Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur: Premier League – live! | Football
August 27, 2018
60 min: “You’re getting sacked in the morning!” chant the Spurs fans, who are presumably directing that one at Mourinho rather than Pochettino.
59 min: Here’s some tactical analysis on Tottenham’s second goal from one of the more perceptive pundits around.
58 min: Victor Lindelof replaces Phil Jones. Antonio Valencia has been booked for clattering into Alli.
57 min: Victor Lindelof is going to come on for United soon. Phil Jones has a hamstring problem.
54 min: Tottenham are rampant! Now Alli surges through the middle and almost bursts clear after combining with Moura, only for Smalling to deny him in the nick of time. The locals are restless.
Kieran Trippier plays another pass down the line to Christian Eriksen, who’s played onside by Ander Herrera in the middle. Eriksen has the presence of mind to pick out the onrushing Lucas Moura, who has the desire to charge on to the ball and skim a drive into the bottom-right corner from 12 yards. That is a lovely goal and Manchester United are in big trouble now.
51 min: United look for an instant reponse, but Lukaku sees his curving drive pushed away by Lloris after bustling through. Rose manages to hook the loose ball clear.
A corner to Tottenham on the right. Kieran Trippier swings it in and Harry Kane levers Phil Jones aside before guiding a sumptuous header into the top-left corner, leaving De Gea rooted to the spot. It’s the first time Tottenham have scored at Old Trafford under Mauricio Pochettino!
GOAL! Manchester United 0-1 Tottenham (Kane, 50 min)
Harry Kane has his first goal at Old Trafford!
49 min: Tottenham’s passing has been appalling at times. But this is better. Eriksen escapes down the right and clips the ball back to Alli, who sees his low shot deflected wide by Smalling.
47 min: Alli spins adroitly and makes towards United’s area. He feeds Kane on the left and the striker tries to find Moura at the far post. It isn’t a great cross, but De Gea dives down to meet it and almost pushes it on to Moura’s head. With his goal unguarded, United’s goalkeeper is relieved to see the ball loop over the Brazilian’s leap.
46 min: Tottenham get the second half underway. They take 30 seconds to lose the ball, allowing United to attack. Shaw raids down the left again and knocks a pass inside to Pogba, who swings a decent shot just wide from 25 yards. “Fascinating duel between Pogba and Alli to see just who can waste more possession in a single half of football,” Christopher Faherty says. “Alli with the more decisive misses, Pogba the more habitual and careless offender. We eagerly await the second half.”
Half-time: Manchester United 0-0 Tottenham Hotspur
Manchester United have had the better chances and most of the play, but Tottenham will feel aggrieved not to have been awarded a penalty for Phil Jones’s push on Lucas Moura. Overall it’s been a weird, ragged game, with neither side particularly impressive.
42 min: Surrounded by three Spurs players, Pogba knocks a five-yard pass out of play before remonstrating with Valencia for failing to support him. Moments later Alderweireld launches a long ball towards Moura. The ball floats over the Brazilian and falls to Alli on the left. He takes a touch and looks certain to score, only for Herrera to throw himself in front of the England midfielder’s shot.
40 min: Vertonghen hoicks a long ball into the area. Kane’s presence leads to the ball dropping to Moura, who seems surprised when it reaches him. His miscontrol runs back to Eriksen, who sees his tame low shot from 18 yards saved by De Gea.
39 min: Mousa Dembele has been an issue for Spurs tonight. He’s been slow on the ball, which has stopped Spurs from building any rhythm, and his passing’s been poor. This is a player who was expected to leave Spurs at the start of the summer.
36 min: “I am as astonished as you that that clear penalty was not called,” JR in Illinois says. “Would you be more astonished to know that Lee Dixon didn’t think it was a penalty? Absolutely ridiculous. Spurs don’t deserve to be leading this game but they still should be.”
35 min: Harry Kane appears to have decided he’s a midfielder.
