It wasn’t a thrilling and open contest as many would have hoped, but was something of a defensive showcase as both teams fought hard. In the end a Kane-less Spurs just didn’t have enough to really hurt United and the Red Devils had two or three good chances to score before they finally took the lead late on yet again. Here are the player ratings:
David De Gea – 6/10
Despite his ridiculous hair, he was still quality at the back. He had little to do, but he did it well.
Eric Bailly – 7/10
Mourinho will be glad to have Bailly back as his presence brought an air of assurance back to the United defence. The Ivorian won all his tackles, aerial duels, made 2 interceptions and 5 clearances. He helped to secure the United defence against Dele’s dynamic runs.
Chris Smalling – 7/10
Has emerged from the wilderness to re-find his place in the first XI. Today Smalling looked comfortable in United’s defensive system, at the heart of the three-man back-line he dominated opponents and picked off crosses and passes well. 9 clearances is more than any other player on the pitch.
Phil Jones – 6/10
Looked less than comfortable at times in this three-man defence. But managed to avoid any colossal errors that would let Spurs through.
Antonio Valencia – 7/10
Captain Tony V was just absolutely relentless up and down the right-flank. Defended well and repeatedly offered an attacking outlet. It’s remarkable how consistently good he is becoming.
Ander Herrera – 6/10
As always he was combative and composed. 11 tackles attempted showed just how relentless he was (although he only won 3 of them). Wasn’t as good with the ball as expected.
Nemanja Matic – 7/10
The big Serbian has proven himself to be an incredible signing. Today against Spurs he was often United’s lone bulwark against the Spurs tide. He made 4 interceptions, 3 blocks, won 3/5 aerial duels and even managed to create a chance.
Ashley Young – 7/10
Devilish bit of early dribbling was one of the attacking highlights of the game. Was otherwise rugged, determined and consistent. As impossible and ridiculous as it sounds, Ashley Young is genuinely one of United’s best players in this 3-4-1-2 formation.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan – 5/10
Largely uninvolved in the first half but began the second in great rhythm, creating two superb chances within 10 minutes of the restart. Was baffling then taken off just as he was building momentum, but this was yet another poor performance.
Marcus Rashford – 6/10
Was the brightest spark for Manchester United, carrying the ball by defenders and generally creating what little attacking mayhem there was in the game. Made a few poor choices with the ball, however. And to the shock of no one he was replaced by Anthony Martial with 20 minutes left
Romelu Lukaku – 8/10
Some excellent hold-up play around which his team-mates pivoted. Didn’t get a real chance on his left-foot until just after 70 minutes, and then it was a beautiful shot that was well-saved by Hugo Lloris. Struck a wonderful header off the post with 10 minutes left too. But his best contributions were as a target man; especially when he headed a beautiful ball into the path of Martial for the late winner.
Jesse Lingard: – 5/10
Came on for Mkhitaryan after 65 minutes. Ran around a bit. Somehow missed a chance to make it 2-0 when a clearance sent him running clean through on goal from inside his own half.
Anthony Martial: – 8/10
Came on for Rashford after 70 minutes. Looked fairly bright and then scored the winner when he capped a wonderful run behind the Spurs defence with a decisive left-foot finish. His fourth goal as a Premier League substitute this season. The Frenchman is consistently a difference-maker and post-match Mourinho rightly praised his contributions both as a sub and a starter.
Matteo Darmian: – n/a
Came on for Young after 93 minutes.
Hugo Lloris – 6/10
Made a couple of big saves and interventions when he was called upon to keep Spurs in the game. Could do nothing about Martial’s winner late in the day.
Toby Alderweireld – 7/10
Shepherded Lukaku well for the most part. It was telling that United’s goal came from one of the few times Lukaku was able to escape his clutches.
Eric Dier – 4/10
Looked composed at the back and made a wicked block to stop Marcus Rashford from getting a clean shot on goal, but made a colossal mistake when he played Martial onside for the Frenchman’s goal. Undid all his hard work and quality play with a simple mistake and Mauricio Pochettino must have regretted dropping Davinson Sánchez.
Jan Vertonghen – 5/10
Solid in defence and, as always, a driving force in attack. Constantly pushed Spurs up the field with his runs. But like Dier he undid his excellent play by failing to pick up Anthony Martial’s run for the winning goal.
Serge Aurier – 6/10
A constant outlet on the right, but didn’t really manage to use the ball with any real menace which meant that despite their domination, Spurs weren’t able to create too much.
Moussa Sissoko – 4/10
Has been playing well of late but didn’t manage to do so today. Nearly all of his forward pass attempts fell incomplete; with his 81% completion owing to a lot of sideways and backwards efforts. Withdrawn just after the hour as Spurs looked to put their foot down.
Harry Winks – 7/10
Once again rose to the occasion in a difficult fixture. Never once looked phased by United’s aggressive play and helped Eriksen to dominate midfield when on the ball. Completed 88% of his passes, created 1 chance, completed 2 take-ons and even made 3 blocks.
Ben Davies – 7/10
A constant outlet on the left but without the ball he often found himself getting doubled by Antonio Valencia and one of United’s strikers. Luckily for Spurs he was solid, winning 50% of his tackles, 60% of his aerial duels then making 3 interceptions and 6 clearances as well as an incredible late block to stop Marcus Rashford from scoring after Hugo Lloris spilled a shot.
Christian Eriksen – 7/10
Overawed at first but eventually grew to dominate the game. Put the ball on a plate for Dele with a gorgeous pass, and yet somehow his team-mate didn’t open the scoring.
Dele Alli – 5/10
Made some questionable choices in front of goal, but impressively didn’t react when United spent most of the game trying to bait him into losing his head. Missed the biggest chance of the match late on when he somehow skewed wide after a wonderful cross from Eriksen.
Son Heung-Min – 5/10
Despite any pre-match predictions, Son was always going to struggle in his attempts to replace Harry Kane unless the United centre-backs had a terrible day. They didn’t and predictably the Korean was mostly isolated from the action, even when Spurs dominated
Fernando Llorente: – 5/10
Came on for Son after 62 minutes. Didn’t add much in terms of attacking threat.
Moussa Dembélé: – 6/10
Came on for Sissoko after 62 minutes. Added security and creativity to Spurs’ midfield.