Tottenham turn up. Tottenham played with a very deep defensive line and Manchester United found it difficult to penetrate in the early stages. Then, completely against the run of play, Kyle Walker fired in a low free-kick to give Spurs the lead.
Following the goal, Tottenham were all over United but in typical football fashion, it was United who scored next when a ricochet fell to Wayne Rooney who made no mistake. The rest of the first half didn’t see many more opportunities for either side.
However, there was plenty of action in the second half. Sandro scored an absolute screamer to put Spurs back in the lead but Rooney replied within five minutes from the penalty spot. It really was an end to end game and given that United were twice behind, it is a point gained rather than two lost.
Return of Valencia. Up against Bayer Leverkusen in midweek, Valencia showed the kind of form that made him so unstoppable a couple of seasons ago and he repeated that level of performance against Tottenham. Jan Vertonghen won’t want to watch the highlights of today’s game as Valencia gave him an absolutely torrid time on the right wing.
When he is on form, Valencia’s combination of brute power and pace make it almost impossible or a defender to stop him. His final ball left a lot to be desired and he has certainly got to work on improving that but it is great to see him taking on players again with a confidence he has lacked for so long.
Rooney is unstoppable right now. Four assists against Bayer Leverkusen and two goals today, Rooney’s form is absolutely superb. He has already scored ten goals and got as many assists as he did in the whole of last season.
Everything about his game screams of confidence. From his pinpoint passing, deadly goalscoring form and defensive contribution, he is the heartbeat of United right now. David Moyes has done a wonderful job in bringing the best out of Rooney again and United are reaping the rewards.
Last year, Robin van Persie spearheaded our Premier League title and if United are to win the title this year, Rooney is going to be the linchpin.
Kagawa disappeared. In midweek, Kagawa was brilliant and deservedly kept his spot in the starting XI for Tottenham but in a game that was important for himself on a personal level this season, he didn’t turn up.
United played with a fluid front three so Kagawa floated between his favoured central position and the left wing but it didn’t matter where he was, he struggled to have any influence on the game. Sandro and Dembele gave him little to no time on the ball and he couldn’t make any space for himself.
This has been the problem with Kagawa. There are real moments of brilliance but plenty of extended periods where he floats in and out of games. That sort of inconsistency won’t help him get more regular football at all.
Maybe Moyes didn’t play him today with the intention of using him against his former club on Wednesday or simply because he preferred Jones and Cleverley. Either way, a game that was already going to be a very hostile atmosphere for Moyes’ side back at Goodison Park is where Fellaini has to really show that he is worth the £27 million we paid for him.