Defensive mix-up sees Spurs stumble at Manchester United
Tottenham lose ground on leaders after narrow loss at Old Trafford
28 October, 2017 — By Geoffrey Sawyer
FA Premier League
MANCHESTER UNITED 1 (Martial 81)
TOTTENHAM lost for the second time in four days as they followed up their bizarre league cup exit in midweek by being edged out of a crunch match with Manchester United this afternoon (Saturday).
It was a close contest with the Premier League’s second and third placed teams meeting at Old Trafford, but Spurs were left to rue a rare loss in focus at the back as their normally reliable rearguard were caught out by a long ball with just ten minutes left to play. United sub Anthony Martial raced through from Romelu Lukaku’s hopeful header on and his mis-kicked finish serving to his advantage as it bounced past Hugo Lloris.
Jose Mourinho insisted his team deserved the three points which marks United out as the closest challengers to runaway league leaders Man City but it could have been a different outcome if Dele Alli had managed to poke the ball home from Christian Eriksen’s chipped through ball. It rolled agonisingly wide.
Predictably, Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino faced questions over the missing Harry Kane, the club’s top scorer who was injured in last week’s win over Liverpool. He was also absent from Tottenham’s defeat to West Ham in the cup on Wednesday night. “If Dele Alli had scored now the question would be different,” he told Sky Sports. “You are always going to miss your main striker but it is not fair to talk about Harry Kane.”
He added: “It was an even game. It was a shame to lose. The chances were for one and then the other. It was a tough game and I think we deserved more. I feel proud of the effort and it was unlucky that in the last 10 minutes we conceded our goal. It was our mistake. It is important to be calm and in football these type of mistakes happen. We must fix that and move on. We cannot change the result.”
MANCHESTER UNITED: De Gea, Bailly, Smalling, Jones, Valencia, Young (Darmian 90+3), Matic, Herrera, Mkhitarayan (Lingard 65), Rashford (Martial 70), Lukaku
Subs not used: Blind, Romero, Mata, McTominay
SPURS: Lloris, Aurier, Davies, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Dier, Sissoko (Dembele 62), Winks, Alli, Eriksen, Son (Llorente 62)
Subs not used: N’Koudou, Vorm, Rose, Sanchez, Trippier