Match ends, Tottenham Hotspur 1, Manchester United 3.
Manchester United inflicted further damage on Tottenham’s hopes of making the Premier League’s top four as they came from behind to secure a fully deserved victory.
Spurs went into this game knowing victory would keep them in touch with the Champions League places but another colourless performance led to what could be an expensive defeat.
Edinson Cavani thought he had given United a first-half lead with a smooth finish from Paul Pogba’s pass but the goal was controversially ruled out by referee Chris Kavanagh following a video assistant referee consultation after Scott McTominay caught Son Heung-min with his trailing arm.
United’s sense of injustice was increased when Son put Spurs ahead before the break but the visitors recovered impressively for a win that leaves them 11 points behind leaders Manchester City with a game in hand.
Fred was involved in the build-up and conclusion of the equaliser after 57 minutes, pouncing after Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris had saved well from Cavani.
And Cavani finally got the goal his superb movement and constant menace deserved with 11 minutes left when he launched himself to head beyond Lloris from substitute Mason Greenwood’s cross. Greenwood completed the formalities with virtually the last kick of the game as he provided a finish that was too powerful for Lloris at his near post.
Solskjaer delight as Man Utd fire back
Manchester United ended the first half feeling as if the world was against them, wounded by the decision to rule out Cavani’s goal and then hit by Son’s opener.
And yet, as they have done so often this season, they bounced back from going behind to win and did so in very satisfying fashion for manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Keeper Dean Henderson, now seemingly first choice ahead of David de Gea, made a couple of saves with his legs and Cavani was fortunate when a header bounced off his own post but United were by far the better team and had plenty of chances of their own at the other end.
The Uruguayan may be 34 and surrounded by speculation that he could leave Old Trafford at the end of the season but the timeless instincts of the great striker remains. He was a permanent threat, fully meriting the goal that gave United the lead.
Pogba and Fred were also outstanding contributors in midfield for United, who have now opened up a seven-point gap between themselves and Leicester City, who lost at West Ham United, in third.
United are an enigmatic side, clearly full of talent and danger and yet often not at their best, but no-one could deny their quality here and no-one could begrudge them a very fine victory.
Spurs get what they deserved: nothing
Greenwood’s late goal may have extended Manchester United’s victory margin more than Spurs manager Jose Mourinho would feel was justified but he can have no serious complaints about the final outcome.
Spurs led at the interval but it was United who came out after the break with real purpose and intent, Fred’s equaliser the inevitable result of the pressure that built up.
For a side containing the attacking threat of Son and Harry Kane, Spurs lie dormant for long periods, dragged down by the stodgy gameplan that seems far too conservative for a team boasting two such elite attackers.
Spurs had their moments in the second half but they were fleeting and there was never a sense they were taking control. This loss leaves them six points behind fourth-placed West Ham in seventh and they will have to improve markedly if they are to turn their top-four aspirations into reality.
Match stats – Mourinho’s worst league season for defeats
- Spurs boss Jose Mourinho is winless in his past five home matches against sides he has previously managed (D2 L3), having won 12 in a row between 2002 and 2018.
- He has suffered 10 league defeats in a single season for the first time in his entire managerial career.
- In English top-flight history, Manchester United’s current 23-game unbeaten run away from home in the league (W15 D8) is bettered only by a 27-game run from Arsenal between April 2003 and September 2004.
- Spurs have dropped 18 points from winning positions in the Premier League this season, second only to Brighton (20). It is the most points a Mourinho side has dropped from winning positions in a single Premier League campaign.
- Manchester United have gained 28 points from losing positions in the Premier League this season – in the competition’s history, only Newcastle in 2001-02 (34) and Manchester United themselves in 2012-13 (29) have earned more points from such positions.
- Son Heung-min became the first player to score three or more goals against Manchester United in a single Premier League campaign since Sergio Aguero in 2014-15.
- Manchester United’s Fred scored just the second goal of his career in the Premier League, with his previous one coming against Wolves in September 2018; his equaliser ended a run of 73 shots without scoring in the competition.
- Only Wayne Rooney (15) has scored more Premier League goals for Manchester United as a teenager than Mason Greenwood (13).
- 18Lo CelsoSubstituted forSissokoat 61′minutesBooked at 90mins
- 28NdombeleSubstituted forLamelaat 78′minutes
- 27Lucas MouraSubstituted forBaleat 82′minutes
- 7Son Heung-Min
- 45Alves Morais
- 5MaguireBooked at 70mins
- 23ShawBooked at 67mins
- 39McTominayBooked at 18mins
- 17FredBooked at 48mins
- 10RashfordSubstituted forGreenwoodat 72′minutes
- 18Bruno FernandesSubstituted forMaticat 90′minutes
- 7CavaniBooked at 41mins
- 1de Gea
- 34van de Beek
- Chris Kavanagh
Second Half ends, Tottenham Hotspur 1, Manchester United 3.
Goal! Tottenham Hotspur 1, Manchester United 3. Mason Greenwood (Manchester United) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Paul Pogba.
Luke Shaw (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Serge Aurier (Tottenham Hotspur).
Moussa Sissoko (Tottenham Hotspur) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Fred (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Moussa Sissoko (Tottenham Hotspur).
Luke Shaw (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur).
Substitution, Manchester United. Nemanja Matic replaces Bruno Fernandes.
Foul by Scott McTominay (Manchester United).
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Fred.
Attempt blocked. Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Sergio Reguilón.
Attempt missed. Son Heung-Min (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right following a corner.
Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Victor Lindelöf.
Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Gareth Bale replaces Lucas Moura.
Attempt missed. Serge Aurier (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Erik Lamela.
Goal! Tottenham Hotspur 1, Manchester United 2. Edinson Cavani (Manchester United) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Mason Greenwood with a cross.