Manchester United vs Tottenham Hotspur Analysis: Reds shell shocked by early goal

Manchester United vs Tottenham Hotspur Analysis: Reds shell shocked by early goal

Manchester United were beaten 2-0 by Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday and were certainly not at their best.

Joshua Dawson

Manchester United slipped to a 2-0 defeat against Tottenham Hotspur in a game that was lost through their own mistakes.

José Mourinho’s side lined up in what appeared to be a 4-2-3-1 formation. It was a shocking start to the game for the Red Devils who found themselves a goal down inside 11 seconds when Christian Eriksen’s shot from inside the penalty area hit the back of the net.

There were three or four separate mistakes in the build-up to the goal and it was certainly a finish that could have been prevented.

The Red Devils responded well

United responded well after conceding an early goal and created plenty of chances. Fullbacks Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia went forward well, with their last-minute runs on the overlap.

There were clear chances for Romelu Lukaku and Jesse Lingard but they were both denied by Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

Poccettinho got his tactics spot on

Tottenham’s second goal came from where a vast majority of their attacks had come from, the right wing.

Kieran Trippier’s low cross was hammered into the roof of his own net by Phil Jones as David De Gea watched on in disgust. When looking back at the replay it appeared that Mauricio Pochettino got his tactics spot on and his team seemed to be bombarding left-back Ashley Young, who isn't a natural defender.

Just into the 60th minute, Mourinho knew that something had to change.

To everyone’s surprise, Jesse Lingard and Paul Pogba made way for Marouane Fellaini and Juan Mata. Despite these alterations, nothing appeared to change and things only got worse.

Mourinho then showed how ruthless he can be and removed Fellaini from the field just seven minutes later. However, speaking in his post-match conference the Portuguese said the Belgian had suffered a lateral knee injury for the third time.

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Could Marcus Rashford have made a difference?

Evidently, the removal of Fellaini meant that all three of the Red Devil’s substitutions had been used meaning that young forward Marcus Rashford missed out, which was a real disappointment.

Anthony Martial didn’t have his best day at the office and didn’t really run at the Tottenham defence. Rashford would have brought this attribute to the field and caused trouble for Kyle Walker-Peters or Trippier.

United failed to withstand Tottenham’s constant Liverpool-like pressure throughout the second half. Every time Mourinho's side were in possession there was always an opposition player ready to press the player on the ball.

Although United didn’t concede again it was enough to prevent them from creating too many chances.

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What is Sanchez’s best position?

Finally, what is Alexis Sanchez’s best position? At Arsenal, Sanchez was played in many different positions, particularly on the left. In his time with the Gunners, the Chilean also played just behind the striker and as the outright striker himself.

The difference between the ways in which he was playing at Arsenal compared to his performance against Tottenham seemed to be that he was expected to defend a lot more, especially in the first half.

Of course, this is something Alexis would have known when he signed for the club - it’s the way Mourinho likes to play.

At the end of the day, Sanchez has played one Premier League game with his new teammates against one of the better sides in the league. It hasn't been an easy start that’s for sure.

Only time will tell if Sanchez will be allowed to be given a little bit more freedom and use that electric pace of his against his opponents.