Manchester United’s Anthony Martial rises to occasion to sink Spurs

Even without Harry Kane, Tottenham held the upper hand for much of this closely contested game, though Manchester United are no mugs under José Mourinho and they stuck grimly to their task to pick up an important win with a late Anthony Martial goal. That is not to suggest the game itself was grim, though scoreless for 81 minutes it was nothing like as barren as United’s draw at Anfield a fortnight ago but two good sides were cancelling each other out until Spurs were undone by a long ball from the back.Both sides employed similar formations with three central defenders, though Tottenham’s three were that little bit better at playing out from the back. The visitors made better use of the ball all over the pitch throughout the first half, in fact, with Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli and Harry Winks all possessing a subtlety and invention in passing that the home side mostly lacked. Spurs obviously missed Kane getting on the end of their best moves though at least they were producing some moves and finding each other confidently. United were predictably stodgier; with Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera occupying two of the midfield positions, Mourinho seemed to be relying on Henrikh Mkhitaryan to supply the creativity, with the result that Marcus Rashford and Romelu Lukaku were rarely brought into the game. Continue reading…

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