The Tottenham players played with great composure and controlled large portions of the game with their passing and movement and caused the United defence serious problems on the break. Once they had settled after United’s early pressure Spurs took control and it was only in the final minutes that United started to press them back in search of an equaliser. Even under that pressure and having conceded so quickly after taking a two goal advantage Spurs stood firm with everyone working to support each other and deny United a second goal.
Player AssessmentHugo Lloris: Had a lively start to the game with the diving punch on the edge of his box but after that early scare and a save from Smalling after five minutes, he wasn’t too busy until the last quarter. Then he produced important saves and came confidently for crosses although he missed a couple but got away with it and he was quickly off his line to meet any through ball and was helped out by Dawson when Young clipped the ball over him on the edge of the box.
Kyle Walker: Worked hard all through the game and dealt well with his winger. He was solid in defence and still found time to drive forward.
Michael Dawson: After an dearly escape in the first minute, he was very solid and totally committed in all his defensive duties in what was his 400th career appearance. His positioning was good and he saved Llois late on by heading clear after the goalkeeper rushed out to challenge Young.
Vlad Chiriches: He was at his best today. Good sound defending and getting his foot or head in when United got the ball into the area. Was caught out by the pass for the United goal when his first reaction was to look to see if Lloris was coming to gather the ball. He wasn’t and by then it was too late. He’s a very confident player as he showed when carrying the ball forward right to the United box. A return to the form we saw earlier in the season.
Danny Rose: Was very sound in defence and went forward to provide width on the left but sometimes was caught up-field when a Spurs attack broke down. Building up his fitness after the long lay off with injury.
Aaron Lennon: An outstanding display both in attack and in defensive duties. He was a constant threat to the United defence and created the second goal with a lovely cross for Christian Eriksen to get in front of the defender to head home. Worked hard in defence, supporting Walker and putting in a number of tackles and clearances, including the goal line clearance on the post from a corner. He had two goal scoring opportunities but was denied by the goalkeeper – a goal was something his display deserved.
Etienne Capoue: He kept it simple in midfield with good passing, intercepting the ball and a good all-round performance. He worked hard and reads the game well. He made a good contribution to the team effort.
Mousa Dembele: Another good performance in midfield, worked hard and looked to get forward when he could. Controlled the centre of the pitch with Capoue after United’s good start to the game.Christian Eriksen: Worked hard on the left, covering back to support Rose. Also looked to get forward quickly and was brave when getting his header in for the winning goal. A solid performance from a player who is growing in confidence with a better understanding of what’s required in English football.
Emmanuel Adebayor: He continued as he has done for most of the games since his return. He was a threat carrying the ball from midfield and passing it for Roberto Soldado or wide to Lennon. He took his goal well, got up high above the defender to meet the cross and gave the goalkeeper no chance. He worked very hard, on one Casio chasing back to the corner flag to tussle for the ball with Rooney. Another good performance and was central to Spurs win.
Roberto Soldado: If that goal from open play would just come – we’d see a much more confident player. He delivered a lovely pass for Lennon in the first half and is working hard to create space and opportunities for others. Had a good chance in the first half to score a second but the ball came off his shin. Perseverance – the goals will come!
Nabil Bentaleb: Showed confidence and good passing when he came on for Capoue. He wasn’t overawed about playing United at Old Trafford and worked hard as United pressed late in the game.
Nacer Chadli: Fitted in well in place of Adebayor – worked hard in the final minutes and was also able to get forward on the break.
Harry Kane: Kept the pressure on the United defenders in the last few minutes and it was his pass which set up the chance of a third goal for Lennon.
A good performance which can only build the confidence of the players and the manager. Now they have to do it all again on Saturday evening in the FA Cup at the Emirates.