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Manchester United had been unbeaten for the month of January, without conceding a goal.
And after signing Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal in a swap deal with Henrikh Mkhitaryan going the other way, you’d be forgiven for thinking the club’s fortune in big games away from Old Trafford was set to turn. It didn’t.
Form before Spurs
United had seen off Everton, Derby, Stoke, Burnley and Yeovil scoring twelve goals, a goal per game ratio of 2.4, conceding zero throughout the month.
A fine response to the three consecutive draws in late December that lead to United losing ground in the title race, if ever there was one. United looked confident again and the signing of Alexis Sanchez only boosted the mood.
Why did United lose?
The game started alike to that of Chelsea’s 4-0 win over United in Mourinho’s first game back at Stamford Bridge last season. Pedro scored very early on in that game, blink and you’d have missed it and there was no way back for United.
Eriksen’s goal last night felt the exact same and seemed to destroy Manchester United players mentally. Though a few half chances to get an immediate equaliser came, they weren’t converted and United struggled for the rest of the game.
Spurs dominated and the scoreline probably doesn’t quite do them justice. They outplayed the Red Devils at Wembley, a stadium that United have and would dare to call a second home. David De Gea kept Spurs’ goals down to just two. He again, United’s best player, as ever in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era.
United could probably have done with Ander Herrera starting alongside Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic. A midfielder capable of sitting with Matic and allowing Pogba to play to best effect in the bigger games, this has to be a priority for the summer.
Disappointing lack of fight
Despite the star-studded talent on the field, huge names such as Lukaku, Martial, Pogba, Sanchez.
United seemed incapable of creating anything remotely threatening to Hugo Lloris’ goal, a great deal of credit is warranted to Tottenham’s defence, who prevented such big talents from producing what we know they are capable of in fantastic style, ensuring that United would find it difficult, and that they did.
The defenders really struggled when Spurs attacked too, again heavily relying on De Gea.
Why United fans shouldn’t worry too much?
I don’t think we should panic or start calling for Mourinho out, that would be absurd.
Mourinho has improved Manchester United a bucket load since taking over as manager. We’re years ahead of where we’d be with any other available manager.
We still have the FA Cup and the Champions League to play for this season, the league games are probably more about pride for the rest of the season, though we must still be trying to win every game.
I believe we are more than capable of winning the Premier League next season. I just hope we can add to the trophy cabinet this season too with either the FA Cup or the Champions League, becoming used to consistent trophy winning campaigns again.
Written by Jordan Hackett
Follow Jordan on Twitter @Devildart180
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