Friday, 29 April 2016

Man Utd Vs Leicester City

Barclays Premier League | Old Trafford | Attendance:
75,275 | Scorers: Martial 8', Morgan 17'

Manchester United and Leicester City played out
an enthralling 1-1 draw that was punctuated with
entertainment, passion and drama, yet the result
was not truly desired by either club.

Anthony Martial and Wes Morgan scored first-half
goals in the stalemate that mirrors November's
meeting at the King Power Stadium, providing a
blow to the Reds’ hopes of finishing in the Barclays
Premier League top four with just three matches
left to play. The Foxes could also have won the
title at Old Trafford had they secured a victory,
although their champagne remains on ice for the
time being.

The magnitude of this fixture given Leicester’s
potential title triumph was reflected inside the
stadium, with dozens of media crews from around
the world in attendance to report on what is
arguably the biggest story in sport.

Former England
manager Fabio Capello was among the onlookers,
working for Italian television, while the director’s
box also accommodated a heavily-bearded club
legend in Eric Cantona. There was even a rock star,
with Kasabian guitarist and Foxes fan Sergio
Pizzorno sitting among the fans for this much-
discussed game.

Louis van Gaal had told his players prior to kick-off
that they “cannot allow” Leicester to win the title
at Old Trafford and the Reds were clearly in no
mood to host a coronation, judging by the bright
start that led to the deadlock being broken on eight
minutes. The goal came from Anthony Martial, who
met Antonio Valencia’s cross to execute a low
near-post finish past Kasper Schmeichel. It was
the 20-year-old’s 15th strike of the season and that
means he is now United’s top scorer this season.

Leicester displayed their famed team sprit by
bouncing back quickly, as captain Wes Morgan lost
his marker Marcos Rojo to head Danny Drinkwater’s
lofted free-kick past David De Gea from close
range on 17 minutes, much to the delight and thrill
of the 3,000 travelling supporters in the away end.

There were further chances for both teams before
half-time, with Jesse Lingard and Marouane Fellaini
both forcing saves from Schmeichel, and Jeffrey
Schlupp hitting a deflected effort wide of goal
following a neat pass from Riyad Mahrez.
recently anointed PFA Player of the Year could and
perhaps should have won a penalty, too, when he
was upended by Marcos Rojo on 39 minutes.

Possession: United 71% Leicester 29%
Shots at goal: United 11 Leicester 5
Shots on target: United 3 Leicester 1
Corners: United 4 Leicester 2

The second half began with the physically-imposing
Morgan beating Rojo in the air once more to head
straight at De Gea, before Martial arched a right-
footed effort over the bar moments later. Ex-Reds
defender Danny Simpson then watched his
deflected cross roll across the six-yard area on 51
minutes, with his Japanese team-team Shinji
Okazaki unable to divert it into the net.

A flurry of yellow cards were then distributed to
Lingard, Michael Carrick and the industrious Danny
Drinkwater, another former United man, as the
match became a scrappy affair with both sides
jostling for dominance. A spark of creativity was
required and, perhaps with that in mind, van Gaal
sent substitute Juan Mata onto the field on 61
minutes to register his 100th Reds appearance.

United pushed forward and Fellaini soon saw a
header bounce wide of goal from Blind’s corner,
before the undeniably gifted Mahrez stung the
palms of De Gea with a rasping effort from 20
yards. With 78 minutes on the clock and the match
approaching its final act, Chris Smalling then rose
to meet Wayne Rooney’s cross from midfield to
head onto the outside of Schmeichel’s left-hand

Drinkwater was sent off for a second bookable
offence on 87 minutes, after dragging back
substitute Memphis on the edge of the penalty
area, and Schmeichel was forced to make a fine
save to deny Rooney from the resulting free-kick.
Seconds later, the son of Peter Schmeichel
frustrated the United captain again by catching his
curling strike from around 25 yards, wrapping up a
lively encounter at Old Trafford.

