Tottenham Hotspur ended their Old Trafford hoodoo in emphatic style on Monday evening as they scored three second-half goals to shock the footballing world to its core and simultaneously deliver a strong statement of intent to their onlooking title rivals.
The theatre of dreams became a theatre of nightmares for Man United supporters on Monday evening as their title credentials were temporarily ripped into pieces by a Tottenham side who demonstrated a superior level of ruthlessness, hunger and tactical shrewdness to return to the capital with three vital points.
Lucas Moura deservedly stole the headlines as he scored a second-half brace to take his tally to three in a season which is beginning to shape up nicely for Tottenham despite their pre-season negativity.
The manner in which he utilised his blistering pace and direct style of dribbling to gracefully dissect the heart of United’s defence and fire home a decisive 3rd goal expressed a level of confidence which very few players can demonstrate even at this level.
It was refreshing to witness and the Tottenham supporters will certainly have taken plenty of encouragement from his performance, but he was not the only player worthy of heaps of individual praise.
After all, Tottenham set foot in a ground which is notoriously difficult to win at and scored three goals to no return against an outfit boasting an array of talented players including Paul Pogba, Alexis Sanchez, Romelu Lukaku and Jesse Lingard.
Tottenham’s clean sheet owes a huge debt to the failure of Romelu Lukaku to gobble up a glaring opportunity in the first-half when he put the ball wide of an empty goal after going round Hugo Lloris.
But it must be considered that the vast majority of Man United’s attacking probing was stifled by a well-organised defence marshalled by the thoroughly excellent Toby Alderweireld – a player whom was constantly linked with a move to Old Trafford throughout the entirety of the summer transfer window.
Shortly after Moura had put the visitors in cruise control with a 3-0 lead, the highly-respected Times journalist Henry Winter tweeted a description of the goal before lavishing praise on Alderweireld whom he described as ‘pure class’.
Smalling shocking defending, no balance, awareness, intelligence or fight as Moura came through. Moura calmly beats De Gea to make it 3-0. Hapless defending. Meanwhile, Alderweireld pure class at the back for Spurs. #MUNTOT
— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) August 27, 2018
On the evidence of his commanding performance against United alone it’s absolutely impossible to argue with his assessment as his ability to intervene at crucial moments, distribute the ball effectively from the back and organise the defensive unit ensured Spurs remained solid throughout the evening.
After months of speculation it appears that the Belgium international (valued at £36 million by Transfermarkt) has put discussions over a new contract, or lack thereof to the back of his mind and is fully focused on finding his best form for Tottenham and becoming one of their unlikely 2018/19 heroes after having been so heaviliy linked with an exit previously.
Whatever is happening or has happened behind the scenes will hoepfully be put to one side for now and the media focus will return to his footballing ability, as he truly is a delight to watch when he reaches the level he found on Monday evening.
Tottenham fans – thoughts? Let us know below!