Manchester United vs. Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday was another breathtaking Premier League game which ended all square at 2-2 despite the Red Devils twice taking the lead and Spurs twice pulling level at Old Trafford. Rasmus Hojlund opened the scoring for the home side inside of three minutes from a Marcus Rashford assist but Richarlison wiped that advantage out when he headed in Pedro Porro’s corner. It was Rashford’s turn to be teed up by Hojlund with the England international scoring with a low finish after a great exchange between the two as well as some neat footwork.
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United’s defensive frailties came back to haunt them, though, and Timo Werner connected with Rodrigo Bentancur for the equalizer just minutes into the second half for what would prove to be the final goal of an absorbing game. Erik ten Hag will be frustrated with his side’s inability to hold a lead while Ange Postecoglou will feel that his men wasted too many chances to truly deserve the win. The Dutchman should feel fortunate, though, that Werner’s first half header went just wide and Cristian Romero found the woodwork instead of the back of the net just before halftime otherwise the score would have been majorly different.
Rashford back on song
This was an overdue good outing from the United man who scored one and created the other in a strong first half display at Old Trafford. Rashford’s quick thinking located Hojlund who lashed home for the opener inside of the first few minutes but his second goal was arguably most impressive given the pair’s combination which still required great footwork and a clinical finish to beat Guglielmo Vicario. The Red Devils could not get a win on this occasion, but more showings like that from Rashford and the points should start to come for Ten Hag and his players.
Werner’s instant impact
He might not have scored but the Germany international proved Postecoglou right to start him from the off with a lively showing across 80 minutes before he was withdrawn. Werner’s key contribution came in the first few minutes of the second half when he set up Bentancur’s equalizer, but he was nuisance for the United defense and could have scored himself with a header which went wide in the first half. Blaming the former Chelsea and RB Leipzig man for not taking all three points would be harsh as Romero also had a headed chance hit the woodwork while six shots on target were mustered overall as part of a possession-heavy Spurs showing.
United’s defense keeps costing them
That was the fourth consecutive Premier League game in which Ten Hag’s side failed to keep a clean sheet which is worse when you consider that just two of the last 10 games across all competitions has seen United avoid conceding a goal. One of those was Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup and the other was Liverpool in the EPL. Otherwise, six of those games have seen the Red Devils ship at least two goals in the same match and that has thrown up some worrying trends. United cannot defend set pieces and more broadly, struggle to maintain all sense of form at basic moments which prove critical at the back. Richarlison’s goal owed much to the same dreadful defending that we saw in the 3-2 win over Aston Villa which suggests that lessons are not being learned.
Son-less Spurs were wasteful
Werner has been brought in to address the South Korea international’s absence due to the AFC Asian Cup but the German will not solve Tottenham’s goal scoring needs on his own. Captain Heung-min Son could be back within the next month but Richarlison is a more than capable scorer as he showed here while others such as Romero have also proved to be goal threats. Those six shots on target should at least return three goals instead of two which would have been enough to secure all three points in Manchester. Postecoglou’s men have two clean sheets from their last 13 across all competitions and although debutant Radu Dragusin has been brought in to address that, Spurs have to clean it up in front of goal.