Man Utd 2 Tottenham 1: Rashford double gives Jose Mourinho unhappy Old Trafford return despite Alli wondergoal – The Sun
THIS WAS NOT the Manchester United Jose Mourinho remembered.
To be fair it wasn’t the one Ole Solskjaer remembered either. Not from this season anyway. Maybe from his own playing days.
No, this was a performance totally at odds with what had been going on of late.
United were exciting, vibrant, dominant and in Marcus Rashford they had the outstanding player on the pitch.
He scored both United’s goals and ran the Spurs back four ragged all night.
Mourinho could only stand and watch from the technical area unable to plot a way through his former charges.
Unable to summon up another performance from his opening three games.
This was how Ole Solskjaer wants his United team to play week in week out.
Not just on a big occasion like tonight and that now is the aim – for 90 minutes, week in week out.
The United boss could barely believe his side were only on level terms at the break having dominated the first half.
They were ahead after seven minutes through Rashford who was the star of that opening 45 minutes.
His close pal Jesse Lingard was looking more like his old self as well.
It was he who won a tussle for the ball on the left wing with Davison Sanchez with a quick turn and fed Rashford.
He was shooting on sight and from the corner of the box let fly with a low dipping effort and while Paolo Gazzinga got a hand to it he could only deflect it onto the post and in.
Rashford wanted more and sent a free kick from outside the area curling just wide.
Mason Greenwood in for the injured Anthony Marial had a close range shot from an angle superbly saved by Gazzaniga’s outstretched right leg.
If the Spurs goalkeeper had been at fault for the first goal he was certainly making up for it.
His finger tips were the only thing between Rashford and a wonder goal when the young United forward let fly from 20 yards as he stretched to touch it onto the bar.
It was as well as United had played all season and Rashford forced another full length save out of Gazzaniga in the 27th minute.
And yet they would still go in at the break level.
Dele Alli, who has been reborn of late under Jose Mourinho, had hardly been seen all half but it was another piece of magic from him that drew Spurs level.
It was the 38th minute when a cross from Jan Vertonghan found Serge Aurier at the far post.
His shot from a tight angle was saved by David De Gea and the ball ballooned up in the air.
Alli with his back to goal quickly worked out a spell to conjur up a goal as he flicked the ball back over his shoulder, between Fred and Ashley Young, before guiding a shot across De Gea and in.
Such set backs would normally see doubts creep into the United side as the impetus was allowed to swing to their opponents.
Not this time.
They ran out for the second half determined and moments later they were back in the lead with Rashford the man at the centre of it all again.
Charging into the Spurs box he was felled by a clumsy challenge by Moussa Sissoko.
Referee Paul Tierney pointed straight to the spot and the VAR was not going to meddle with his decision.
The responsibility fell to Rashford who calmly slotted the spot-kick away, rolling the ball into the bottom right hand corner while Gazzaniga dived the other way.
United’s tails were up.
The quick tempo that had defined their first half performance was still there.
Spurs were still struggling to keep pace with them.
When even Fred is playing well you know something special is happening.
We will not mention his first half shot that flew sideways and backwards. Definitely not.
Still, while defensively Spurs were having nightmares, not least in the full-back areas, there are still plenty of goals in this side at the other end.
They had hit ten in Mourinho’s first three games in charge.
But they were not threatening though. Harry Kane was not getting a sniff of goal.
United meanwhile continued to bring the best out of Gazzaniga at the other end with Daniel James the latest to sting his fingers with a shot from the edge of the area.
Solskjaer’s side had surrendered 12 points this season from winning positions but they were not prepared to give up anymore.
They were winning the battles in midfield. Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof were staying strong at the back.
It just needed the whistle to bring it all to an end.
When it did Mourinho congratulated Solskjaer and went onto the pitch to console his players.
Not just that but he shook hands with each of his former players who he did not have the chance to say farewell to after his exit last December.
The reaction he got from each of them was warm. His one positive from the night.
For Solskjaer, the chants of ‘Ole Ole Ole’ rang round the ground.Dan James hurts Jose Mourinho after sliding into him on the touchline during Man Utd v Tottenham
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