ANTHONY MARTIAL was the hero as Manchester United pulled off a huge victory over title rivals Tottenham.
It took three touches to get it from one goal to the other as Tottenham fell victim to a route one classic.
David De Gea launched the ball forward Romelu Lukaku headed it on and substitute Martial hit it on the volley past Hugo Lloris.
For Spurs it had been a case of no Kane no gain.
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino said they could still win at Old Trafford without injured Harry.
In truth they desperately missed the striker who was in red hot form going into the game with 17 goals for club and country before a hamstring strain ruled him out of this clash.
While United had been criticised for their approach at Anfield and application at the John Smith’s Stadium you could not fault them yesterday as they went for victory in the second-half and got it.
The first half had been an intense affair despite there being few chances.
The tackles were crunching in all over the pitch but both defences were refusing to buckle.
Both goalkeepers were only really called into action once each.
Hugo Lloris was taking no chances in the 12th minute when Marcus Rashford fired in a low long range free kick which bounced awkwardly in front of the Spurs ‘keeper who palmed it round the post.
At the other end Eric Dier tried an acrobatic volley which David De Gea moved swiftly across his line to catch.
United upped the pace at the start of the second half and came desperately close to taking the lead.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan wriggled his way through and when Lloris parried his shot Ben Davies did superbly well to get his toe to the ball ahead of Marcus Rashford.
United kept up the pressure and when Mkhitaryan burst into the box and crossed the ball flew through Romelu Lukaku’s legs in front of goal.
Then in the 77th minute a big chance fell for Dele Alli.
Christian Eriksen found him with a chipped ball through, Alli flicked it past De Gea but the ball went just the wrong side of the post.
The action quickly switched up the other end and from Jesse Lingard’s cross Lukaku’s header came back off the post.
United’s disappointment would soon turn to joy with that cracking strike from Martial.
INTERACTIVE STATS – CLICK on the categories to find out how the teams fared
FACTS, STATS, GOALS & LOLS
- Ahead of the game, Man United had won their last three Premier League home games against Tottenham without conceding a goal.
- Spurs had lost 20 of their 25 trips to Old Trafford in the Premier League – the worst away record against any club.
- Tottenham were looking to record back-to-back league victories over United for the first time since 1990, after their 2-1 win in May.
INTERACTIVE LINE-UPS – CLICK on a player’s number below to see their stats
WHAT THEY SAID
Player/manager reaction to follow…
Spurs doing really well, considering they’re essentially playing with 10 men(Sissoko) #MUNTOT
— Joel Bassat (@joelbassat) October 28, 2017
This Man Utd/Spurs match is very exciting. I sometimes wish I played under José Mourinho. I think our styles would mesh nicely.
— Boring James Milner (@BoringMilner) October 28, 2017
Beautiful. 3 huge points. Tony Martial, again #MUNTOT
— Mark Henrich (@MarkHenrich) October 28, 2017
DREAM TEAM RATINGS
MAN UNITED: De Gea, Bailly, Smalling, Jones, Valencia, Young (Darmian 90), Herrera, Matic, Mkhitaryan (Lingard 65), Rashford (Martial 70), Lukaku.
Subs not used: Romero, Mata, Blind, McTominay.
TOTTENHAM: Lloris, Alderweireld, Dier, Vertonghen, Aurier, Davies, Sissoko (Dembele 62), Winks, Eriksen, Alli, Son (Llorente 62).
Subs not used: Vorm, Trippier, Rose, Sanchez, Nkoudou.
Full ratings to follow shortly…