Possession: United 70% Leicester 30%
Shots at goal: United 21 Leicester 14
Shots on target: United 6 Leicester 3
Corners: United 6 Leicester 5

United: De Gea, Valencia, Smalling, Blind, Rojo,
Carrick, Fellaini (Herrera 75'), Lingard (Mata 61'),
Rooney, Martial, Rashford (Memphis 82').
Subs not used: Romero, Fosu-Mensah, Darmian,
Booked: Lingard, Carrick, Rooney

Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Huth, Morgan,
Fuchs, Mahrez (King 88'), Kanté, Drinkwater,
Schlupp (Albrighton 77'), Okazaki (Gray 67'), Ulloa.
Subs not used: Amartey, Wasilewski, Chilwell,
Sent off: Drinkwater.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Everton Vs Man Utd


Emirates FA Cup semi-final | 23 April 2016 | Wembley
Stadium | Attendance: 86,064 | Scorers: Fellaini 34,
Martial 90+3; Smalling o.g. 75

Manchester United will have the chance to win a
first FA Cup in 12 years after booking a return trip
to Wembley in next month's final in the most
dramatic fashion with an injury-time winner from
Anthony Martial, following yet more heroics from
David De Gea.

Former Toffees man Marouane Fellaini, one of four
changes to the side with Tim Fosu-Mensah,
Marcos Rojo and Michael Carrick also coming in,
put the Reds in front on 34 minutes before De Gea
saved a Romelu Lukaku penalty and Chris Smalling
put through his own net. Then followed the classic
United late drama as substitute Ander Herrera put
Martial through and the Frenchman coolly slotted
home in front of the jubilant United fans.
The Reds had already enjoyed two wins out of two
from the season's league meetings with Everton
and the opening quarter of the match brought hope
a third would follow, with United dominating
possession and looking sharp in attack. But in
Lukaku, Everton had a pacy, skilful outlet and, while
the Reds created the majority of the early
openings, United still needed De Gea to make some
customary solid stops and Wayne Rooney, playing
in a midfield role once more, to run the length of
the field to head off the line as Lukaku threatened.
In Rooney, Martial and Marcus Rashford, the Reds
had three attackers who looked well in the
mood. Martial was off and running at the Everton
defenders from the start and should have scored
on 21 minutes when Jesse Lingard put him through,
but the Frenchman blasted over.
Before that, Rojo had headed wide, Lingard had
seen a shot saved by Joel Robles in the Everton
goal after being found brilliantly by Rooney.
Rashford was next to be denied by Joel after
taking aim from Fellaini's knock-down as the
frenetic pace continued.

United's deserved breakthrough duly arrived 11
minutes before the break when Martial burst
towards the touchline for the umpteenth time and
pulled the ball back for former Everton man Fellaini
to steer home from close range.

Possession: Everton 42% United 58%
Shots: Everton 5 United 11
Shots on target: Everton 4 United 5
Corners: Everton 0 United 4

The second half began as the first had ended, with
United on top and creating more chances, the best
of which fell to Lingard after a move involving
fellow youngsters Fosu-Mensah, Rashford and
Martial, whose backheel set Lingard up for a shot,
but he dragged it wide.

Everton sparked into life 11 minutes after the
restart when Aaron Lennon broke forward and
found Ross Barkley. Fosu-Mensah went in for the
tackle with referee Anthony Taylor adjudging it to
be a foul even though the young defender appeared
to get the ball. Lukaku stood over the penalty but
De Gea, the man who thwarted Leighton Baines
from the spot last season, dived brilliantly to his
right to push the spot-kick away.

Despite the setback for Roberto Martinez's men,
they well and truly had their tails up and continued
their onslaught on the United goal. Tom Cleverley
fired wide as he flew in at the back post, while
Barkley shot wide when given an opening.

United were struggling to get a foothold in the
game, although Fellaini went close to bundling the
ball home on 65 minutes. Everton continued to
threaten and drew level 15 minutes from time in
the cruelest of fashions from a United perspective,
as substitute Gerard Deulofeu's cross was
deflected into his own goal by Smalling.

The Everton sub forced a top save from De Gea
soon after, while Fellaini made what looked to be a
goal-saving tackle as Lukaku took aim after
Everton broke forward from a United corner.

It looked like extra-time would be needed, but the
Reds' never-say-die spirit made sure that would
not be the case as, in injury time, Martial latched
onto Herrera's poked through-ball to send United
fans into raptures and his team into next month's
FA Cup final. See you in May, Wembley!

