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Staff Takeaways: Manchester United 2-0 Tottenham Hotspur

Thoughts on last night’s match...

Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Colin- This is the way

This is the kind of football Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United are meant to play. This is the kind of performance he talked about from the start. Creativity and intention, but more than that control.

Tottenham Hotspur only looked threatening in brief moments. The midfield pairing of Casemiro and Fred kept things tidy for the most part in the middle of the park, and in instances when United were caught in transition the back four expertly dealt with the threat of Harry Kane and Heung Min Son swiftly. That is no easy task for a centre back pairing, let alone one that only took the pitch together for the first time in August, but the task was accomplished and the threats were limited, so much so that United’s attack thrived and sustained pressure for much of the night.

Bruno Fernandes was back to the playmaker who won the hearts of the United fanbase nearly instantaneously upon his arrival. Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford, and Antony looked like a front three on the same page as well, and while the finishing was lacking on a couple occassions they found enough chances for themselves that you would expect the goals to come.

And come they did, finally, in a second half performance that put every late stage collapse from the last year far from anyone’s mind. A deflected shot from Fred broke the deadlock, and a remarkable first time shot into the top corner from Bruno Fernandes sealed the deal. Goals that reward performances from Everton, Omonia Nicosia, and Newcastle United, performances that all lacked the finishing touch but shared the creativity, intention, and control that United brought to Wednesday’s encounter.

It may not be such an easy task at Chelsea on Saturday, but for the first time in a long time there are good vibes. We can only hope that more is to come.

This is the way.