‘Red and blue’ as United, Ever­ton tri­umph over stub­born ri­vals

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Sport -

ENG­LAND. — Manch­ester United proved yes­ter­day that their re­cov­ery un­der Ole Gun­nar Sol­sk­jaer is no flash in the pan, with Mar­cus Rash­ford pounc­ing to seal a 1-0 win in a thrilling con­test against Tot­ten­ham.

The two sides went toe-to-toe in an open game but while both teams had mul­ti­ple chances, United goal­keeper David de Gea proved the dif­fer­ence, mak­ing a string of phe­nom­e­nal saves.

In­terim man­ager Sol­sk­jaer has in­stalled Rash­ford as his No. 1 striker and was richly re­warded when the 21-yearold scored the de­ci­sive goal in the 44th minute.

Paul Pogba sparkled for United, en­gaged in a per­sonal duel with Spurs goal­keeper Hugo Lloris for pe­ri­ods of the sec­ond half.

United’s vic­tory is their fifth suc­ces­sive Premier League win un­der their tem­po­rary man­ager in a con­test seen as his first ma­jor test since he took over from the sacked Jose Mour­inho last month.

Ear­lier, Mauri­cio Po­chet­tino’s Tot­ten­ham set­tled quickly into their fluid pass­ing game at Wem­b­ley, en­joy­ing the bulk of pos­ses­sion.

They went close to tak­ing the lead when Harry Winks, seem­ingly un­sure whether to shoot or cross, fired the ball across the face of the United goal af­ter be­ing played in by Son He­ung-min.

Min­utes later the vis­i­tors had a chance to take the lead when Ash­ley Young’s cross fell to Jesse Lin­gard, who fired over from the cor­ner of the six-yard box.

United, with Lin­gard, An­thony Martial and Rash­ford rac­ing for­ward at ev­ery op­por­tu­nity, looked dan­ger­ous and Martial forced Lloris into a smart low save with his legs.

The game lost a lit­tle of its fran­tic in­ten­sity mid­way through the first half.

Kane poked the ball into the net af­ter be­ing set up by Dele Alli but it was ruled out for off­side.

Moussa Sis­soko pulled up sharply with an ap­par­ent ham­string in­jury and although he re­turned to the pitch he was un­able to con­tinue, be­ing re­placed by Erik Lamela. The de­ci­sive mo­ment in the match came shortly be­fore half­time.

Lin­gard cut out a care­less cross-field ball from Kieran Trip­pier and nudged the ball to Pogba, who had time to look up and mea­sure a rak­ing cross-field pass to Rash­ford, rac­ing down the right.

Rash­ford still had plenty to do but kept his nerve to fire right-footed past Lloris and into the far cor­ner — Lloris got fin­ger­tips to the ball but was un­able to keep it out.

Pogba, whose re­la­tion­ship with Mour­inho had de­te­ri­o­rated sharply, looks re­ju­ve­nated un­der Sol­sk­jaer — he has been in­volved in eight goals un­der the in­terim boss, with four goals and four as­sists. Tot­ten­ham came out of the blocks smartly af­ter the restart and Kane looked cer­tain to level from close range but De Gea saved bril­liantly with his left foot be­fore pulling off a fine save to deny an Alli headed ef­fort.

Ash­ley Young sent over an invit­ing cross that Pogba headed straight at Lloris and the Spurs goal­keeper had to be alert to tip over an­other Pogba ef­fort that came at the end of a long spell of United pos­ses­sion.

Spurs, roared on by a pas­sion­ate home crowd, were build­ing up a head of steam and Alli had a golden chance to equalise but De Gea was again equal to the task, sav­ing with his legs.

How­ever, Kurt Zouma’s sec­ond-half header and sub­sti­tute Do­minic CalvertLewin’s stop­page-time strike saw Ever­ton beat Bournemouth 2-0 as they climbed into the top half of the Premier League ta­ble. — AFP

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