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Perfect night for Spurs

EARLY STRIKE: Eriksen celebrates

MANCHESTER UNITED arrived at Wembley stadium with Alexis Sanchez returning to the stage where he last tasted FA Cup glory with Arsenal last summer.

With less than 11 seconds on the clock, whatever well thought out plans Jose Mourinho had drilled into his players were effectively null and void when Christian Eriksen slotted home for the game’s opener. Yet there was so much time remaining in this fixture and it was imperative that United responded.

Their leaders, their star players had to front up and show everyone that they were up for the fight. However, Sanchez, Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial and co were blitzed by another Spurs strike, but the unfortunate Phil Jones could do nothing but strike into his own net past David De Gea from Kieran Trippier’s whipped cross.

United were in disarray and unable to mount any threat on Hugo Lloris’s goal, and Spurs kept coming. 2-0 at the break and United were poor.

A penny or £350,000 for Sanchez’s thoughts? United’s new signing kept imploring his team mates to press, he kept waving them forward, but it was in defence where the problems lay.

Juan Mata was left on the bench, but not even his second half introduction could arrest matters. Stationed out wide right, it would be of little use, but then you could say the same about everyone in a red shirt out there. Romelu Lukaku did test Lorris with a smart turn and shot, and apart from a Pogba header, United showed little attacking ambition and that is rare indeed.

Marouane Fellaini’s night lasted all of seven minutes. It was either Mourinho’s savage treatment of a player or another flare up of his knee injury which severely cut short the Belgian’s night. Mauricio Pochettino had signed Brazilian Lucas Moura and his half time presentation to the fans was well received and symbolic on the club’s ambition.

Still outside the top four however, Harry Kane is one shy of his 100th Premier League goal twice he hit tamely at De Gea and Son should have squared to him but elected to try his luck which De Gea blocked.

Kane let his feelings be known. On the night, Spurs showed they were up for the fight and played very much as a team which their manager will be happy to see.

Pochettino called it “ a perfect night.” United had kept six clean sheets prior that this fixture. The Argentine said "Our aim is to be focused from the beginning. It was massive to be up early in the game. Three more points puts us in a very good position to fight for the top four. I’m sure Lucas Moura enjoyed that a lot.”

Mourinho was furious at his side’s inability to switch on from the start and moaned at what he saw as the gifting of goals and “ totally broken” confidence levels of his players.

"It's a performance that starts with a ridiculous goal. That goal after a few seconds has a big influence in the game because Tottenham can play the way they like to play. The second goal kills the team.”

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