goal.
Kane: 7 – Goal inspired confidence and lead from the front as always.
Aurier: 6 – Not enough time to gain a rating.
Davies: 6 – Not enough time to gain a rating.
Winks 6 – Good to see him return from injuring but not enough time to gain a rating.
Opposition Player who shone
Luke Shaw – Last year was singled out for criticism by Jose Mourinho but is easily their player of the season so far. Made several runs forward and made key passes in the first half that nearly give United the lead.
Best Social Media
Several players put statuses about how happy they were with the win but it was fantastic to see Toby and Moussa put positive messages, hopefully this shows they are back in the Pochettino fold.