Today, Spurs beat Man United 2-1 at home, in the last ever game to be played at what will soon become “The Old White Hart Lane”, which, contradictory to the scoreline, was a very one-sided affair.
Spurs took the lead in minute 6, thanks to Victor Wanyama’s bullet header, the Kenyan’s 3rd league goal of the season. From then on United just rolled over and let spurs rip them to shreds. United had one or two chances, most notably from Frenchman Anthony Martial, who showed excellent strength and control to get into a shooting position but curled his strike just wide of Hugo Lloris’ post.
Somehow, United managed to get to half-time without conceding again, but not much longer, as top scorer Harry Kane touched in a superb Christian Eriksen cross to double the host’s lead in the 48th minute, sending White Hart Lane into pandemonium.
United eventually pulled one back in the 71st minute through a Wayne Rooney tap-in that he seemed to have scuffed, but luckily for United’s all-time top goalscorer it came off of Jan Vertonghen’s boot and found the back of the Tottenham net. However, United never really showed any signs of getting back into the game, apart from a Marcus Rashford chance, where the young forward did well to take a looping pass into his stride in behind the Spurs back line, but pressure from Vertonghen and Alderweireld meant that his attempted lob went wide.
In a match that was completely overshadowed by Spurs saying farewell to their home, United seem to have confirmed that Jose Mourinho has put all his eggs into the Red and Gold Europa League basket, the definition of an all or nothing risk. Due to their loss today, United cannot mathematically finish inside the top four, meaning if United do want a place in next year’s champion’s league, they will need to beat Ajax in Stockholm on May 23rd.
However, Ajax are not a side to be underestimated, with the Amsterdam side beating much fancied Lyon 5-4 an aggregate, winning the first leg 4-1. De Godenzonen (sons of the gods), who came second in the Dutch Eredivisie this year, are a hugely young side, with 18-year-old Justin Kluivert, son of legendary forward Patrick, leading the line recently and 24-year-old Davy Klaassen getting 16 goals and 10 assists in 45 games this season.
So, if United do lose the final, then Mourinho has surely made one of the most costly mess ups he can make, putting all his eggs in one basket, just for the Dutch tear up the basket and ruin all of United’s eggs.
But, seeing as Jose Mourinho is fairly open about the fact that he’s given up on the league, could the Red Devils be subject to punishment? One Of the EFL’s main rules is that you must always put out the best team you can and do your best, and Jose clearly hasn’t done that.
Overall, United have taken a very heavy risk, completely sacrificing their league chances in order to try and add the last major European trophy to their cabinet, but it could all be for nothing, and the whole season could go up in smoke if one game goes wrong.
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