Tottenham blitzed Manchester United in the second-half to run out 3-0 winners at Old Trafford.
United had the lion’s share of possession in the opening stages and looked defensively solid. A much-changed line-up saw Herrera operating on the right side of a back three which added an energy and mobility to United’s defensive unit.
Tottenham for their part looked patient and safe in the knowledge that a moment of brilliance from Eriksen or Alli could unlock a United defence short on confidence.
Lukaku missed a golden opportunity in the 16th minute when he latched on to a loose back-pass from Rose and rounded Lloris only to put the ball inches wide of the far post.
Tottenham will feel aggrieved that they were not awarded a penalty in the 30th minute when Moura was bundled over in the box by Jones after a winding run into United territory. Aside from this, Tottenham were limited to half-chances with Herrera and Smalling making some crucial challenges to keep the scores level.
Neither side could find the back of the net in the first-half. United were left ruing Lukaku’s early miss while Tottenham will be making the case for the use of VAR after being denied a definite penalty.
Tottenham looked much more energetic in the second half and, after winning a corner, Kane broke the deadlock in the 50th minute with a beautifully placed header into the corner of De Gea’s net.
Moura doubled their lead two minutes later as Tottenham tore apart a ragged-looking United. Trippier found Eriksen in acres of space on the right who calmly squared the ball to Moura. Despite being surrounded by three United players, Moura slotted the ball past De Gea with ease.
Moura capped a magisterial performance in the 84th minute as he waltzed past the United defence to put Tottenham 3-0 up. After picking up the ball at the half way line, Moura turned Smalling inside out and buried the ball past De Gea.
Spurs break their Old Trafford curse
Much had been made of Tottenham’s inactivity in the transfer window this summer with the club failing to bring in a single player. Tottenham’s dedication to their principals is admirable in an age of nauseating financial excess and their continued stability and progress would not be sustainable under any other manager. Despite their lack of signings, Tottenham possess a supremely talented squad and manager. Moura, in particular, is really coming into his own this season after his move from PSG last January. Patience, discipline and class led them to their first win at Old Trafford in years.
Kane and Lukaku: A Tale of Two Strikers
Kane has had a blistering start to the 2018/19 season. While the striker was quiet in the first-half today, he was clinical when it mattered and put his team on the road to victory.
Lukaku, on the other hand, looked isolated up top for United. The striker’s miss in the 16th minute could have changed the complexion of the game and a player of his calibre needs to capitalize on opportunities such as these.
Mourinho’s Defensive Woes
Mourinho overhauled his starting line-up after a dismal performance against Brighton last week. Both Lindelof and Bailly were dropped from the defence, with the latter not even included in the matchday squad, and were replaced by Smalling and Jones. Another notable exclusion from the team sheet was Martial. These changes were all to little avail as Tottenham ran rampant against a United team which crumbled after Kane’s opener.
This could be the beginning of end for Mourinho at United who have looked lackluster and devoid of purpose in the opening stages of the season. United’s success under Mourinho last season was predicated on a stable defensive base which now appears entirely absent as they have conceded six goals in the last two matches.
Man of the Match: Lucas Moura was sublime tonight. Classy in possession, the winger oozed confidence as he ran the United defence ragged. Tottenham fans won’t mind their quiet transfer window if he keeps putting in performances like this.