May 14, 2021

Man Utd


National media rave about Manchester United victory against Tottenham

4 min read

Manchester United fought back from behind to beat Tottenham 3-1, all but securing a top-four spot and Champions League qualification next season.

A controversial first half saw United have a goal chalked off but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side fought back after the interval, with Fred, Edinson Cavani and Mason Greenwood on the scoresheet.

It means United now have a nine-point advantage in the hunt for a top-four finish, heading into the final seven matches of the season.

United’s second-half comeback continues their trend of valiantly fighting back from a losing position and extends their unbeaten streak in the Premier League to 23 matches.

There have been plenty of assessments from United’s performance and we have gathered a selection of what the national media have had to say following the result.

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United respond to VAR controversy to destroy Tottenham

Jason Burt, The Telegraph

Maybe being controversially denied the opening goal was the slap in the face Manchester United needed.

Whether there was enough contact – or deliberate contact – on Son Heung-min to rule out Edinson Cavani’s strike provoked heated and – post-match – quite bizarre arguments especially given the Tottenham player’s theatrical reaction. But it also stirred United who fell behind before deservedly claiming victory through three second-half goals.

The result and performance understandably delighted United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with Paul Pogba and Edinson Cavani outstanding and a thrilling cameo from Mason Greenwood. For once they did not have to rely on Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford while there was a delicious revenge from the 6-1 loss earlier this campaign.

United and Spurs’ turnaround since the 6-1

Vitushan Ehantharajah, Independent

The 6-1 earlier in the season felt like it was played out by two different teams. Spurs, then, were at their rampant best, in the early stages of a league run that took them top. United a defensive mess that suggested an irredeemable rot requiring wholesale changes, including in the dugout.

The turnarounds for both has been quite profound, reflected best in league positions of seventh and second at the time of kick-off. But the reasons for the respective shifts led to an opening half-hour that will hopefully not live long in the memory. Spurs flat, United devoid of ambition.

With a multiplied sense of injustice, United’s response after the break was as pleasing to the neutral as it was to their supporters. Snappier and more proactive build-up, they finally gave Spurs something to worry about.

The deficit behind Manchester City is 11 points with a game in hand. With seven games to play, it’s unlikely United can add some jeopardy to this title race. But the fact that even needs saying shows just how far they have come.

United far from perfect but have an identity under Solskjaer

Ian Ladyman, Daily Mail

How you respond to conceding a goal is important. How you respond to scoring one is also telling. Here Manchester United passed the test and Tottenham did not and the way this game eventually panned out tells us much about where these teams are under their respective managers.

United are far from perfect but they do have an identity under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. They do not often give anything away for free. Here, trailing after coming out the wrong side of some first-half controversy, they were superb in the second half. They scored three unanswered goals and looked like a group of players with a point to prove. They should try it more often.

Tottenham, on the other hand, look lost under Jose Mourinho. The Portuguese still talks the talk ahead of games like these. From that point of view, he continues to have few equals. But on the field? Not so much.

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Solskjaer deals fiendish blow to Tottenham’s Champions League hopes

Louise Taylor, The Guardian

While Mourinho was busy sparking creative tensions and indulging in divide and rule at Spurs, United’s hard-won harmony – not to mention Bruno Fernandes’s brilliance, Pogba’s renaissance and a clever counterattacking style – prompted quietly radical improvement. Solskjær’s side have risen from that nadir of 16th six months ago to second, still inferior to Manchester City but 14 points clear of seventh-placed Spurs.

Coincidentally, it is almost exactly 23 years since he executed one of the most cynical professional fouls in Premier League history, ensuring United earned a point against Newcastle, hacking down Rob Lee as the midfielder seemed certain to score the winning goal. “I could be a devil,” he recalled. “If I needed to hit someone’s ankle I’d hit it hard.”

On Sunday he and his team dealt Mourinho a blow so devastating no one will be remotely surprised if Spurs fail to qualify for a Champions League they look ill-equipped for, the Portuguese is sacked this summer and Kane moves on, possibly to Old Trafford.

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