Possession: Everton 45% United 55%
Shots: Everton 16 United 22
Shots on target: Everton 8 United 7
Corners: Everton 2 United 7

Everton: Joel, Baines, Gibson, Stones, Jagielka (c),
Lukaku, Lennon (Deulofeu 70), Cleverley, McCarthy,
Besic, Barkley.
Subs not used: Howard, Hibbert, Oviedo, Mirallas,
Osman, Pennington.
Booked: Barkley

United: De Gea, Fosu-Mensah (Valencia 61),
Smalling, Blind, Rojo, Carrick, Fellaini (Herrera 87),
Lingard, Rooney (c), Martial, Rashford.
Subs not used: Romero, Darmian, Schneiderlin,
Mata, Memphis.
Booked: Rooney, Herrera, Martial

"I can't remember the last time I had a feeling like
this - it's a phenomenal feeling." - Michael Carrick

"It’s fantastic when you see the joy in the eyes of
the players. But also for the fans, because I think
we deserved to reach the final." - Louis van Gaal

Friday, 22 April 2016

De Gea In PFA Team of The Year


Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea has
been named in the PFA Team of the Year for the
third time in his career, capping yet another
excellent campaign for the Spaniard.

Every player from the 20 Premier League clubs
voted to decide the 2015/16 starting XI and this is
the third time De Gea has been involved, having
previously made the cut in 2012/13 and 2014/15.

United’s influential no.1 is the only member of
Louis van Gaal’s squad to be involved in the team
that is dominated by four players each from title
rivals Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur, with
the two remaining places going to Arsenal’s Hector
Bellerin and West Ham’s Dimitri Payet.

PFA Team of the Year: David De Gea (Manchester
United), Hector Bellerin (Arsenal), Wes Morgan
(Leicester City), Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham
Hotspur), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), Riyad
Mahrez (Leicester City), Dele Alli (Tottenham
Hotspur), N’Golo Kante (Leicester City), Dimitri
Payet (West Ham United), Harry Kane (Tottenham
Hotspur), Jamie Vardy (Leicester City).

As is tradition, the PFA had planned to reveal their
many Teams of the Year on Sunday night at its
annual awards dinner, but they were forced to
release them all on Thursday after the Premier
League side was leaked in a photograph on social
media. A statement on the organisation's website
“The PFA is disappointed that a member of the
public has chosen to deliberately leak our
representative teams from the official brochure of
the Awards Evening.

“As a matter of urgency, we are seeking a detailed
explanation from the brochure printers as to how
they were able to secure a copy of the publication.

“The unveiling of the PFA representative teams is
eagerly awaited by our members and football fans
throughout the country and we hope that the
unfortunate leak does not affect the wide-ranging
debate and discussion which accompanies their
normal release on the day of the event.”

Of course, De Gea is among the leading
contenders to win the Sir Matt Busby Player of the
Year award at United’s upcoming prize night on 2
May. You can cast your vote via

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Man Utd Vs Crystal Palace


Barclays Premier League | 20 April 2016 | Old
Trafford | Att: 75,277 | Scorer: Delaney OG 4',
Darmian 55'

Manchester United closed the gap on top-four
rivals Arsenal and Manchester City with a routine
2-0 win over Crystal Palace, providing a timely
morale boost ahead of Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup
semi-final at Wembley.

The victory – secured via a Damien Delaney own
goal and Matteo Darmian volley – leaves the Reds
just a point behind the Gunners ahead of their
game-in-hand against West Bromwich Albion on
Thursday, with Manuel Pellegrini’s Blues two points
ahead after their draw at Newcastle earlier in the

Louis van Gaal made three changes to his starting
XI from the preceding win over Aston Villa by
recalling Matteo Darmian, Jesse Lingard and
Anthony Martial in a 4-3-3 formation, with Wayne
Rooney playing in midfield alongside Morgan
Schneiderlin and Juan Mata.

The captain was deployed in a deeper role behind
in-form Marcus Rashford and it was the 18-year-
old’s back-heeled pass to Darmian that led to
United breaking the deadlock on four minutes,
when the Italian's left-wing cross was accidentally
diverted into the net by Eagles defender Delaney.

