Tottenham revived their hopes of finishing in the top four as they convincingly beat Manchester United 2-0 at Wembley on Wednesday.
- Tottenham Hotspur 2 Manchester United 0
- Eriksen breaks deadlock in opening minute
- Jones own-goal gifts hosts a second
- Red Devils poor all over the park
- Spurs miss further chances to register big win
Spurs got off to the best possible start when Christian Eriksen opened the scoring just 18 seconds after the kick-off. United tried to respond, but could only fashion half-chances, while their defence struggled to contain Harry Kane and Eriksen.
The hosts doubled their lead midway through the first half as Kieran Trippier’s cross was turned into his own net by Phil Jones, and there was no way back for Jose Mourinho’s side from that point onwards.
Spurs were faster out of the blocks as Jan Vertonghen played a long ball forward off the kick-off towards Kane, who headed the ball down for Dele Alli and it diverted into the path of Eriksen to finish brilliantly.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 31, 2018
United looked to respond immediately, with first Romelu Lukaku coming close from an Ashley Young cross, then Jesse Lingard having an attempt smothered by Hugo Lloris after being played in by Paul Pogba.
Anthony Martial received the ball on the right wing and managed to get free of Davison Sanchez and power into the box. His final product, however, left a lot to be desired as he blasted his shot wide and high.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men then hit back as Eriksen played Kane into the box, but his first-time shot from an awkward angle was comfortably saved by David De Gea.
The hosts got their second in the 27th minute as the ball was again played down United’s left wing, exposing Young. Trippier crossed the ball into Jones, who, in an attempted clearance, put the ball into his own net.
Spurs had an appeal for a penalty turned down when Alli got free in the box and was brought down by Antonio Valencia, but the referee chose not to award the spot kick.
The home team came close to adding a third towards the end of the first half when Eriksen whipped a wide free-kick into the box, which found the head of Eric Dier, but his header went over the bar.
They came in the second half looking to protect their lead and counter-attack, often playing the long ball to Kane, who was winning his battle with Jones.
United were denied a penalty when a corner was swung in toward Alexis Sanchez, who appeared to header it into Son Heung-Min’s hand, but the referee again waved play on.
Lukaku had brilliant chance to bring the visitors back into the game when a pass over the top of the Spurs defence from Pogba found him. His volley, however, was expertly saved by Lloris. Kane had a chance to get his 100th goal after Son drove forward and squared to him at the top of the box, but De Gea managed to get down to comfortably save his shot.
De Gea was the hero minutes later when Eriksen pulled a brilliant pass through the eye of the needle to play in Son, whose shot was destined for the far corner were it not for the Spanish keeper’s reflexes.
Spurs were comfortable in the last 15 minutes as they shifted the ball around under little pressure from the United midfield. Eriksen, in particular, was pulling the strings and he almost grabbed an assist when he played Kane into the box, but the England striker’s shot was deflected off Chris Smalling for a corner.
Alli was fortunate not to receive a late red card after needlessly kicking out at Sanchez in United’s half. The English midfielder only received a yellow, though, and was substituted soon afterwards with Mousa Sissoko coming on in his place.
Spurs managed to hold onto their two-goal lead comfortably, with United hardly testing Lloris in the closing stages.