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Manchester United v Spurs, 04.10.20

PREMIER LEAGUE
SUNDAY 4TH OCTOBER, 2020
(4.30pm)
MANCHESTER UNITED 1(1) TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 6(4)

United scorer:-
Bruno Fernandes, 2(pen)

Spurs scorers:-
Ndombele, 4
Son, 7, 37
Kane, 30, 79(pen)
Aurier, 51

Attendance:- 0

Referee:- Anthony Taylor
Assistants:- Gary Beswick, Adam Nunn
Fourth official:- Craig Pawson
VAR:- Stuart Attwell
Assistant VAR:- Stephen Child.

Teams:-
Man Utd (4-2-3-1):- De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Maguire (Capt.), Shaw; Pogba, Matic (sub McTominay, 46); Greenwood (sub van de Beek, 68), Fernandes (sub Fred, 46), Rashford; Martial

Subs not used:- Henderson; Lindelof; Mata, Lingard

Booked:- Bailly (foul on Son), Shaw (foul on Lucas Moura)

Sent off:- Martial (Violent conduct, 28)

Spurs (4-2-1-3):- Lloris (Capt.); Aurier, Sanchez, Dier, Reguilon; Hojbjerg, Sissoko; Ndombele (sub dele, 69); Lamela (sub Lucas Moura, 46), Kane, Son (sub Davies, 73)

Subs not used:- Hart; Doherty, Alderweireld; Winks

Booked:- Lamela (unsporting conduct)

The Theatre of Screams

Yesterday I wrote "Dare we be confident about tomorrow?" As the headline for my match preview. I predicted a 2-1 win for Spurs who had previously won three Premier League games at Old Trafford in the last 8 years. Of course, never in my wildest (or most drunken) dreams would I, or surely anyone, have foreseen the events of today which were truly historic. Our very good friend Declan Mulcahy has sent me a list of facts regarding this result, which I will reproduce at end of this report. Suffice to say this was our biggest ever win at what we must surely call "The Theatre of Screams".

At half-time I tweeted "Don't worry boys. It's only United" Thus seeking to para-phrase the famous dressing talk of Sir Alex Ferguson when preparing his teams for a Spurs game. Spurs Official did better job at the end of the game with a picture of our victorious team, captioned "Lads, it's Tottenham." Those were after all the exact (reported) words of the man in question.

One great piece of news before the game was the news that Heung-min Son had travelled with the squad. Greater news was to come with the knowledge that ďSonnyĒ was to start. Whilst not fit to play, I understand that Giovani Lo Celso also travelled and latest signing Carlos Vinicius also travelled with the squad to savour the atmosphere. They must have enjoyed their day!

There canít be a Spurs fan in the house now who hasnít warmed to Jose Mourinho who has surely used great powers of persuasion upon the Chairman to achieve what has been a fantastic transfer window. There could yet be one more move to come tomorrow. Did Jose play a masterstroke by holding back Son for this game? I donít know. He did however make an excellent team selection with pacy full backs, and a powerful midfield. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg had a great game in the middle, playing behind Ndombele. Sissoko was powerful and strong. Ndombele had great moments, and scored Spursí first goal, but when something did go wrong for him, Hojbjerg was usually behind him to sweep up the scraps, or specifically Ė the ball!

There were times when Harry Kane was playing behind Erik Lamela and "Sonny". Lamelaís task was clearly to snap at the ankles of opponents and to antagonise them in every way. His best (and notorious) success was to provoke Martialís offence which saw the United player sent off. By that time, Spurs were 2-1 up but that time, and on top.

Before the game there was a "Fernandes penalty bingo" game in which participants had to guess in which minute Bruno would score his penalty. I foolishly suggested there would be no such penalty. I was proved wrong within 28 seconds of the start when Sanchez fouled Martial in front of the East Stand, toward which United had kicked off. Fernandes beat Lloris with a hop, skip and a shot in the second minute.

Spurs very quickly equalised with Lamela harassing Bailly, Maguire and Shaw, each of whom failed to get a grip. The ball ran to Ndombele who fired home from close range. Lloris was down to a shot by Greenwood, but Spurs took a seventh minute lead. Kane was fouled by Maguire a good 35-40 yards from goal. Harry jumped up, placed the ball and hit a quick free kick forward for Son who had raced ahead. "Sonny" scored with a delightful left foot dink over De Gea who advanced to the edge of his 6-yard area.

We entered a period of relative calm, but it was basically end to end football with little midfield control. Spursí movement and passing throughout the game was generally excellent. Rashford did hit the post with a shot after 19 minutes, but was then flagged offside, so any goal would not have counted. Greenwood had another shot which was deflected then held easily by Lloris. Another Greenwood shot passed wide of Hugoís left post. We knew that United could be a force going forward, but Jose knew their weaknesses too well.

Lamela hit a great ball diagonally to Son from deep within the Spurs half. Son ran forward in a similar position from which he had scored, but this time he over-ran the ball and De Gea got to it first. Harry Kane hit a long pass to Aurier on the right. Aurier cut inside and hit a left foot shot which was saved by de Gea. Aurier was soon involved again this time crossing inside to Ndombele who got to the bye-line on the right. Tanguy hit a low cross/shot which again De Gea saved. After a Spurs corner from the right shot by both Reguilon and Ndombele were blocked.