Martial, Rooney, Rashford and Lingard all went
close to scoring with first-half efforts, with Julian
Speroni producing solid saves on each occasion,
but in truth the opening 45 minutes lacked tempo
and cutting edge, particularly with Palace being so
willing to sit back. Alan Pardew’s players possibly
had Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final against Watford on
their minds, rather than Premier League points.
Possession: United 62% Crystal Palace 38%
Shots at goal: United 7 Crystal Palace 2
Shots at target: United 6 Crystal Palace 0
Corners: United 3 Crystal Palace 2

The second half began in a familiar manner as van
Gaal's men attacked an Eagles defence that was
more than willing to sit back and soak up pressure,
and Rooney almost doubled the advantage straight
away when his low drive from the edge of the area
was diverted away from goal by Souare.
Despite that early miss, United's second goal duly
arrived soon after 55 minutes - although it came
from the left boot of an unfamiliar scorer, as
industrious left-back Darmian latched on to
Delaney’s headed clearance to chest the ball down
and execute a superb volley that soared into the
net, after clipping the post, in front of the Stretford

Lingard and Rashford both forced excellent saves
from Speroni in quick succession on 62 minutes,
just moments before the latter was replaced by
Memphis Depay to a standing ovation from the Old
Trafford crowd. His young team-mate Jesse was
then taken off shortly afterwards, with Wembley
possibly in mind.

Van Gaal made his third and final change on 78
minutes as Rooney depatured the action to plenty
of acclaim from the supporters, following a solid
performance in midfield that should book his
starting place against his boyhood club Everton at
Wembley. One cause for concern, however, was
the sight of a hobbling Chris Smalling after the
centre-back flew into a 50/50 challenge during the
closing stages, although the centre-back confirmed
afterwards that he was fine.

While this match was by no means a classic,
United's performance was undeniably professional
and the result could yet prove to be decisive in the
race for UEFA Champions League qualification.

Possession : United 66% Crystal Palace 34%
Shots at goal : United 16 Crystal Palace 5
Shots on target: United 10 Crystal Palace 0
Corners: United 10 Crystal Palace 2

United: De Gea, Valencia, Smalling, Blind, Darmian,
Lingard (Herrera 73'), Schneiderlin, Mata, Rooney
(Fellaini 78'), Rashford (Memphis 64'), Martial.
Subs not used: Romero, Fosu-Mensah, Rojo, Young.
Booked: Darmian

Crystal Palace: Speroni, Kelly, Mariappa, Delaney,
Souare, Jedinak, Cabaye (McArthur 66'), Lee
(Mutch 60'), Zaha, Sako, Adebayor (Wickham 75').
Subs not used: Dreher, McArthur, Puncheon,
Booked: Kelly, Souare

"I was very happy with the performance and I think
it was a four or five to zero game. We should have
finished it much earlier and scored much more
goals. We are still in the race [for the top four]." -
Louis van Gaal

"I think we've done exactly what we've needed to
do, and it's about having City and Arsenal looking
over their shoulder, and we've put a bit more
pressure on." - Chris Smalling

Friday, 15 April 2016

Man Utd VS Aston Villa

Barclays Premier League | 16 April 2016 | Old
Trafford | Attendance: 75,411 | Scorer: Rashford 32'

Manchester United applied pressure to fourth-
placed rivals Manchester City with a 1-0 victory
over Aston Villa, courtesy of Marcus Rashford's
first-half strike.

Louis van Gaal made five changes to the XI that
started at West Ham in midweek but the match
lacked any real intensity, even if defeat confirmed
the Midlanders' inevitable relegation to the

After Jordan Ayew skied the game's first attempt,
Marcos Rojo's header over the top from Memphis
Depay's near-post free-kick registered the Reds'
opening gambit on 10 minutes. The hosts adopted
a steady approach and, from one of many patient
build-ups, Joleon Lescott produced a nervous
clearance behind his own goal from a Rashford

Juan Mata jinked into a dangerous position, only
for his shot to find touch, while ex-Red Kieran
Richardson also produced a wayward effort when
Marouane Fellaini's header clear fell to him. The
brightest moment of the half came on 32 minutes
as Rooney was fouled by Lescott in midfield. The
captain drilled the set-piece to the overlapping
Antonio Valencia and when the right-back's cross
arrived in the middle, Rashford supplied a predatory
finish past Brad Guzan for his seventh goal in 12

Guzan then comfortably dealt with a cross-shot
from Rooney and a heavily-deflected Memphis free-
kick as Villa remained in the game when the half-
time whistle sounded, despite failing to show too
much attacking ambition.

