Tottenham 0-1 Manchester United: 3 Tactical factors which were crucial in United's win
Manchester United were able to beat Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 in a crucial Premier League match at the Wembley yesterday. Marcus Rashford scored the only goal of the match in the 45th minute of the match. It was United’s 6th straight win since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has taken charge of the team.
United have now won their last 5 matches in the Premier League and have 41 points from 22 matches. Tottenham meanwhile, stayed on 48 points from 22 matches and now trail league leaders Liverpool by 9 points.
United were marginally the better team in the first half, whereas Tottenham dominated the proceedings in the second. Tottenham had 61% ball possession in the match and had 11 shots on target against United’s 8.
It was a very hard-earned victory for United and also their first against a top team this season. We would now take a look at the 3 tactical factors which were important in United’s win.
#1 United defended deep and kept Tottenham’s forwards at bay
United knew before the match that Tottenham would come hard at them and devised their strategy accordingly. Their defenders defended very deep and defensive midfielders almost always stayed close to the back four. Nemanja Matic especially was superb and blocked quite a few shots inside the penalty box, including two from Harry Kane.
Ander Herrera too, curbed his attacking instincts somewhat and stayed in his own half as much as possible. United’s right-back Ashley Young went into overlaps on quite a few occasions in the first 30 minutes or so, but mostly stayed in his own half thereafter to deal with the attacking threat of Son-Heung-Min.
Luke Shaw was also very good and won some battles in the air with the Tottenham forwards. United’s center-backs were also quite good and delivered a dour and gutsy performance. But special praise has to be reserved for United’s goalie David De Gea, who was simply phenomenal yesterday.
He made two great saves of Dele Alli from close range and parried away a flick from Toby Alderweireld. It was Da Gea’s 4th clean sheet in the league this season and definitely one of his better performances for United till date.