Manchester United 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur Tactical Analysis: Mkhitaryan stars for Red Devils with first goal at Old Trafford

Manchester United 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur Tactical Analysis: Mkhitaryan stars for Red Devils with first goal at Old Trafford

Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored his first goal in the Premier League for Manchester United at home, as the Red Devils get their much needed win against Spurs

Ninad Barbadikar

Manchester United finally won once again at Old Trafford as Henrikh Mkhitaryan's first goal at Old Trafford set the Red Devils on their way to grab a 1-0 victory against Tottenham Hotspur.

It was a tense affair for the home side but they got the job done finally and Jose Mourinho will feel he now has some breathing space, there has been a lot of pressure on him as well as the players, but they responded well and held on to the one goal advantage they had to seal the win, much to the dismay of Mauricio Pocchettino, who had expected more from his side.

Let's break the game and see what gave Mourinho the victory in the tactical battle-

United used the full width of the pitch

Spurs have runners all over the pitch, they're a very fit side and therefore constantly working up and down the pitch is just in their DNA, a change brought to the team's mentality thanks to Pocchettino's methods.

Mourinho set up his midfield very well and for large parts of the game, it looked as though Ander Herrera, Paul Pogba and Michael Carrick were winning the midfield battle with Mousa Dembele, Victor Wanyama as well as the clever attacker Delle Alli.

Kyle Walker and Danny Rose always like to get higher up the pitch, which leaves unprotected space for the likes of Toby Alderwiereld and Jan Vertonghen to cover.











Mourinho set up Anthony Martial and Mkhitaryan very well, the two attackers exploited the spaces left behind by Walker and Rose and got in behind the Spurs defence on more than once occasion.

United's goal was also a result of an excellent run from Mkhitaryan off the right flank and the Armenian made no mistake when he was one-on-one with Lloris to give United the lead.

The former Borussia Dortmund attacker showed exactly why he is so highly rated as a playmaker, he was always positive with the ball, running at the Spurs defence as well as being the catalyst to all of United's moves in the final third.

Martial gave Walker a few problems on a few occasions, but was largely handled well by the England international.Using his pace, the Frenchman tried to get in behind the away side's defence but still lacked the end product we so often saw him produce under Louis Van Gaal.

United pressed early and capitalised

United started the game off very brightly and pressed Spurs' into making mistakes and the away side couldn' make much out of all the possesional advantage they had throughout the game.

This tactic by Mourinho paid off for the Red Devils and the home side got the lead early on when they capitalised on a poor backpass from Harry Kane, Herrera won the ball from Kane and expertly setup Mkhitaryan for his goal.

The first half was all about United as they stayed on the front foot going into half-time with the lead. Spurs weren't too far off on the back foot, testing David De Gea from range with efforts of their own.

Second half saw a more defensive United seal the win

Pocchettino seemed to have had said the right things to his players as Spurs started out with much better confidence, their early attempts at exposing United's defence were thwarted by the excellent Marcos Rojo who stopped any and all attacks that came his way and pocketed Harry Kane.

The introduction of Moussa Sissoko changed the dynamic of the game, the strong Frenchman was a handful for Matteo Darmian as the Italian found it difficult to match the strength of Sissoko on the right hand side of the pitch, Kane still couldn't see much of the ball in that second half as he struggled to get goal-sight during the entirety of the game.












The last ten minutes at Old Trafford must have felt like eternity for the home fans as they cheered their players on to keep the scoreline to 1-0 and when the final whistle blew, it was met with a great sense of joy and achievement by United fans and players alike, a victory was finally witnessed by fans at Old Trafford who will be hoping this victory is the start of a comfortable month for them ahead.