Tottenham stun Man Utd with trio of strikes to stay in title race
Holly Thackeray | April 10, 2016
Tottenham 3-0 Manchester United
- Man Utd stuck in traffic so cause later kick-off
- First-half ends even, despite Lamela chance
- Alli put Tottenham ahead in 70th minute
- Alderweireld added another around the 74th
- Lethal Lamela made it three in six minutes for Spurs
Spurs come back from slow start to sink Man Utd
Tottenham put to bed their poor record against Manchester United with three fantastically taken second-half goals at White Hart Lane, to keep themselves in the Premier League title race.
Dele Alli, Toby Alderweireld and Erik Lamela all dispatched within six minutes to stun the Red Devils, whose top four hopes sustained a significant blow.
When Manchester United finally made it to White Hart Lane more than a little tardily, after the team bus got stuck in traffic, it was a first 45 minutes worth waiting for.
There were no goals and few clear chances, but both sides got stuck in with the intensity of teams refusing to give up on their end of season targets – be it a Premier League title or a top four place.
Man Utd had much of the early intent and got a stranglehold on the Spurs midfield for the opening exchanges. Some would say, the visitors certainly parked that late-running bus. The pressing did not pay off with a goal, however, so Tottenham (9/2 to win the Premier League title with Coral) eventually got their teeth into the tussle.
Lamela lets chance go begging
Exerting their home team advantage, Mauricio Pochettino’s men began to test the Red Devils’ rearguard through a dipping Danny Rose delivery into the box, though erstwhile Chris Smalling met it with a cracking diving clearance.
Erik Lamela then kept up the attack, looping a low ball to a rather peripheral Harry Kane, whose instinctive toe-poke would usually have landed in the net, if not for an equally cat-like reaction from David de Gea.
With frustration building, Christian Eriksen decided to try his luck from distance due to United clogging the central areas but drilled his warning shot wide. Though, an unusual De Gea panic near the posts then almost proved costly with Kane lurking, but young-gun Timothy Fosu-Mensah was on hand to hack clear.
The renewed attacking intent then saw lively Lamela lash a close-range header unbelievably wide, as Eriksen bypassed United with a cheeky ball over the top, while a Kyle Walker rampage down the right flank was similarly shut down. As the first-half trickled out to a stalemate, then, it was certainly a tale of the top flight’s two most miserly defences, though it wasn’t to last.
Balance remains unbroken
Spurs remained much in the ascendancy after the interval, with Kane keen to assert himself on proceedings, but a characteristic twist and turn into space came to nothing as De Gea held his swivelling shot well.
Anthony Martial then threatened to be the one to provide a moment of magic, dancing through the Spurs defence with Ryan Giggs-like ease, but ultimately his finish let the fine move down, as Hugo Lloris caught easily.
De Gea was then again called into action to repel dangerous deflected crosses from both Tottenham full backs, but despite his efforts was soon to see his posts breached.
Alli, Alderweireld, Lamela send White Hart Lane wild
If it wasn’t to be Kane, it would of course be Alli to tip the balance in Tottenham’s favour and send Spurs ahead he did, with a simple strike in the 70th minute to keep his side hot on Leicester’s heels.
A loose ball in midfield found onrushing Eriksen, whose lovely scooped pass picked out Alli to perfection, and the Englishman slotted home simply past De Gea to mark his 20th birthday on Monday, leaving Daley Blind trailing in his wake.
It was just the first of a terrific trio of goals, as Tottenham blitzed their guests within the space of six minutes.
Alderweireld, upon his return from injury, was next to dent the Red Devils, as he expertly rose to meet Lamela’s lofted free-kick with little challenge, thumping his header past wrong-footed De Gea.
It was then inventive Argentine Lamela who delivered the third and final blow, on the receiving end of a Rose ball before finishing with a low, sweet strike to round off the afternoon for Spurs in style.
Lamela almost then set Kane up for a fourth, but on this occasion beleaguered De Gea was able to tip over, saving a few blushes for the Mancunian men, though Tottenham continued to carve chances that suggest they will not give up on silverware without a fight.