There have been actually solely two methods this match would end — both Jose Mourinho would proceed on his street to redemption by successful his first recreation again at Outdated Trafford, or Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would present that he’s the person for Manchester United’s future, by placing one over the outdated grasp.
The truth that it was the latter slightly than the previous owed every little thing to the efficiency of Marcus Rashford, who scored twice and will have had extra on an evening when United’s collective want to to beat up their former boss was better than Tottenham’s makes an attempt to maintain their upwards momentum since Mourinho took cost a fortnight in the past.
The consequence ended a run of three straight wins for Spurs in that point, and allowed United to maneuver to sixth place.
Billing this as sorcerer v apprentice could be doing a disservice to Solskjaer, who has now managed United for nearly a 12 months, since Mourinho was sacked final December.
However there was no scarcity of intrigue in watching how the 2 managers matched up, with Mourinho returning to his former membership on a excessive, and Solskjaer reportedly at risk of dismissal.
They each set their groups up identically however accidents meant Tottenham regarded to have the stronger ahead line, with Harry Kane, Heung Min Son and Lucas Moura supplemented by man of the second Dele Alli, who has been reborn below Mourinho.
United have been with out Anthony Martial, which not solely meant one other begin for teenager Mason Greenwood, but in addition put the duty for main the road on to Rashford, who responded beautifully.
The younger United striker was very good, and will have had a hat-trick within the first-half alone, when United dominated from the beginning and took a deserved lead, solely to be pegged again in opposition to the run of play by a chunk of magic from Dele Alli.
And with observers questioning whether or not a United facet who’ve thrown away leads so usually in current weeks would crumble after the equaliser, it was Rashford who put forward once more, successful a penalty after which placing it away with a coolness belying his 21 years.
However you must say he was aided and abetted by some woeful defending from Tottenham, particularly within the troublesome right-back space that opponents are beginning to exploit as a weak spot.
Serge Aurier is an eccentric participant, generally an asset in assault however all the time a legal responsibility on the again, and Rashford exploited Tottenham’s weakest hyperlink ruthlessly. Nominally beginning as a central striker, Rashford discovered most pleasure in drifting out to his extra favoured place on the left wing after which reducing in to shoot or run at objective.
He mixed the 2 to deadly impact when he opened the scoring within the sixth minute, exploiting the house Aurier left behind him to chop in and hearth a shot in direction of the close to put up that Paolo Gazzaniga ought to have carried out extra with than merely flapping it on to the woodwork and into the web.
The Argentinian goalkeeper partly redeemed himself with a few saves to disclaim Rashford, however had little probability when the England striker scored once more, from the penalty spot, after a rash foul by Moussa Sissoko, one other participant who’s happier going ahead than defending.
These two, and central defender Davinson Sanchez, have been significantly poor and Mourinho is aware of now the areas that want strengthening if Spurs are to keep away from this unlucky behavior of conceding two objectives in every of the 4 video games they’ve performed below him.
For all Alli’s magic and Kane’s prowess, Tottenham won’t problem for the trophies Mourinho has targetted whereas they proceed to leak objectives. It’s not in contrast to the times below Ossie Ardiles and his Well-known 5 attacking formation. However it’s most in contrast to a Mourinho facet. His profitable sides have often been miserly and pragmatic, discovering a technique to win video games when it issues. However final evening Spurs confirmed the issues that value Mauricio Pochettino his job.
But Solskjaer has proven at instances that he can ship out a facet able to successful when it means most, too, as he did at Wembley final season when United rode their luck to win by means of a breakaway objective from Rashford.
It was a turning level for the Norwegian, getting one over Pochettino, the person who was tipped then and is once more mooted as the person to succeed him as Manchester United supervisor. However this recreation was nothing like final 12 months’s assembly at Wembley, nor the equal at Outdated Trafford when Tottenham ended up 3-Zero winners.
This time, United have been on high from the beginning, filled with vitality, closing down Tottenham’s gamers and never allow them to get going. Though they regarded understandably dispirited and ragged when Dele Alli equalised, Solksjaer’s males pulled themselves collectively to go once more after half-time, regain the lead and shut out a worthwhile victory.
A triumph for him, for United and a time for Mourinho to mirror on the dimensions of his activity at Tottenham.