Manchester United 1-0 Tottenham: Anthony Martial scores late winner
By James Walker-Roberts
Last Updated: 28/10/17 7:12pm
Substitute Anthony Martial scored a late winner as Manchester United beat Tottenham 1-0 on Saturday.
A game of few chances looked to be heading for a stalemate until Martial took advantage of a defensive lapse to latch onto Romelu Lukaku's flick-on and finish in the 81st minute.
Lukaku had headed against the post moments earlier while Dele Alli missed the best chance for Spurs, who were without injured top scorer Harry Kane, when he volleyed wide from close range.
The win is United's first in their last three Premier League games and keeps them in touch with leaders Manchester City.
For Spurs, it was another disappointing visit to Old Trafford, where they have now lost 21 of 26 Premier League matches, as they struggled to overcome the loss of Kane, not managing a shot on target in the second half.
Playing three at the back, United started positively, with Lukaku slicing wide from inside the box and Hugo Lloris tipping a long-range free-kick from Marcus Rashford around the post.
Man Utd: De Gea (6), Bailly (7), Valencia (6), Jones (6), Smalling (7), Young (7), Herrera (6), Matic (7), Mkhitaryan (6), Lukaku (6), Rashford (6)
Subs: Martial (7), Lingard (5), Darmian (5)
Tottenham: Lloris (5), Aurier (5), Davies (7), Alderweireld (6), Vertonghen (5), Dier (6), Winks (6), Eriksen (6), Alli (5), Sissoko (5), Son (5)
Subs: Llorente (5), Dembele (5)
Man of the match: Nemanja Matic
But Spurs settled after 15 minutes and appeared to grow in confidence. Moussa Sissoko had a shot from distance and then spurned the best opportunity of the first half when he missed the target after David de Gea collided with Phil Jones and dropped a routine cross.
With an extra man in midfield, Spurs started to take control of the game, subduing United and going close when Eric Dier saw a looping shot saved from a corner.
Man Utd made three changes from their defeat at Huddersfield last weekend, with Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial making way for Eric Bailly, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Marcus Rashford.
Davinson Sanchez, Kieran Trippier and Harry Kane missed out for Spurs, with Moussa Sissoko, Eric Dier and Ben Davies starting.
There was little change immediately after the break, but United were nearly gifted the opener when Lloris spilt a low effort from Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Ben Davies had to whack the ball clear with Rashford waiting to tap in.
Mkhitaryan then fizzed a cross through the six-yard box and Antonio Valencia drilled over from the edge of the box.
Both sides went close late in the game as Alli missed the target from eight yards out after a brilliant chipped pass from Christian Eriksen before Lukaku headed against the post at the other end.
It was United who snatched victory, though, as a long ball from De Gea was flicked on by Lukaku and Martial finished after getting behind Eric Dier.
- Manchester United have kept a clean sheet in each of their first five home league games of a season for the first time since 2007/08.
- Spurs have lost consecutive games (in all competitions) for the first time since February (defeats against Liverpool and Gent).
- United have now scored 10 goals in the last 10 minutes of their Premier League games this season, accounting for 43% of their total.
- Anthony Martial has been involved in five goals in his last five Premier League games at Old Trafford (3 goals, 2 assists).
- Romelu Lukaku has had a hand in 10 goals in the Premier League this season (7 goals, 3 assists), a joint-high along with Sergio Aguero.
Man of the match - Nemanja Matic
Ashley Young was impressive for Manchester United and Martial was the match-winner, but Matic was key in a tight game.
The midfielder was particularly strong in the second half as United managed to gain more control in the centre of the pitch. He looked composed in possession and also showed his strength to win the ball and break up play on several occasions.
Jose Mourinho: "I was so disappointed at Huddersfield because it looks like in that match we didn't know the responsibility, we didn't know the ambition, we didn't know that every point is a precious point."
Mauricio Pochettino: "I said before the game to everyone that always you are going to miss your main striker - and Harry Kane is one of best strikers in the world, of course. But it is not an excuse today. We didn't lose the game because Kane wasn't here."
Manchester United are at home to Benfica in the Champions League on Tuesday and then travel to Chelsea, live on Sky Sports Premier League, next Sunday.
Spurs host Real Madrid in the Champions League on Wednesday before returning to Premier League action against Crystal Palace next Sunday.