Martial the hero as United edge Spurs

Anthony Martial Manchester United

Anthony Martial was the difference between the second and third-placed sides as Manchester United defeated Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon.

Manchester United 1 Tottenham Hotspur 0
Martial comes off the bench
Martial scores 11 minutes later

Match Summary

After a goalless first half, Jose Mourinho brought Martial off the bench late on in the second period. The winning goal came after David De Gea’s long ball forward for Romelu Lukaku from a goalkick, was headed on by the striker to put Martial through, and the Frenchman finished well, putting the ball past Hugo Lloris in the 81st minute.

Full Report

The home side started brightly, pressing the visitors and creating the majority of a number of half chances.

Slick passing from the hosts put Ashley Young into space. Young beat his defender and pinged a low cross into the box which found Ander Herrera on the edge of the area but the Spaniard found himself crowded out.

United then had another good chance in the 10th minute when Lukaku put a ball through for Marcus Rashford, with the ball deflecting back to Lukaku, who then smashed a shot across goal with his right boot.

Rashford’s free-kick from long range in the 12th minute, zipped it off the surface before forcing Lloris into a good save.

The visitors then started growing into the game and Moussa Sissoko found himself with space to run into before smashing a long range shot which went well wide of the target.

Sissoko had another chance to score in the 28th minute after de Gea and Phil Jones miscommunicated which resulted in the goalkeeper dropping a relatively easy cross. The ball was played back to Sissoko who skied his effort into the stands.

In the 35th Christian Eriksen whipped a corner into the United box which Alli met but his header was blocked by Phil Jones.

Alli then made a chance for himself in the 37th minute after he took Jones on the inside and released a tame shot which De Gea claimed.

Spurs had another chance saved by De Gea when Eric Dier met Eriksen’s cross and reversed a looping effort toward the top corner.

United came out firing in the second half and had a chance to score the opener in the 55th minute when Henrikh Mkhitaryan drove at the defense and hit a tame effort at Lloris, which the goalkeeper parried into the path of Rashford who was well tackled by Ben Davies.

Mkhitaryan then drove the ball into the box which Lloris blocked, allowing the ball to fall to Antonio Valencia who blasted a powerful shot that only hit Dier.

In the 64th minute, Mkhitaryan flashed in a United corner that was cleared into the path of Valencia who blasted a shot over the bar.

Lukaku then beat Alderweireld to find himself through on goal but his shot was well parried by Lloris.

Spurs worked themselves back into the game, and in the 76th minute Eriksen found himself in space outside the box but his long range shot went well over the bar. Minutes later Eriksen found himself in space and curled a magnificent into the box for Alli who beat De Gea to the ball but shot wide.

United hit back as Lingard found himself in space down the right wing and put a cross into the Spurs’ box which Lukaku managed to get a head to only to see his header come off the post.

Mourinho then brought Martial on for Rashford, which drew boos from the home crowd, but he made his opportunity count in the 81st minute.

De Gea pinged a ball forward for Lukaku, who expertly flicked on for Martial to run through on goal. The Frenchman made no mistake with his finish, putting the ball past Lloris into the far corner of the goal to put the hosts 1-0 ahead.

In the 90th minute Lingard had a chance to finish the game off when he found himself clear on goal after a United clearance from a Tottenham free-kick. The English winger made a mess of his finish, putting the ball high and wide, however, United saw out the remainder of the game to claim a vital three points.