34 min: More United pressure. Fred tees up Pogba, who bends a low shot towards the left corner from 20 yards. Lloris pushes it away. The ball comes to Valencia and the right-back’s cross hits Vertonghen, who’s relieved to see it spin inches past the near post.
31 min: I’ve now seen that clumsy barge from Jones on Moura three or four times and I am astonished that Tottenham were not awarded a penalty.
30 min: Fred, who’s been impressive so far, bends a shot just past the far post from the right of Tottenham’s area.
29 min: Lucas Moura suddenly injects some urgency into Tottenham’s attack, speeding in from the right and using his strength to excellent effect. He bursts into the area and falls when Jones barges into him from behind. Craig Pawson waves Tottenham’s appeals away. It was a clear penalty. A pathetic decision from the referee.
26 min: Fred crosses from the left and Lukaku mistimes his header, glancing well wide. It was another good chance for the United forward.
25 min: De Gea just clears Moura’s head with a pass to Jones. That was close. The ball reaches Matic, but he doesn’t want it. Spurs swarm over him and Alli makes off with the ball, with United badly exposed. Yet Alli doesn’t know what he wants to do. Should he go alone or release Kane, who’s free to his right? He ends up caught between two stools, stumbles forward and allows Smalling to make a crucial saving challenge.
23 min: Kane takes another heavy touch and ends up sliding into Valencia, conceding a foul. Kane receives a booking. It’s a moment that sums up Tottenham’s level of play. They’ve been so careless on the ball.
21 min: Shaw, who’s started well, wins a free-kick on the left after a foul from Trippier. Pochettino and Mourinho share a laugh on the touchline.
19 min: It’s all United. What a fearsome attacking force they are! On the left, Lingard swoops a pass over the top to the buccaneering Shaw. The left-back looks up and sweeps a cutback to Lukaku, who bobbles a disappointing low shot straight at Lloris. He should have scored. Up the other end, meanwhile, Herrera receives a booking for cleaning out Moura.
17 min: Mauricio Pochettino once said that he only needs 50 seconds to see if his team will struggle. I wonder what he makes of this start. Tottenham have been turgid so far and they’re well on their way to conceding a comedy goal.
16 min: Tottenham have been threatening to do this since the first whistle. They stroke the ball around the back for a bit and then Rose plays a shocking backpass towards Lloris. It’s way too short and Lukaku gets there first. He speeds round Lloris, only to pull the ball wide of the gaping net! What a farcical sequence of events!
14 min: Eriksen turns near United’s area and lofts a beautiful pass over the top to Kane. The striker’s onside and he controls on his chest, but Jones peels back to clear before Kane can bring the ball down and shoot.
12 min: Tottenham seem a bit surprised with how quickly they’re being hounded in possession. They need to wake up.
10 min: Lucas Moura receives a booking after catching Phil Jones with a high boot. Jones is always in the wars, though he doesn’t take long to recover from that blow to his head.
9 min: Lucas Moura skates down the right, away from Shaw, before overruning the ball as he charges into the area. The ball comes to Trippier on the right. His cross isn’t dealt with properly, but Pogba steps in before Rose can shoot on the left.
8 min: Jose Mourinho is writing something in his notepad. Probably about how much he loves Ed Woodward.
6 min: It is Ander Herrera in central defence for Manchester United. Nemanja Matic is screening a back five in midfield. I doubt Tottenham expected to be confronted by these tactics. How is Herrera going to cope with Harry Kane?
5 min: Ander Herrera is playing very deep. Is he in United’s defence?
4 min: It’s been a slow start from Tottenham. They’re dawdling on the ball and United are pressing them. Tottenham’s touch isn’t right yet.
2 min: As negative as this United side looks, it’s worth keeping in mind they beat Arsenal, Liverpool, Spurs and Chelsea here last season. They have a habit of flicking the switch on when they’re under real pressure.
Peep! Manchester United, kicking from left to right, get the game underway. The home fans sound supportive and United are on the front foot immediately. Valencia launches a long ball forward and Fred almost takes advantage of some shaky Tottenham defending. The ball bounces off Alderweireld and falls to Fred, who arrows a shot just wide of the left post.
