Manchester United 2-0 Tottenham: What Were The Main Talking Points As Erik ten Hag’s Side Lay Down An Old Trafford Marker?

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Oct 21, 2022, 12:39

In what was a heavyweight showdown on Wednesday night, Manchester United picked up an impressive 2-0 victory against Tottenham at Old Trafford.

While Erik ten Hag’s men might have known that they faced a tough test on home soil, the former Premier League champions laid down a real marker as goals from Fred and Bruno Fernandes wrapped up all three points for the former Ajax boss.

Handing Spurs just their second top-flight defeat since opening the 2022/23 campaign, United also continued on what has been an eye-catching recent run at Old Trafford.

However, despite making the trip to Manchester smelling the chance to spring an upset and widen their buffer in the top-four, Tottenham struggled to find any real clinical edge here.

In an enjoyable battle between the two Champions League chasers on Wednesday night, we have taken a look at the main talking points.

A dominant display at Old Trafford

Marking their return from September’s international break earlier in the month with an action-packed 6-3 defeat against local rivals and defending champions Manchester City, it was no secret that ten Hag has been calling on his side to find some recent stability.

Having to settle for a 0-0 stalemate at home against Newcastle last weekend, Wednesday’s hosts had been searching for a more free-flowing display in the final third.

However, despite just about edging past Omonia while on Europa League duties over the past fortnight, the former Ajax boss was rightfully filled with praise for his side’s perfect performance here.

More than deserving of their 2-0 victory and hardly having to get out of second gear for large spells at Old Trafford, United also now find themselves sat just a single point adrift from skyrocketing their way into the top-four.

Arguably their best overall Premier League display since ten Hag arrived in Manchester over the summer, there is no doubt that the former English champions will be looking to use Wednesday’s performance as a platform to build off.

Tottenham must prove this was just a minor blip

While Antonio Conte might have come under some mild scrutiny for Tottenham’s compact displays so far this season, Spurs would have made the trip to Old Trafford on Wednesday night smelling the chance to spring an upset.

Cruising their way to a 2-0 victory at home against Everton last weekend, the one-time Chelsea boss had also seen his side lose just a single Premier League appearance since opening the 2022/23 campaign.

However, while Harry Kane might have enjoyed his most clinical start to a domestic campaign after already notching nine top-flight strikes, Tottenham failed to lay any kind of blow on Wednesday’s hosts here.

Thankful that Hugo Lloris stopped the scoreline from becoming a real concern, Conte has now lost each of his four Premier League showdowns at Old Trafford during his career.

Although Tottenham might still find themselves leading the chase to claim another top-four finish this season, fans around north London will be desperate for their side to prove that Wednesday’s display was nothing more than a minor blip.

Bruno back to his best

Watching summer arrival Christian Eriksen receive plenty of praise since arriving in Manchester, it is no secret that Bruno Fernandes has found growing pressure on his shoulders over recent months.

Failing to bag a single strike in any of United’s previous nine appearances across all competitions, the ex-Sporting Lisbon superstar was certainly back to his influential best here.

Wrapping up all three points with 20 minutes left on the clock as the 28-year-old produced a sublime strike, the Portuguese international was at the heart of everything positive that ten Hag’s side produced in midweek.

In fact, Fernandes created nine chances for United on Wednesday night, the most by any player in a Premier League game since September 2021.

Putting in a real Man of the Match display here and spearheading what is being billed as their best domestic performance under ten Hag, Fernandes also underlined why he is still vital in Manchester United’s Champions League charge.

Match Report:

Manchester United: De Gea, Dalot, Varane, Martinez, Shaw, Casemiro, Fred, Antony, Fernandes, Sancho, Rashford

Subs: McTominay, Eriksen, Elanga

Tottenham: Lloirs, Romero, Dier, Davies, Perisic, Hojberg, Bissouma, Bentancur, Doherty, Son, Kane

Subs: Spence, Skipp, Sessegnon, Sanchez, Moura

Goals: Fred (47′), Fernandes (69′)

Yellow Cards: Casemiro

Red Cards: N/A

Referee: Simon Hooper

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