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United turn it around after half-time - match report and debrief

Spurs 1-3 Manchester United

Sun 11 April 2021, 18:36|Tottenham Hotspur

A second-half comeback saw Manchester United leave north London with all three points on Sunday after we’d led at half-time through a Heung-Min Son goal.

After the visitors had seen a goal ruled out, we took the lead five minutes before the break as Son applied the finishing touch to an excellent move, but United hit back with goals from Fred, Edinson Cavani and Mason Greenwood to take a 3-1 victory.

There was very little goalmouth action until the 33rd minute when the game burst into life with a moment of controversy. Cavani latched onto Paul Pogba’s pass and slotted past Hugo Lloris but in the build-up, Scott McTominay appeared to catch Son in the face as he won possession in midfield. VAR stepped in to check the incident, with referee Chris Kavanagh asked to check the pitchside monitor and he decided it was a foul so the game remained goalless.

Not for long though as we opened the scoring seven minutes later at the end of a delightful move. Tanguy Ndombele and Giovani Lo Celso combined to get the ball up to Harry Kane whose lovely touch beat Victor Lindelof and put Lucas in down the right, his ball across the six yard box tucked home by Son at the far post. It was the game’s first shot on target.

The visitors upped the tempo at the start of the second half and after Lloris had saved McTominay’s shot, they levelled on 57 minutes when Fred tapped home the rebound after Lloris had saved well from Cavani. They then took the lead with 11 minutes remaining, substitute Greenwood with the cross which Cavani met with a diving header past Lloris.

We almost levelled a few minutes later when a corner flicked off the head of Pogba and was headed off the line and onto the bar by Cavani as United escaped, but they wrapped up the win deep into stoppage time when Greenwood lashed a shot past Lloris.

Another disappointing afternoon

It had been quite a good performance in the first half as we took the lead and played some good football, but we lost our way after the break. Early chances at either end saw Lucas’ shot blocked for a corner before Eric Dier produced an excellent block at the other end to divert Marcus Rashford’s effort just wide, but that was the extent of the action until the 33rd minute. And, having benefitted from the disallowed goal after McTominay’s hand into the face of Son in the build-up, we took advantage as our South Korean forward put us in front.

It was a deserved lead as United failed to have a shot on target in that first half, but it all changed in the second period as the visitors fought back. Fred levelled it up three minutes before the hour mark and the game became more end-to-end with both goalkeepers called into action. Dean Henderson denied Son after Serge Aurier had sliced a good chance before Lloris made an excellent stop, diving full-length to tip Bruno Fernandes’ shot around the post. Then Pogba received the ball inside the six-yard box, back to goal, but Dier just got a touch to prevent his back-heel from causing danger.

Back at the other end, Kane’s shot from a very tight angle was kept out by the legs of Henderson but we fell behind to Cavani’s diving header which meant we had to chase the game. We had spells of possession late on without really creating much in the way of clear chances, Greenwood’s late, late goal sealing our fate.

In terms of team news, Jose Mourinho made three changes from last weekend's draw at Newcastle with Aurier, Dier and Son coming in for Japhet Tanganga, Davinson Sanchez and Carlos Vinicius.

Reaction on Spurs TV

'We were always in the game until the last seconds'

Jose said afterwards: "We lost against a very good team, but I don’t think we deserved it. They had a very strong reaction in the second half, but after 1-1 we had big chances for 2-1, after 2-1, we had a huge chance that I saw the ball inside (the goal) but it wasn’t inside, of course, it hit the post.

"We were always in the game until the last seconds, when they scored their third goal, which I don’t think we deserved. I praise the players for what they gave, for what they put on the pitch, and when they put everything, even if there are problems, even if there are mistakes, even if it ends in a defeat, I always like to praise the players and always have good feelings for them."

Spurs 1-3 Manchester United

Spurs (4-1-2-3): Lloris (c), Aurier, Rodon, Dier, Reguilon, Højbjerg, Ndombele (Lamela 78), Lo Celso (Sissoko 61), Lucas (Bale 82), Kane, Son. Substitutes (not used): Hart, Alderweireld, Tanganga, Winks, Dele, Vinicius.

Manchester United (4-2-3-1): Henderson, Wan-Bissaka, Maguire (c), Lindelof, Shaw, Fred, McTominay, Rashford (Greenwood 72), Pogba, Fernandes (Matic 90), Cavani. Substitutes (not used): De Gea, Alex Telles, Tuanzebe, Williams, Amad, Mata, Van de Beek.

Match data

Goals: Spurs – Son 40; Manchester United – Fred 57, Cavani 79, Greenwood 90+6.

Yellow cards: Spurs – Sissoko; Manchester United – McTominay, Cavani, Fred, Shaw, Maguire.

Referee: Chris Kavanagh.

Venue: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Weather: Light cloud, gentle breeze, eight degrees.