Spurs treble destructs Red Devils
Written By: Robert Halter
Tottenham Hotspur were looking for their first goals against Manchester United under the leadership of Mauricio Pochettino in an early April encounter with the Red Devils at White Hart Lane. After absorbing early pressure, the Lilywhites got into their stride on nineteen minutes when Danny Rose sent a left footed shot sprawling wide to the right from an assist from Mousa Dembele. Then seven minutes later, a bending strike by Christian Eriksen drifted wide of the right post being guarded by David De Gea, from Dele Alli’s contribution and there were more panic stations in the Red Devils penalty box as from Erik Lamela’s cross, Harry Kane failed to capitalise on miss handling by De Gea. But on twenty eight minutes, a glorious chance fell to Lamela, who spurned a point blank header wide of the target from a cross by Eriksen, before a saving block by Timothy Fosu-Mensah kept out the advancing Kyle Walker down the right wing from another piece of play through Eriksen. Just before half time, after a foul on Kane by Chris Smalling, a free kick from Eriksen was unable to reach Kane in the area as the outstretched leg of Anthony Martial deflected the ball away. Prior to the second half, the Red Devils replaced Marcus Rashford with Ashley Young. In the fifty first minute, De Gea was forced to punch clear a long range blast off the right foot of Eriksen and then also from distance De Gea caught hold of a shot by Eric Dier, who had been played through by Dembele. In the fifty fourth minute, a snap shot by Kane was held onto by De Gea, from another piece of creativity by Dembele. The Red Devils first real threat was on fifty nine minutes, as Jesse Lingard drove the ball wide from a lay off by Martial. But in the next three minutes, when Martial drove forward at the Spurs defence, it required Hugo Lloris to produce a save and parry away Martial’s right footed strike from the centre of the box, after Rojo had found him in space. Although the Lilywhites were back in full flow on sixty five minutes, as Eriksen supplied Rose on the left, whose low cross was hooked away by De Gea’s outstretched foot and then within two minutes, Walker went down the right channel but Eriksen was unable to find the target with an effort which missed to the left. Man U then made an enforced change for the injured Fosu-Mensah with Matteo Darmian. However it was Spurs that gained their rich reward as Eriksen slipped a pass through to Alli, who slid the ball past De Gea to give Tottenham the lead in the seventieth minute. It soon became two, after Darmian clipped Kane and from a floating free kick by Lamela, a cushioned header by Toby Alderweireld found the bottom right side of the net, in the seventy fourth minute. Two minutes on, it went to three when Rose’s low left wing cross was driven into the bottom left corner by Lamela. With United in free fall, Memphis Depay took over from Juan Mata. After Kane was again fouled by Darmian, a bending free kick from Lamela was met by the head of Kane which was acrobatically tipped over the bar from De Gea, in the seventy eighth minute, and then from an in swinging corner by Eriksen, a header from Jan Vetonghen was saved by De Gea towards the top left corner. In the eighty first minute, Lamela went on a run before curling an effort past the far post. The game got heated when Walker clashed with Depay by the left side touch line. After Alli found Lamela, his low cross was forced onto the right post by Walker, before the flag was raised for offside and Lamela then left the park for Nacer Chadli while Heung-Min Son then took over from Kane. In stoppage time Dembele went close but fired wide to the right from an Alli assist and then Alli was booked for tumbling in the penalty box under the body of Darmian which saw Alli then taken off for Ryan Mason, who did not have enough time on the field of play as Spurs ran out convincing 3-0 victors over Manchester United to remain second in the table but seven points adrift of league leaders, Leicester City.