Here come the teams! They receive a big Old Trafford welcome. I can’t wait to see this Manchester United midfield, though it’s a shame Jose Mourinho’s left out Alexei Smertin, Steve Sidwell and Jiri Jarosik. “The pressure on Jose is not really from United, it’s from the world in general,” David Flynn says. “He doesn’t want to work with a director of football who can veto his insatiable need for expensive short term solutions, never the less, this is how the big clubs want to operate. Similarly, he’s been tactically left behind and seems unable to change, unable to admit that he needs better coaches around him. These problems are going to persist at whatever club he ends up in charge of.”
Erik Lamela has tweaked a hamstring in the warm-up. Luke Amos replaces him on Tottenham’s bench.
“Totally agree with your response about that mail regarding Poch not being under pressure,” Azizul Islam says. “Plus I would like to add that Mourinho has been much longer in this managing game, as well as having pick of the ready made top players while working for super rich clubs. Compare this with Poch and how many of my beloved Spurs players were wanted by others before Poch got hold of them and improved them to beyond recognition? Plus the biggest pressure Poch had was to get rid off that soft underbelly. I am sure the “spursiness” will also be part of the folklore soon.”
Mauricio Pochettino speaks! “The most important thing is it is a different game and we play a different way. I was so pleased at the end of the Fulham game, but always you think about how every opponent is different. It is important that we are flexible. We go from one system to the next with zero stress. The plan is to be better than the opponent. We will see after 90 minutes.”
These are young players developed by Pochettino’s coaching. Mourinho, meanwhile, gets to leave Anthony Martial out of his 18.
“Kudos to Wall,” Arthur Tee says. “Poch not only has no pressure he has the ready made excuse you afforded him… the impecunious Spurs.Mourinho has to win or else and with a squad that the media keep saying is full of great talent. But what really makes Rashford, Shaw and Martial great talents? Rashford started one game in the World Cup, a game England were better off losing. Martial and Shaw have been mediocre to be kind.”
Pochettino has transformed the smallest top-six club in England and turned them into Champions League regulars and title challengers in four years, even though he has a small budget, and he does it with good football. Mourinho is at the biggest club in England and hasn’t challenged for the title, even though he’s broken the world transfer record for Paul Pogba and signed Alexis Sanchez on £300,000 a week wages. Marcus Rashford, meanwhile, was regarded as the most exciting young English talent before Mourinho got his hands on him.
An email! “There’s been a lot in the build up to this match of the different way in which the two managers have responded to the situations at their respective clubs over the summer (with at least two of three articles on this website over the weekend on that very issue),” David Wall says. “But what seems not to have been considered too much in this is the different expectations they face. Pochettino has been at Spurs longer than Mourinho but has come no closer to winning something than a couple of semi finals and distant second place finishes. Yet he knows that his job is secure, and he’d face little dissent from the stands or boardroom, even if they win nothing again this season. It’s likely that wouldn’t change much even if they missed out on the champions’ league places. In contrast Mourinho is expected to win the league, or come damn close and win one of the cups. And failure to do that, even repeating the runner-up league and cup finishes of last year, would probably have calls for him to go throughout the season, and the loss of his job at the end of it. That difference in pressure, fair or not, is likely to affect someone’s mood and attitude. Of course, he doesn’t help himself with some of the things he does and says. But it’s at least understandable why he might behave as he is doing, and should be taken into account when people are dishing out the criticism.”
I’m not sure I entirely agree. You have to take into account the difference in resources. Mourinho has had way more money to spend than Pochettino, even though he’s only been at United since 2016.
