Manchester United played their first Premier League game in over 100 days against Tottenham Hotspur, a crucial one to determine their top-four hopes. They were held to a 1-1 draw, meaning United were unable to close in on 4th place Chelsea. The Red Devils dominated the early parts of the game, but Spurs took a lead in the 27th-minute when Steven Bergwijn’s powerful shot went through David De Gea’s reach into the net.
As usual, Jose Mourinho parked the bus with a deep defensive line which was broken by Paul Pogba’s introduction. The Frenchman’s skilful worked earned united a penalty in the 80th-minute, that was smartly converted by Bruno Fernandes to make it 1-1. Both sides huffed & puffed trying to clinch the winner, but exhaustion forced them to settle for splitting the points.
This result does no good for either sides’ Champions League hopes. If Chelsea win, they’ll be 5 points ahead of United! Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will lament not being able to win this after such a dominant performance.
Manchester United Player Ratings
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (6.0) –
Ole takes a bit of a risk not starting Paul Pogba today. That somewhat cost him as United lacked penetrativeness before the Frenchman was subbed in after the hour mark. However, Solskjaer’s substitutions worked wonders and enabled the Red Devils to display some attractive stuff towards the end. He (barely) keeps his positive big-game record alive, but will be frustrated not to get the win.
David de Gea (5.5) –
De Gea really should’ve done better to save Bergwijn’s attempt, which went through his arms. Somewhat makes up for it with a super save to deny Son in the 31st. He also made a few more nice stops as the game went on, but De Gea really needs to do better about avoiding those errors. Being the club’s highest-paid player, he can’t afford to do that. Probably cost United 3 points once again.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (6.5)-
Wan-Bissaka comes up against the menacing Son Heung-Min today. Still pretty ineffective going forward. But he gained more vigour as the game went on, making a few terrific interceptions to set up swift breaks for his side. Kept Son relatively quiet too and even though he didn’t display his iconic tackling skills much, Wan-Bissaka was solid once again.
Harry Maguire (6.0) –
The United captain looks focused as ever as he comes up against Harry Kane. Maguire looked dominant in the aerial but his lack of pace again cost United as he allowed Bergwijn to burst past him for the goal. In general, he bossed Kane. Maguire made 5 clearance, 5 interceptions and won 7 aerial duals. However, his error leading to Spurs’ strike ultimately cost his side two more points on the day.
Victor Lindelof (6.0) –
Lindelof is helping move the ball faster for United and covering well for his fellow defenders. Made a few important challenges including some impressive clearances, but the intensity of the game got to him. He hobbled off in the 78th-minute, indicating that his season could be over.
Luke Shaw (6.0)–
Shaw’s aerial vulnerability cost him again, as his poor clearance kick-started the move for Bergwijn’s goal. Struggling to keep up with the Spurs winger. He got better as the game went on, showcasing a lot of intent going forward. But he wasn’t able to create anything definitive, even though defensively he made a number of solid challenges to save United from trouble.
Fred (5.5) –
Fred has been tidy with his distribution early on. Tested Hugo Lloris with a swerving attempt in the 22nd minute. The Brazilian was tenacious with his interceptions and tackles, but couldn’t create much at all on the attack. Subbed for Pogba after the hour-mark.
Scott McTominay (7.0) –
McTominay is looking real purposeful towards regaining possession in midfield. Showcasing loads of energy to hassle Spurs. He poured his heart out on the pitch, aiding his defenders, driving his team forward and making a number of important clearances in the danger areas. A warrior today!
Bruno Fernandes (8.0) –
Fernandes is urging his team to maintain a high press in the initial stages. Put up a clever pass for Rashford’s chance in the 22nd. Smashed a shot at Lloris in the 25th. Swerved another shot at goal before half-time. Fizzed another shot agonizingly wide of the target in the 54th. Created a brilliant chance for Martial in 65th, only to see him miss. Made no mistake slotting home the penalty to equalize the game.
Bossed the game once again. Tormented Spurs with his defence-splitting passes and drove his side into maintaining their unbeaten streak. Looked real good with Pogba too!
Daniel James (4.5) –
James started the game a bit sloppily with some mistimed passes. Unable to get behind Spurs’ defence and booked in the 41st for venting his frustrations. Just not effective enough creating down the right-wing and very error-prone in his first game back after the season restart.
Anthony Martial (5.5) –
Martial had a really dim first-half, barely being able to see possession or create chances for himself. Got one glorious opportunity to equalize in the 65th but his sloppiness allowed Eric Dier to block his shot from close range. Took a better left-footed shot two minutes later, forcing a super save from Lloris. He didn’t get too much delivery in the box, but Martial didn’t look as hungry or instinctive to make an impact.
Marcus Rashford (5.5) –
Rashford’s first game for United since January! Quite proactive in the final third. Forced a super save from Lloris in the 22nd with an instinctive shot from close. Rashford worked very hard and got into a couple of promising areas, but lacked the killer instinct today. Probably needs some time to brush off the rustiness in his game.
Paul Pogba (7.5) –
The Frenchman looks real lively in his first appearance since late December. Danced around the midfield like a wizard and outwitted Dier to earn United a penalty in the 80th-minute. Pinged an incredible long-ball to send Rashford through on goal in the 85th, but saw his teammate unable to capitalize on it.
Oozed class and confidence, looking as good as ever. Proved he’s back and will make an impact for United in their end-of-season blitz.
Marcus Greenwood (6.0) –
Added a different dimension to United’s game after coming on cutting on from the right-wing. Almost won the game in the end, with his shot just grazing wide of the target.
Odion Ighalo (5.5) –
Used his physicality well to set up a few chances, but couldn’t get anything at goal at all.
Nemanja Matic (6.0) –
Slotted in as a make-shift centre-back after Lindelof got injured. Did a pretty good job, making a few decent challenges and helping United see out Spurs late charge.
Eric Bailly (N/A) –
His inability to warm-up quickly meant that Matic had to be subbed in as Lindelof’s replacement in defence. Helped United see it out towards the end.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Bruno Fernandes was once again United’s saviour today. He created chances, tested Spurs with venomous strikes and most importantly scored the penalty to gain a point. Continues his fairytale story with the Red Devils.