Possession : United 67% Villa 33%
Shots at goal : United 7 Villa 3
Shots on target: United 2 Villa 0
Corners: United 9 Villa 0

With Memphis more involved, United searched for a
second strike to effectively make the points safe
but Rashford was unable to profit when twice put
through by Mata, firstly being hustled out of his
stride by Alan Hutton and then dragging his finish

Memphis bent a drive off target and had a free-kick
that failed to trouble Guzan, while Mata forced a
stop out of the keeper following Daley Blind's
clever corner. Guzan also escaped a goalmouth
scramble when Fellaini challenged him but referee
Kevin Friend deemed no offence to have been

Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial replaced
Rooney and Rashford but United failed to show the
necessary devilment to breach the visiting defence
again. With seven minutes left, Blind and
Schneiderlin managed to prevent substitute Rudy
Gestede tapping in an Ayew pass. Suddenly, Villa
sensed a goal with Gestede hitting a post from
Ashley Westwood's corner and, from the following
set-piece by the midfielder, Ciaran Clark forced a
diving save out of the otherwise largely
unemployed David De Gea.
Gestede, a real threat in the air, also sent a header
over the top while Memphis was close to wrapping
things up in stoppage time when Guzan touched his
shot onto a post, from Martial's incisive through

Possession: United 66% Villa 34%
Shots at goal: United 13 Villa 6
Shots on target: United 4 Villa 1
Corners: United 14 Villa 3

United: De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Blind, Rojo;
Schneiderlin, Fellaini; Mata (Fosu-Mensah 89),
Rooney (Lingard 66), Memphis; Rashford (Martial
Subs not used: Romero, Darmian, McNair, Young.

Aston Villa: Guzan; Hutton, Clark, Lescott,
Cissokho; Westwood, Gueye; Bacuna, Sinclair,
Richardson (Gestede 82); Ayew.
Subs not used: Bunn, Richards, Sanchez, Gil, Lyden,
Booked: Richardson.

"It was not our best performance, of course, you
have seen it for yourself. I think we played too
slowly and it was also difficult as they were playing
very defensively and very compact. But we have
three points and that is the most important thing
at this stage." - Louis van Gaal

"Maybe fans and the media took the win for
granted and we never do this. In the Premier
League it doesn’t matter if the team is at the top
or the bottom of the table, it is always difficult. A
win is a win, and in our race to get into the
Champions League position, it was important to do
that." - Juan Mata

"We've defended really well this season and we
need to continue until the last game and hopefully
we will be in the top four. We need to win our
games and wait for the rest of the teams. We will
see in the end." - David De Gea

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

West Ham VS Man Utd Replay


Emirates FA Cup sixth-round replay | 13 April 2016 |
Upton Park | Attendance: 33,505 | Scorers: Rashford
54, Fellaini 67; Tomkins 79

Manchester United booked an Emirates FA Cup
semi-final date with Everton at Wembley by
impressively overcoming West Ham United in a
thrilling sixth-round replay at Upton Park.
In the last-ever cup tie at the Hammers’ historic
home, a wonderful goal by Marcus Rashford and a
close-range strike by the recalled Marouane Fellaini
put the Reds in control in the second half.
James Tomkins’ header led to a nervy final 10
minutes, with David De Gea producing more
heroics, but the visitors held out to stay on course
for a 12th triumph in football’s oldest knockout
competition, and there was further good news late
on when Wayne Rooney returned after two months
out through injury.

West Ham started the brighter of the two teams
and Enner Valencia found himself in space in the
box but shot weakly at De Gea. But the Reds
gradually settled into the game, with Fellaini firing
a shot that flicked off Angelo Ogbonna’s boot and
was then tipped over by Darren Randolph.
Half-chances came and went for both sides but the
best opening arrived for Rashford 10 minutes
before the interval. The 18-year-old escaped two
markers superbly and played Jesse Lingard through
on goal, but Randolph came out to block the
winger’s attempt. Soon after, with the visitors now
on top and the rain teeming down in East London,
an unmarked Rashford couldn’t connect cleanly
with Tim Fosu-Mensah’s cross and the sides went
in level.

