Manchester United 2-1 Tottenham: Rashford condemns Mourinho to defeat on Old Trafford return

By Jamie Smith 5 December 2019 150
Manchester United 2-1 Tottenham: Rashford condemns Mourinho to defeat on Old Trafford return

Marcus Rashford netted a double as Manchester United earned a 2-1 Premier League win at home to Tottenham on Jose Mourinho's return to Old Trafford.

Spurs had won their three matches across all competitions since Mourinho was appointed as Mauricio Pochettino's replacement last month, but they slipped to defeat on Wednesday after a below-par showing.

Rashford put United ahead and, after a superb individual effort from Dele Alli levelled the scores, the striker converted a penalty to end United's three-game winless run.

Victory moves Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men above Spurs and into the top six in the table, denying Mourinho - sacked by United a year ago - the chance to be the first Tottenham manager to win his first three Premier League games in charge.

United took the lead in the sixth minute, Rashford profiting from a series of ricochets to beat Paulo Gazzaniga at his near post, the goalkeeper making a poor effort to keep the shot out.

Gazzaniga improved by blocking a Mason Greenwood strike before tipping Rashford's swerving long-range drive on to the crossbar as United continued to dominate.

Spurs equalised out of nowhere before the break, though, Alli's sensational first touch deceiving both Fred and Ashley Young, with the midfielder then slotting in his fourth goal in three games.

Rashford restored United's advantage early in the second half, tucking away a penalty he won himself by being clumsily brought down by Moussa Sissoko.

Fred made a good block to repel a Son Heung-min shot, but it was United who continued to make the running, Gazzaniga denying Daniel James twice in quick succession.

David de Gea was called into action late on but comfortable saves from Serge Aurier, substitute Tanguy Ndombele and Alli ensured United closed out victory.
 

What does it mean? Mourinho suffers first Spurs loss

Spurs had a perfect record under Mourinho, but in this game they were well off the pace, needing a moment of magic from the resurgent Alli to undeservedly go into the interval all square.

But Sissoko's lack of concentration immediately after the restart allowed Rashford to restore United's lead and thereafter the result was not in doubt.


Reliable Rashford maintains hot streak

Anthony Martial's latest injury meant Rashford played off the left to accommodate teenager Greenwood in a central role, but the England striker continued to be United's main man in attack.

In his past 10 games for club and country, Rashford has scored nine times, drawing only two blanks.


Gazzaniga tries in vain to atone for error

Still deputising for injured captain Hugo Lloris, Gazzaniga made a series of saves that would usually have made for a good individual performance. Unfortunately, his misjudgement of Rashford's early strike left Spurs with it all to do at Old Trafford.

Key Opta stats

- United are unbeaten in their last nine home matches across all competitions (W5 D4) since losing 2-1 to Crystal Palace in August.

- Tottenham have lost more Premier League matches against United than against any other team (35 defeats).

- Mourinho has won none of his last five away Premier League matches when managing teams against United (D3 L2), failing to beat four different managers in that time: Alex Ferguson, David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and Solskjaer.

- Alli has scored in three consecutive appearances for Tottenham Hotspur in all competitions for the first time since March 2017.

- United have lost none of their last 138 home Premier League matches when scoring first (W125 D13).

- Tottenham have conceded twice in each of their four matches under Mourinho across all competitions. They only had a run of conceding two or more goals in four consecutive matches once under Pochettino, doing so in February and March 2015.

What's next?

Solskjaer's side make a short trip for a derby clash with Manchester City on Saturday. Spurs host Burnley on the same day.

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Jamie Smith

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