Manchester United 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur: What can Red Devils take away from crucial victory?

Manchester United 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur: What can Red Devils take away from crucial victory?

Mourinho's men defeated Spurs 1-0 at Old Trafford thanks to a first half goal from Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

brandon-sayer
Brandon Sayer

After three consecutive 1-1 draws in the Premier League, Manchester United finally got back to winning ways on Sunday afternoon as they defeated Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 at Old Trafford.

The win was an important one in the top-four race as it now moves them to within three points of Spurs in fifth and six behind Manchester City in fourth.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored the all-important winner in the first-half for the team but then was carried off late on with an ankle injury. So after the impressive win, what was learned?

Rojo and Jones forming a formidable partnership

In recent weeks Jose Mourinho has praised Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones for how well they are playing and they once again showed how good they are together against Spurs. Rojo and Jones marshalled Harry Kane really well throughout the game, meaning that he hardly got a sniff inside the United penalty area. Even when Spurs started coming forward late on to try and get an equaliser, both defenders took command and cleared anything that looked in any way dangerous.

Many United fans were worried when Eric Bailly and Chris Smalling were ruled out for a period of time but they needn't have, as under Mourinho both players are now finally showing their true potential at United and deserve more games in the side together.

Mkhitaryan shines once again

Once again for United, one player stood out and that man was Mkhitaryan. The Armenian is now fully showing why he was voted as the Bundesliga player of the year last season as he scored his first Premier League goal for his new club after scoring against Zorya Luhansk in mid-week. It was not just his goal mind. Throughout, Mkhitaryan gave the Spurs defence a torrid time as they just couldn't handle his many qualities.

The problem though was that with the frustration starting to kick into the Spurs players, Mkhitaryan got hurt late in the game. Danny Rose caught the Armenian with a late challenge which left him being carried off the pitch on a stretcher with Mourinho confirming he will miss the next two games. It will mean that other players will have to step up and make sure United don't miss the midfielder too much while he is out.

Left back continues to be a trouble area

There is still one real area of concern in the United team that Mourinho needs to address and that is the left-back area. Luke Shaw has not really shone this season when he hasn't been injured, while Matteo Darmian doesn't look comfortable at all and looked out of place against Spurs. Darmian usually plays as a right-back but because of Shaw's injury he had to play left-back and it almost cost the team.

When Moussa Sissoko came on as a substitute in the second-half, he left Darmian on the ground on a number of occasions which could have cost the team had others not defended as well as they did. Therefore in January, Mourinho could - and probably should - dip into the transfer window to bring someone into fill that position as currently other teams will try and take advantage of that position against United.

Herrera is starting to become a real leader

Ander Herrera may not have stood out to many people during the game against Spurs but his importance during the game was very important. He won the ball back a lot for United during the game, which started off many attacks. The midfielder also created the goal with a beautifully-weighted pass through to Mkhitaryan for the goal. It is not the first game in which Herrera has played well as he has been doing in consistently which is making the team play much better.

Herrera now is showing why the club bought him for and under Mourinho, he is only going to get even better. Last season Louis van Gaal had the midfielder on the bench, which was a huge mistake as he is showing now, and alongside Michael Carrick and Paul Pogba, United now have balanced midfield which helps them dominate games more.

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