Eriksen’s lightning start for Spurs blindsides Man United
London, Feb. 1 (IANS): Tottenham Hotspur defeated Manchester United 2-0 here to put pressure on Chelsea in the scramble for a top-four finish while making it even more unlikely that the Red Devils will challenge leaders Manchester City for the English Premier League (EPL) title.
Spurs, coming off two successive draws, were eager for a victory and grasped the opportunity to put more distance between themselves and North London rivals Arsenal after the Gunners’ 3-1 loss to Swansea City on Tuesday, reports Efe.
With many of the record crowd of 82,011 still making their way to their seats at Wembley Stadium, Christian Eriksen scored just 11 seconds into the match to put the hosts up 1-0.
United were quick to respond and Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris had to be sharp to block a shot from Jesse Lingard, but the surge didn’t last long and Tottenham’s dominance turned into a second goal just short of the half-hour mark, when defender Phil Jones inadvertently diverted Kieran Trippier’s cross into the visitors’ net.
Romelu Lukaku forced another save from Lloris early in the second half and the Belgian’s effort turned out to be the closest United would come to scoring.
The win brings Spurs to 48 points, two behind fourth-place Chelsea and six ahead of Arsenal. United, with 53 points, are 15 points behind Man City, who were 3-0 winners Wednesday over West Bromwich Albion.
Pochettino hails ‘fantastic’ Eriksen
Tottenham Hotspur head coach Mauricio Pochettino heaped praise on his midfielder Christian Eriksen after producing a star-studded performance against Manchester United in the English Premier League (EPL).
“I think it was a great performance from Christian,” Pochettino said. “Christian is such an important player for us not because today he was great and he scored.
“But he’s a player that links everyone and of course when he’s not in the team we always miss him. He’s a player that you miss on the pitch.
“I think the performance was fantastic and we played so well. The team deserved a lot of credit, a lot of credit,” the Argentine added.
Failed to execute plans – Mourinho
Manchester United head coach Jose Mourinho highlighted several mistakes by his players and said their opponents Tottenham were better on the day.
The away side looked nowhere in the game, making continous defensive lapses.
“One mistake. We don’t win the ball in the air. Second mistake. We don’t win the second ball on the ground. Third mistake. We don’t cover inside, the full-back inside when Eriksen comes. Four mistakes. Four mistakes after 15 seconds and you are losing 1-0 against a good team,” Mourinho was quoted as saying by the Independent.
“And then a good reaction, we played in their half, we create something, the feeling was we are in the game but the second goal I don’t say ridiculous I say unlucky. It’s a different thing than ridiculous and after that Tottenham has the game in their hands and they are very good in counter attack, they press well,” the Portuguese tactician added.