Spurs had another corner and there were shenanigans between Lamela and Martial at the near post. There is no doubt that a) Lamela put his hand across Martialís neck, b) Martial responded and put his hand to Lamelaís face before c) Lamela over-acted and fell to the ground clutching his face. It was enough to convince referee Anthony Taylor that a red card was warranted for Martial. That decision was reviewed and supported by VAR. I believe Lamelaís yellow card which was shown a couple of minutes later followed a further review of his part in the incident.

Of course the loss of a United player assisted Spurs, but how many times do you see 10 men bravely resist their opponents. This didnít happen today. United withered and crumbled.

Spurs had a corner from the right taken by Son which led to a shot by Hojbjerg going wide. United tried to play the ball out from the back, and specifically Bailly hit the ball to Kane outside the area towards the right. Kane fed the ball to Son on the left of the box, and advanced to receive Sonís low cross before hitting the net with a right footed shot.

It was 4-1 in the 37th minute. Sissoko pushed the ball out to Aurier on the right. Aurier picked his pass and chose Son, who was on the right side of goal and who scored with a flick of his right foot past De Gea. "Sonny"ís glee following this goal was heart-warming to behold. In added time Lamela passed to Aurier whose right-footed shot passed wide across the goal. Spurs had a corner taken by Son on the left and Harry Kane glanced a header wide across the left of goal.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made two half-time changes with Fred replacing Fernandes and McTominay replacing Matic. Jose put Lucas Moura on for Lamela. United reverted to a 4-4-1 with Rashford nominally the man up top, but the truth of the matter is that United rarely got forward.

Spurs scored with what was a great team goal in the 51st minute. Reguilon had sent Son forward down the left flank. The ball was passed inside and there were passes by Ndombele, Lucas Moura and finally Hojbjerg to Aurier who gleefully stepped into the United box and beat De Gea with a right-footed shot.

Kane tried a right footed shot, but pulled it wide. Next up was Ndombele towards the left of the area, hitting his shot too high. Van de Beek came on for Greenwood with a quarter of the game to go. There was a physical collision between Pogba and Hojbjerg which led to a United free kick and no further action.

Dele replaced Ndombele and headed over from a Son corner. Before that Kane had a right foot shot saved after a move involving Hojbjerg and Son. Ben Davies came on for "Sonny" and Reguilon played in front of the Welsh International. Spurs had a penalty after 77 minutes when Davies got into the area and having beaten Wan-Bissaka, he was then rashly fouled by Pogba. Harry beat De Gea with a powerful right foot shot, but the United keeper made a great effort and nearly reached the ball.

Luke Shaw was shown a yellow card for bringing to a halt Lucas Mouraís charge down Spursí right flank. Even co-commentator Gary Neville was calling it a red card offence, but Mr. Taylor settled for yellow.

Lucas and Moussa Sissoko displayed skill and close control on the right wing before Sissoko passed to Kane. Harry was determined to try and score, despite the close attention of three red shirts, and his shot was ultimately blocked.

Needless to say this was a fantastic day for Spurs. Had fans been allowed in the stadium, I am sure the vast majority of the home crowd would have had a head start on the away section. The away fans would probably still be singing now!

This was also a great result for morale. Had we lost, we and not United would be in the bottom half of the table and below West Ham, who beat Leicester today. We are top of the pile of those with 7 points with a decent goal difference, and we can look forward to our next game Ė at home to West Ham Ė with relish. Blimey, Jose has to find a spot for Gareth Bale now! Weíve truly had a great week in domestic and European football. Dare I say we could be "contenders"?

Here are those facts provided by Declan Mulcahy:-

The last time that Manchester United conceded four goals in the first half of a league match at Old Trafford since November 1957 when Spurs scored four goals in the first half to lead 4-1. The final score was 4-3. The Spurs goals came from a Bobby Smith hat-trick and an own goal from Danny Blanchflower's brother Jackie.

Spurs' last seven league wins at Old Trafford have come under seven different managers Bill Nicholson, Keith Burkinshaw, Terry Venables, Andre Villas-Boas, Tim Sherwood, Mauricio Pochettino and Jose Mourinho.

This was Spurs biggest win at Old Trafford. The previous record was 5-1 by Bill Nicholson's side in September 1959.

Spurs have scored 13 goals in four days for the second time in 3 1/2 years. The last time was May 2017 in two Premier League games against Leicester City and Hull City. In that case both games were away.

Spurs are the first side to score four first half goals against Manchester United at Old Trafford in a Premier League game.

It was the second time that Manchester United have conceded six goals at Old Trafford in a Premier League game. The first was a 6-1 defeat by Manchester City in October 2011 (both in October).

This was the eleventh penalty that Spurs have conceded against Manchester United in the Premier League (including three in the last three games). United have scored from 10 with Sheringham missing one on his debut for United at White Hart Lane in August 1997.

Spurs have also scored five, seven and six goals in the last six matches. I don't know whether or not this has happened before.

Spurs boss Jose Mourinho equalled his biggest margin of victory away from home as a Premier League manager, winning by five goals for the first time since his Chelsea side won 5-0 at Swansea City in January 2015.

Spurs boss Jose Mourinho picked up his first away league victory against a team he has previously managed in the Premier League (previously D1 L4).

See the exclusive "Spursometer" and have your say regarding the performances of the team, individual players, manager and officials.

Spurs' record in recent London Derby matches

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