The match from the beginning was played like both teams were nursed on piss and vinegar the whole week leading up to the opening whistle.
United appeared to finally earn an advantage in the match in the 34th minute. Scott McTominay charged up the center of the park with Son trying to pull him back. McTominay swatted away Son’s arm and incidentally caught the forward in the face. McTominay then played the ball laterally to Fred who quickly passed the ball up to Paul Pogba. The Frenchman held his defender off as Cavani made a perfectly-timed run and Pogba threaded a ball to Cavani who quickly finished his attempt to go up a goal.
However, VAR decided to take a longer look at the incidental contact from McTominay before calling head official Chris Kavanagh over to the monitor. Kavanagh would rule that McTominay committed a foul in the build-up to the goal and the goal was disallowed.
The football gods, needing to twist the knife deeper in the heart of every United fan, would set up Son to score the opening goal of the match. Tanguy Ndombele rifled a ball up the middle to Harry Kane at the top of the box and Kane played it to Lucas Moura. As the defense tried to collapse around Moura, he played a square ball to Son who needed to only tap it in to take the lead in the 40th minute.
Just filled with all kinds of “feels bad man” energy, the visitors would walk into the dressing room at half down a goal. However, the Reds would not allow themselves to lean on the excuse that it wasn’t their day.
In the 58th minute, Fred got himself involved in the build up at the top of the box. The midfielder threaded a ball on to Cavani and the forward hit a ball that could only be deflected by Hugo Lloris. Thankfully, Fred continued a run after playing the ball to Cavani, and he was in the right place to put the deflected save back into the net and equalize.
Play would continue back and forth until United could find their go-ahead in the 79th minute. Bruno Fernandes snatched away Sergio Reguilón’s soul with a nutmeg on the right wing. Greenwood picked up the ball as it completed it’s journey through the defender’s legs and he curled an in-swinger with his left foot into the box. Cavani drifted past his man and dove for the ball as it neared the ground at the top of the six-yard box. The Uruguayan headed the ball into the ground and it bounced past a diving Lloris and into the back of the net.
With a lead in hand, Manchester United were impressive in maintaining their advantage. Despite a shaky sequence of conceding a couple corners to Tottenham, the Reds were resolute in holding onto the ball, and Pogba in particular was immense in keeping possession and taking the air out of the Tottenham’s comeback attempt.
Pogba’s hard work in the second half was rewarded with an assist appearance on the scoresheet in the 96th minute. The midfielder fought off defenders near the top of the Tottenham box and found Greenwood on the right wing. The forward took a couple touches into the box before putting it on his right foot and blasting in a shot towards the near post that Lloris has no chance of saving to put a little extra icing on the day and a little extra salt in José Mourinho’s wounds.
Ultimately, the match proved to be an incredible team performance with most players in Red really enjoying exceptional performances. As previously mentioned, Pogba had a massive performance while Luke Shaw aka Roberto Shaw-Los was vital on both sides of the pitch. Of course, Greenwood, who came in for Marcus Rashford in the 72nd minute, had an unreal appearance coming off the bench.
Manchester United tightened its hold on the second spot on the Premier League table as it now has 63 points — seven more than third-place Leicester. While the title race is probably not back on despite Manchester City having a stumble, it’s still encouraging to see this team playing for the manager and making incremental improvements over last season when it finished third.
The Reds return to Old Trafford to host Granda CF on Thursday, April 15 in the second leg of their Europa League Quarterfinal tie with United currently holding a 2-0 aggregate lead. They will remain at home to host Burnley in league play on Sunday, April 18.