IN FOCUS POCHETTINO V SOLSKJAER
Manchester United’s remarkable run under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – perhaps improbably – continued with a 1-0 victory away to Tottenham on Sunday. Marcus Rashford’s strike from a superb Paul Pogba pass just before half-time proved to be enough for the visitors to secure a vital Premier League win and go level with fifth-placed Arsenal on points. Spurs threw everything at United in the second half but a phenomenal display from David De Gea kept them at bay. Here’s how Mauricio Pochettino fared in his ‘audition’ for the Old Trafford post.
Pochettino: Tottenham enjoyed plenty of possession to begin with but apart from one moment when Harry Winks stole in behind, never really threatened in the first half.
Instead, they played a risky game at the back, allowing two v two or three v three scenarios for United to exploit in the transition and paid for it with Rashford’s goal. They were far better in the second and forced some sensational saves from De Gea but United always had a chance on the break.
Solskjaer: The manager said they went to Dubai to work hard and the fruits of that effort were abundantly clear. Not only did United seem to have an extra gear over Spurs following a week of warm weather training, they clearly did their homework as well.
The Red Devils were exceptionally organised, congesting the central areas and forcing Tottenham wide. In the transition, they were calculating and attacked at pace with Rashford’s opener perfectly following the blueprint. They then came under far more pressure in the second half and rode their luck on several occasions, but the defensive principles stayed sound.
7/10 RATING 8/10 RATING