Rash­ford and daz­zling De Gea earn Man United win at Spurs

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LON­DON, (Reuters) - Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur’s Premier League ti­tle am­bi­tions suf­fered a ma­jor blow as Mar­cus Rash­ford’s goal gave Manch­ester United a 1-0 vic­tory at Wem­b­ley yes­ter­day to main­tain care­taker man­ager Ole Gun­nar Sol­sk­jaer’s per­fect start.

Rash­ford beat Tot­ten­ham keeper Hugo Lloris from a tight an­gle in the 44th minute as re­ju­ve­nated United claimed a sixth win from six matches since for­mer striker Sol­sk­jaer stepped in fol­low­ing Jose Mour­inho’s sack­ing.

Tot­ten­ham had 11 shots on tar­get in the sec­ond half but could find no way past United’s in­spired Span­ish keeper David De Gea who pro­duced su­perb saves to deny Dele Alli, Harry Kane and Toby Alder­weireld.

His hero­ics en­abled United to hang on for a first away league win against Tot­ten­ham since 2012.

Sol­sk­jaer’s side re­mained in sixth spot but are now level on 41 points with Arse­nal while Tot­ten­ham have 48 points in third place, nine be­hind lead­ers Liver­pool and two be­hind cham­pi­ons Manch­ester City, who face Wolver­hamp­ton Wan­der­ers on Mon­day.

Tot­ten­ham man­ager Mauri­cio Po­chet­tino is widely tipped to be­come United’s next full-time boss but the vis­it­ing United fans were singing “Ole Ole Ole Ole, Sol­sk­jaer, Sol­sk­jaer!” at the end as they rose to ac­claim their for­mer Cham­pi­ons League hero whose ar­rival has trans­formed their sea­son.

Po­chet­tino, mean­while, has much to pon­der af­ter a sixth league loss of the sea­son.

Son He­ung-min is about to leave for the Asia Cup, Moussa Sis­soko limped off with a groin in­jury and key striker Kane hob­bled off at the end af­ter suf­fer­ing an an­kle in­jury.

A visit to Tot­ten­ham was Sol­sk­jaer’s big­gest test and the fact he passed it must make him a se­ri­ous con­tender for the job.

“Re­sults-wise, to come away here and beat Tot­ten­ham is fan­tas­tic,” the Nor­we­gian said. “We hung on in the sec­ond half and we never got to grips with it when they changed the sys­tem, but you are al­lowed to have a good goal­keeper.

“Ob­vi­ously, when you make 11 saves it is a top per­for­mance, but even so, two of them were top saves but the rest you would ex­pect David to make.”

HAP­PI­NESS BACK

De Gea be­lieves Sol­sk­jaer had brought hap­pi­ness back to the club.

“This is the real Manch­ester United,” the keeper said.

In a first half full of at­tack­ing foot­ball Kane had a goal dis­al­lowed for the hosts but United, with Jesse Lin­gard, An­thony Mar­tial and Rash­ford form­ing a rapid at­tack­ing trio, were dan­ger­ous ev­ery time they broke for­ward.

The first goal al­ways looked like be­ing vi­tal and it ar­rived just be­fore the break af­ter Unit­ed­turned over pos­ses­sion in their own half and Paul Pogba set Rash­ford free down the right with a su­perb through ball.

The United for­ward drove to the edge of the penalty area and fired a shot that Lloris got a hand to but could not keep out.

Lloris re­deemed him­self with two saves from Pogba but af­ter that it was all about the ex­cel­lence of De Gea as Spurs, roared on by the ma­jor­ity of the 80,000 crowd, des­per­ately sought an equaliser.

He saved Kane’s close-range header and blocked Alli’s shot with his legs af­ter the mid­fielder was re­leased one-on-one, be­fore mak­ing a stun­ning re­ac­tion save to deny Toby Alder­weireld’s near-post flick from a cor­ner.

Kane’s free kick was saved ac­ro­bat­i­cally by De Gea and the Eng­land for­ward saw an­other goal­bound ef­fort can­non off the shins of the Spa­niard.

At the death, Fer­nando Llorente’s lobbed pass was just too far ahead of Kane, who ended the match gri­mac­ing in pain.

“We did every­thing to win the game. We dom­i­nated and we cre­ated a lot of chances,” Po­chet­tino said.

Manch­ester United’s Mar­cus Rash­ford scores their first goal Ac­tion Images via Reuters/John Si­b­ley.

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