Manchester United suffered their first defeat of 2018 in a miserable fashion as Tottenham comfortably beat them 2-0 at Wembley on Wednesday.
The visitors were left shell shocked mere moments into the game as Christian Eriksen scored the third fastest goal in Premier League history with just 11 seconds on the clock, although replays suggest that there should have been a foul at kick-off.
The hosts continued dominating the game, with Manchester United only managing to grab half chances. The game then seemed to be in the bag even before the half hour mark as Phil Jones turned Kieran Trippier’s cross into his own net.
FT: Tottenham 2 #MUFC 0.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 31, 2018
In the last hour, Manchester United did have a few chances, but Hugo Lloris stood strong to keep a well earned clean sheet. Defeat on Tuesday was the Red Devils’ first of the calendar year, and they are now 15 points behind league leaders Manchester City. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Jose Mourinho’s men.
David De Gea: 6/10
Even the usually insurmountable De Gea wall couldn’t do anything to prevent the two Tottenham goals from going in on Wednesday. The Spaniard saved Manchester United further embarrassment though, by making a string of saves to keep the scoreline at 2-0.
Antonio Valencia: 5/10
The only Manchester United defender who did a half decent job on the night, keeping the dangerously nippy Son Heung-Min in check for the most part. He was, however, barely a threat down the right wing, with Tottenham dominating the proceedings for the most part.
Chris Smalling: 3/10
In what was, hands down, the worst defensive performance of the season by Manchester United, Smalling was the embodiment of the disastrous night. His poor outing started right at kick-off as he left Dele Alli unmarked before Eriksen scored. Harry Kane gave him a nightmarish time and the Englishman looked awkward all night long.
Phil Jones: 4.5/10
Phil Jones’ game by numbers vs. Spurs:
1 own goal
67% tackles won
91% pass accuracy
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) January 31, 2018
A rare, albeit major blip in a strong season for Jones, who produced his worst performance of the campaign on Wednesday. Like Smalling, Jones played his part in Tottenham’s first goal.
And while he did make a few important tackles and interceptions, his own goal left Manchester United with too much to do. Needs to move on quickly from this disappointment.
Ashley Young: 4/10
For some reason, Young was found wanting for pace, with Kieran Trippier giving him a hard time all night long. For precisely the same reason, Tottenham targeted the veteran Englishman, who also failed to track Eriksen for his goal. Didn’t offer much going forward either.
Paul Pogba: 4/10
Just another time when it was painfully apparent why a midfield pivot isn’t ideal for Pogba. With Spurs creating overloads in midfield, the Frenchman struggled to find space and generate any sort of momentum, as he does usually.
— United Xtra (@utdxtra) January 31, 2018
While he did create the best chance of the night for Manchester United, that was really as good as it got for Pogba, who was extremely wasteful. Eventually taken off by Mourinho at the hour mark, perhaps for the first time when he wasn’t injured.
Nemanja Matic: 3/10
The quick tempo of the game caught Matic off guard, who was largely anonymous on the night and failed to provide any cover for the defenders behind him. That subsequently meant that the Tottenham attack piled on the pressure on the back-four, which crumbled behind the Serb. Wasteful in possession and ball circulation.
Jesse Lingard: 5/10
One of the very few Manchester United players who tried his heart out. Lingard was the liveliest player all through his stint on the field, making a number of runs to create space for his teammates, but it couldn’t amount to much on the night. Had the best chance of the night, but he couldn’t score past Lloris after failing to control the ball.
Alexis Sanchez: 4.5/10
Alexis Sanchez’s Premier League debut:
77% passes completed
1 completed dribble
Dribbled past more than any player on the pitch
Dispossessed more than any Man Utd player pic.twitter.com/pCWDjJJLbl
— bet365 (@bet365) January 31, 2018
A league debut to forget for Sanchez, who was easily the best attacking player for Manchester United on Wednesday, although that is no consolation. Looked more enterprising than any other player in red, but his innovation was only visible in flashes. The most fouled player on the pitch, he needed more support from his teammates on the night.
Anthony Martial: 4/10
The only good thing about Martial’s performance on the night was that he regularly got himself into good positions. But, the Frenchman was utterly wasteful when he did get the ball, and none of his dribbles amounted to anything.
Lucky to stay on the pitch when Marcus Rashford was asked to stay put on the bench due to Marouane Fellaini’s injury. The right wing position is not for him.
Romelu Lukaku: 5/10
Another big game, another night when Lukaku didn’t have the service that he needs to be a factor. His hold-up play looks much improved though, and the Belgian tried his best to get the rest of his teammates into the game with that aspect of his game. Forced a fine point-blank range save from Lloris in the second half, but that was as good as it got for him.
Juan Mata: 4/10
Introduced with half an hour left, Mata didn’t really do anything of note, even as Manchester United had enough time to get at least one goal on the board.
Marouane Fellaini: N/A
On for Pogba, Fellaini had to be replaced after just seven minutes as he picked up a knee injury.
Ander Herrera: N/A
On for the last 25 minutes, Herrera replaced Fellaini, but barely did much.