Jose Mourinho explains his changes after the Brighton debacle: “We didn’t play well, we made mistakes, we changed the team. The match before, we played well, no mistakes, we didn’t change the team. If I don’t play Matic when he’s ready, if I don’t play Valencia when he’s ready, I don’t play Lingard when he’s ready, I don’t think you’d accept it. I could also be fair and say Tottenham had similar problems that we had. I think every professional player, a guy like Matic who’s come from surgery, they have to be ready for 90 minutes to make that effort. He is always the same, he is a player who gives balance to the team. He has a different level of experience. I hope to see 11 players fighting hard with the great organisation we trained during the week. I also expect a team of 11 to be involved in an attacking performance.”
Manchester United make six changes after the defeat to Brighton and it’s not easy to work out what system Jose Mourinho will use. There’s talk of the returning Nemanja Matic slotting into a back five, though there’s also a chance the Serbian will be part of a midfield three, with Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard supporting Romelu Lukaku. At the back, Antonio Valencia replaces Ashley Young at right-back and Phil Jones and Chris Smalling replace Victor Lindelof and the discarded Eric Bailly. Alexis Sanchez is on the bench, meanwhile, and poor old Anthony Martial has been left out altogether.
Tottenham make two changes to the team that beat Fulham last week. Hugo Lloris starts after being charged with drink-driving last week and Mauricio Pochettino moves to a back four. Davinson Sanchez makes way for Mousa Dembele, meaning Toby Alderweireld partners Jan Vertonghen, and Danny Rose is in for Ben Davies. Alderweireld, of course, was a target for United in the summer. This is a huge night for him.
Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia, Jones, Smalling, Shaw; Herrera, Matic, Fred; Lingard, Pogba; Lukaku. Subs: Grant, Lindelof, Young, McTominay, Fellaini, Rashford, Sanchez.
Tottenham: Lloris; Trippier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose; Dier, Dembele; Lucas, Alli, Eriksen; Kane. Subs: Vorm, Davies, Aurier, Sanchez, Winks, Lamela, Llorente.
Referee: Craig Pawson.
Hello. Given Tottenham’s miserable record at Old Trafford in recent years, it hasn’t quite reached the point where Mauricio Pochettino can enter the away dressing room this evening and say “Lads, it’s Manchester United” before walking out again. Tottenham have lost on all four visits to this ground under Pochettino, failing to score in any of those games, and this is the moment where it’s obligatory for me to point out they <richardkeys>they haven’t won here since Tactics Tim beat David Moyes in a battle of Proper Football Men on 1 January 2014</richardkeys>. Makes you think, doesn’t it?
Maybe not. Yet point here is that while United are a total mess at the moment, with Jose Mourinho threatening a spectacular public implosion, this is one fixture where they tend to come up with the goods. Tottenham, for all their progress under Pochettino in the past four years, still have something to prove. They will face some awkward questions if they freeze again, just as they did when they lost to United in their FA Cup semi-final last season. To be brutally honest, that was a choke on Tottenham’s part. They led early and threw it away in a manner that suggests this vibrant young team might never be ready to take the most important step in their development and win something of substance.
That said, there’s no doubt that Tottenham are in much better shape than United at the moment. They’ve started the season with two wins, despite failing to sign anyone in the summer, and the visitors be in a wonderful chance of maintaining their 100% record if they find the level that saw them come back from a goal down to beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge for the first time since 1990 back in April. Tottenham hadn’t won away at a fellow top-six rival since February 2016 before that game, but in the end their performance underlined why they’re a breath of fresh air compared to Mourinho’s dour United.
There, ultimately, is the rub. On form, Tottenham should win this. United are fast approaching crisis territory. Mourinho is spreading negativity with his farcical sulking, Paul Pogba is raising intrigue with a series of mysterious public pronouncements and Toby Alderweireld will be wearing Tottenham’s colours this evening. Judging by last week’s collapse against Brighton, United’s fear factor is slipping away and a second consecutive defeat would leave them six points behind title favourites Watford after three games. Last season, however, they had a habit of raising their game when they hosted their rivals. They have enough individual talent to win when everything comes together and that has to be the worry for Tottenham, who need to show that some old habits do die hard.
Kick-off: 8pm BST.