Spurs 2-0 United - report from Wembley
Wed 31 January 2018, 22:00|Tottenham Hotspur
Christian Eriksen scored the third fastest goal in Premier League history which laid the foundations for a fantastic and thoroughly deserved 2-0 victory against Manchester United at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday evening.
The midfield magician curled home after just 11 seconds to give us the perfect start in what was a crunch game in our bid for a top four finish in the division. Jan Vertonghen sent a long ball forward after receiving the kick-off, Harry Kane nodded into the path of Dele Alli, whose mis-hit shot fell perfectly for Eriksen to stroke home – his 50th goal in our colours.
We doubled our lead on 28 minutes when Kieran Trippier’s fine low cross was put through his own net by United defender Phil Jones, putting us firmly in control of the match.
The visitors created very little, Hugo Lloris saving from Jesse Lingard early on and then producing a fine stop to deny Romelu Lukaku in the second half but at the other end, we were carving United open time and again, just failing to apply the finishing touches to some wonderful football.
Kane saw a number of efforts saved by David De Gea, Eriksen fired just wide from distance and Heung-Min Son was denied by the United stopper with 21 minutes remaining – although had he squared the ball to Kane, the England striker would have had a tap-in.
It mattered not though as we comfortably saw out the rest of the game in front of another record Premier League crowd – 81,978 in the stadium, surpassing our previous best of 80,827 against Liverpool earlier this season.
Mauricio Pochettino made three changes to the team that started the last Premier League match against Southampton 10 days ago as Lloris, Trippier and Eriksen came in for Michel Vorm, the injured Serge Aurier and Moussa Sissoko. Vorm and Sissoko were on the bench, as was the returning Danny Rose.
GOAL: SPURS 1-0 UNITED – CHRISTIAN ERIKSEN – 1min
What an incredible start to the match... just 11 seconds on the clock when Eriksen fired us ahead. There was a real buzz inside the stadium and the place erupted as the Dane blasted past De Gea before most in the ground had even taken a breath after kick-off. Vertonghen received the ball and launched it downfield for Kane to flick on to Dele. He mis-hit his shot inside the area but it fell perfectly for Eriksen, who curled into the top corner. It could have been 1-1 moments later though, Paul Pogba releasing Lingard in on goal, but Lloris was swiftly off his line to deny him.
Above: Harry Kane challenges Chris Smalling.
GOAL: SPURS 2-0 UNITED – PHIL JONES (own goal) – 28mins
There was such a lovely tempo to the game, the early goal forcing the visitors to chase the equaliser and there were threatening moments with Alexis Sanchez, Lingard and Martial always looking dangerous on the attack. But we were having good chances at the other end, Kane forcing De Gea into a save low down, while Dele just couldn’t squeeze a square pass to Son, who would have been through on goal. But the second goal did arrive on 28 minutes, Eriksen finding Trippier in acres of space down the right flank, his driven low ball flying off Jones and into the net.
CHANCE: KANE CLOSE TO NUMBER THREE – 45mins
The second goal took some of the sting out of United’s play and we certainly finished the half the stronger side. We had penalty claims waved away despite Antonio Valencia’s strong challenge on Dele inside the area, while Eric Dier headed over the bar from an Eriksen free-kick before Kane had a great chance to extend our lead just before the interval. A long Vertonghen free-kick was controlled by the England striker on the edge of the area and he had a good sight of goal but his left-foot drive lacked power and De Gea saved comfortably.
CHANCE: DE GEA DENIES SON – 69mins
There was no let-up to the pace of the game after the interval, although it was United who had the first clear chance of the second period. Pogba clipped a ball over the top for Lukaku, he shrugged off Ben Davies’ challenge and was able to get a powerful shot away which was straight at Lloris, who pushed it over the bar. We were back on the front foot midway through the half, Eriksen driving a shot just wide, while De Gea saved from Davies and Kane. It really should have been 3-0 on 65 minutes when Eriksen played Son in on goal but he blasted his effort at De Gea with Kane the better option had he rolled the ball across the six-yard box. In truth, that was really the end of the genuine goalscoring opportunities as we saw out the game in a professional manner and sent the fans home happy.
MAURICIO POCHETTINO SAID
"It was a fantastic performance. I'm so happy with the players. We played an amazing game and fully deserved that result. We were much better than them. We played against a very good team and that is why we are so happy. It was an amazing start and then fantastic in how we managed the game. Now we need to keep going, to be consistent and stay focused because we have a lot of important games ahead."
CHRISTIAN ERIKSEN SAID
"It's the perfect way to come back - to score with your first touch! It's never happened before and probably won't happen again, but it was a very good start. Everything fell perfectly for me, even the ball was laying down there nice and quiet and all I had to do was step up and kick it in - the perfect start to a very good game."
Spurs (4-2-3-1): Lloris (c), Trippier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier, Dembele (Wanyama 90+1), Eriksen, Dele (Sissoko 87), Son (Lamela 80), Kane. Substitutes (not used): Vorm, Walker-Peters, Rose, Llorente.
United (4-2-3-1): De Gea, Valencia (c), Smalling, Jones, Young, Matic, Pogba (Mata 63), Sanchez, Lingard (Fellaini 63 (Herrera 70)), Martial, Lukaku. Substitutes (not used): Romero, Shaw, Rojo, Rashford.
Goals: Spurs – Eriksen 1, Jones (OG) 28.
Yellow cards: Spurs – Dembele, Dele; United – Jones, Young.
Referee: Andre Marriner.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Christian Eriksen was named Man of the Match by fans on social media with 59 per cent of the votes.
The big games keep coming and we’re off to Merseyside this weekend to take on Liverpool in the Premier League. Jurgen Klopp’s side beat Huddersfield Town 3-0 away from home on Tuesday evening to maintain their top four challenge and are just two points ahead of us going into the game. Kick-off at Anfield on Sunday is at 4.30pm.