Possession : West Ham 44% United 56%
Shots at goal : West Ham 5 United 6
Shots on target: West Ham 3 United 2
Corners: West Ham 1 United 6

The Reds displayed some great attacking intent at
the start of the second period and Lingard’s strike
hit the goal stanchion, before De Gea clung on to
Cheikhou Kouyate’s long-range effort.
But Louis van Gaal’s side were in command and
the breakthrough came in the 54th minute.

Rashford collected Anthony Martial’s pass, made
room for himself and curled a brilliant sixth goal of
the season past Randolph into the top corner.

The hosts fired a couple of speculative efforts at
De Gea in a bid to get back into the game but it
was the Reds who doubled the advantage midway
through the second period. Lingard crossed to
Martial, who controlled the ball eight yards out and
fired a shot on goal that clipped off Tomkins and
was then diverted in by Fellaini.

The home supporters fell silent but the Hammers
kept pressing and, after De Gea made an
astonishing point-blank save from Michail Antonio,
the Reds conceded. Andy Carroll, who had netted a
seven-minute hat-trick in his side’s last outing
against Arsenal but had been subdued all night,
knocked a far-post corner back across goal for
Tomkins to head home.

The goal spurred West Ham into life and led to
some fingernails being bitten among the 5,000 fans
in the away end as the Hammers laid siege to De
Gea's goal. The Spanish goalkeeper prevented
Chris Smalling from putting through his own net,
Carroll headed a presentable chance over and De
Gea made a stunning late double save from
Kouyate and Carroll. Kouyate's second attempt in
that attack actually found the net but he was
rightly flagged offside.

After four minutes of stoppage time, with Rooney
now on the pitch, referee Roger East blew his
whistle and United can look forward to a last-four
clash with Everton on 23 April.

Possession: West Ham 44% United 56%
Shots at goal: West Ham 20 United 10
Shots on target: West Ham 9 United 4
Corners: West Ham 5 United 7

West Ham: Randolph, Cresswell, Tomkins, Kouyate,
Ogbonna, Noble, Payet, Valencia (Moses 62),
Lanzini (Emenike 74), Antonio, Carroll.
Subs not used: Adrian, Obiang, Collins, Hendrie,
Booked: Carroll

United: De Gea, Fosu-Mensah, Smalling, Blind, Rojo
(Valencia 68), Carrick, Fellaini, Lingard, Herrera
(Schneiderlin 76), Martial, Rashford (Rooney 89).
Subs not used: Romero, Young, Mata, Memphis.
Booked: Carrick, Rojo, Herrera

Louis van Gaal : "I’m happy for the players, the club
and the fans. The spirit in the team is very good. It
was a fantastic result and I’m happy I shall go to
Wembley as a manager. Now we have to reach the
final – then I will be even more happy."

Michael Carrick : "It was massive – a great
opportunity for us to get to Wembley. West Ham
are flying and it's a tough place to come. We
believed we would come here and win and we have
done that."

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Spurs Vs Man Utd

Barclays Premier League | 10 April 2016 | White Hart
Lane | Attendance: 35,761 | Scorers: Alli 70,
Alderweireld 74, Lamela 76

Tottenham Hotspur scored three times inside six
second-half minutes to inflict a 3-0 defeat on
Manchester United, leaving the Reds four points
shy of the Barclays Premier League top four.
Dele Alli, Toby Alderweireld and Erik Lamela scored
the quickfire goals in devastating fashion to secure
Spurs' first win over United at White Hart Lane in
15 matches, since a 3-1 triumph in May, 2001. The
result means qualification to next season’s UEFA
Champions League looks a tall order for Louis van
Gaal's men with only six top-flight matches left to
play this season. “It is not the weekend we
wanted," conceded a disappointed Michael Carrick
afterwards. "But there are a few weekends left

Kick-off at White Hart Lane was delayed by 30
minutes due to United’s team bus being stuck in
traffic and that meant the Reds had to complete a
much shorter warm-up than normal, although it
didn’t appear to make an impact in the opening
exchanges of the first half. Van Gaal’s men
controlled much of the ball for 20 minutes and
registered shots at goal through Jesse Lingard and
Tim Fosu-Mensah, the impressive and powerful
Dutch youngster who was recalled to the XI in
place of Matteo Darmian.

