Manchester United beat Tottenham 3-0 at Old Trafford this afternoon in the Premier League, United’s goals came from Marouane Fellaini, Michael Carrick and Wayne Rooney. This was a crucial game for both teams as they attempt to finish in the top four come the end of the season. This result gives United a six point cushion over Tottenham and keeps them in fourth place in the Premier League table. Louis Van Gaal’s side were going into this game under pressure from their supporters to perform after the disappointing result against Tottenham’s North London rivals Arsenal in the Fa Cup quarter-final on Monday night. Monday nights game saw Angel Di Maria sent off and therefore missing out on this game and the question going into this game was whose going to replace him in the starting line-up.
Manchester United made numerous changes to the starting line-up for this game with Di Maria missing out through suspension and Marcos Rojo missing the game after picking up a knock against Arsenal. Phil Jones came into the back four to play alongside Chris Smalling in the centre of United’s defence and Daley Blind reverting to a left-back position. Michael Carrick returned the centre of United’s midfield and Juan Mata made his first start since the 17th January against QPR in the place of suspended Di Maria. United came flying out of the blocks in this game, playing with a pace and style we haven’t seen for a long time at Old Trafford and ripped Tottenham apart in the first half.
Manchester United took the lead on the ninth minute through Fellaini when Carrick played the ball through to him down the left hand side of the Tottenham penalty area. Fellaini ran into the box with the ball and struck a fine low finish that nestled in the bottom corner of the Tottenham goal. After supplying the pass for United’s opener, Carrick got on the score sheet himself in the nineteenth minute to make it 2-0 to the home side. United won a corner which Mata took from the left side, Fellaini made a nuisance of himself the corner and his header was blocked and fell to Carrick who’s precise header left Lloris no chance of stopping it in the Tottenham goal. Rooney’s goal in the thirty-fourth minute made it 3-0 and practically game over with a little under an hour still to play in this game. Rooney was gifted the ball by Tottenham and evaded the Tottenham defenders, working his way into the Tottenham area before calmly slotting the ball in the bottom corner of Lloris goal.
Manchester United played out the second-half with ease, Tottenham came into the game a bit more but I feel this only because United had stepped off the gas a little after completing the job in the first-half. I don’t think there was any ever worry that Tottenham were going to score in this game. There was the worrying sight of Juan Mata hobbling off down the touchline to the tunnel after he had been replaced by Andreas Pereira. This was a performance all Manchester United fans have been waiting for, not just this season but for a good few seasons. Playing with energy and pace and the whole team played well. I don’t think you point out any player that put in a poor performance today. Therefore I don’t think we can pick a man of the match for this game. If I was pushed to pick one though I think I would have to say Michael Carrick. He brings a calmness to our midfield that has been missing recent games. He doesn’t panic when he’s on the ball and is always looking to move the game forward and he shields his defence superbly. He picked up an assist and a goal today, so I don’t think there can be many arguments for him not to get the award.
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