Title-chasing Tottenham needed to win the game
following Leicester City’s 2-0 win at Sunderland
earlier in the day and Mauricio Pochettino's
men began to show their quality as the first half
ticked on, with an offside Harry Kane forcing a
point-blank save from David De Gea and Christian
Eriksen curling wide from distance, before Erik
Lamela spurned an excellent chance when his free
header bounced wide of the back post just before
the half-hour mark.

Ahead of Sunday’s outing, Spurs boasted the
Premier League’s best defensive record in terms of
goals conceded (25) and United were also top of
the division’s clean sheets table with 15, so it was
perhaps no surprise that the score remained
goalless following a competitive yet studious first
half at White Hart Lane.

Possession: Tottenham 41% United 59%
Shots at goal: Tottenham 4 United 2
Shots on target: Tottenham 0 United 0
Corners: Tottenham 1 United 3

Ashley Young replaced the unusually quiet Marcus
Rashford at the beginning of the second half to
make his first senior appearance since 17 January
in the 1-0 win at Liverpool. The 30-year-old
displayed his versatility by playing as United’s sole
striker, a role that he had played to good effect for
the Under-21s against Chelsea at Old Trafford
earlier in the week.

Tottenham restarted the match with much greater
pace and De Gea was quickly forced into action to
repel two powerful shots on 50 minutes, firstly from
the lively Eriksen and then from in-form England
international Eric Dier, before the Premier League's
top scorer Kane forced another save from the
Spaniard moments later as Spurs flexed their
attacking muscles.

The game was lacking a real moment in quality
with both sides repeatedly giving the ball away,
although Anthony Martial could and perhaps should
have broken the deadlock on 62 minutes with a
superb individual effort. He cut inside from the left
wing to dribble past three markers and hit a
powerful strike that was saved by Hugo Lloris, his
captain with the French national team.
Just as United eyed a narrow win in the final third
of the match, bouyed by Martial's good work,
Tottenham floored the Reds by ruthlessly scoring
three goals in the space of six minutes. Alli
notched the first with a cool finish past De Gea
from Eriksen’s left-wing cross and Alderweireld
swiftly headed home the second from Lamela’s
pinpoint free-kick. Argentina international Lamela
then latched onto Danny Rose’s assist to complete
the match’s decisive spell by drilling past the
exposed De Gea.
That wrapped up a disappointing result in north
London that means it is now extremely difficult for
United to qualify for next season's Champions
League, with Manchester City four points ahead.
Presumably, there is now a greater emphasis on
the Reds' Emirates FA Cup campaign ahead of it a
resumption with the quarter-final replay at West
Ham in midweek.

Possession: Tottenham 46% United 54%
Shots at goal: Tottenham 16 United 5
Shots on target: Tottenham 9 United 1
Corners: Tottenham 2 United 7

United: De Gea, Fosu-Mensah (Darmian 68),
Smalling, Blind, Rojo, Schneiderlin, Carrick, Mata
(Memphis 77), Lingard, Martial, Rashford (Young
Subs not used: Romero, Valencia, Fellaini, Herrera.
Booked: Darmian, Memphis, Young.

Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Alderweireld,
Vertonghen, Rose, Dier, Dembele, Lamela (Chadli
87), Eriksen, Alli (Mason 92), Kane (Son 88).
Subs not used: Vorm, Trippier, Wimmer, Carroll.
Booked: Rose, Walker, Alli.

Louis van Gaal: “Every team can lose to everybody
so we are still in the race [for fourth] but, of
course, when you lose a game you have to close
the gap again and that is difficult.”

Michael Carrick: “I thought we did alright for an
hour or so, but the first goal was a bad one to
concede because we could have stopped that and
we could have prevented that. The second one
came so quickly after that and put us right on the
back foot. The third one meant it was game over
because there was so little time left."