Henrikh Mkhitaryan is rising to be the new hero who may be Manchester United needed to finally kick off their season, as the midfielder gave a very good display and scored his second goal for the club today against Tottenham, the only goal in the today’s match, to give them the win, after having opened his account in the Europa League on Thursday night, but the bad news is that he’s picked up another injury following a clash with Rose, which will see him miss out the coming games, and even past Boxing Day, as the fixtures pile up in the Premier League for the end of the year. After four consecutive draws in the league, United badly needed the win, but the red machine clearly needs some fine tuning as well to be able to tackle the current best teams.
United drew first blood when Pogba forced Lloris into a save in the early minutes of the game, but Tottenham responded at the other end as well via Eriksen, who forced De Gea into a save from a freekick as his wall looked completely useless. Tottenham looked to take control of the possession, but United were the ones looking threatening when they got the ball, but failing to hit the target. United gradually pushed Tottenham back as they looked for the opener, and it eventually came on the 29th minute. Kane lost possession near the half-way line, and Herrera was prompt to take advantage of the loose ball to feed in a thru pass to Mkhitaryan, who sprinted free off Tottenham’s defense before unleashing a powerful shot just under the bar and into the roof of the net, giving Lloris no chance whatsoever. Zlatan then had the opportunity to make it 2-0 but his shot lacked power and Lloris was able to make a comfortable save. De Gea was then called into action again this time by Son Heung-min, as Spurs threatened to claw back before half-time.
The second half saw a more enterprising Spurs team, as Eriksen forced De Gea into yet another save, then the real chance to equalize fell to Wanyama, but bizarrely, he headed the ball well off target while being unmarked in the box following Eriksen’s freekick, and the Red Devils could heave a big sigh of relief. Meanwhile, at the other end, Zlatan, Mkhitaryan and Martial were causing trouble to Tottenham’s backline, but the real chances were too scarce to find an eventual goal. Pogba then went very close following a freekick, as he struck it sweetly and powerfully, but unluckily for him, the combination of the bar and the post came to Lloris’ rescue, who stood rooted on his far post following the ball with his eyes only. He then saw Lloris deny him with yet another powerful shot as United tried to put the game to bed. Yet, Tottenham created another chance to equalize late on, but once again Eriksen saw De Gea stop his well taken freekick, and the hosts managed to hold on to the 1-goal lead to claim the 3 points, after losing Mkhitaryan in the process where his ankle turned following a challenge from Rose, and he had to be stretchered off. With the end of 2016 beckoning, the fixtures start to pile up, and United will play Crystal Palace away on Wednesday night, with of course Mkhitaryan the man to be missed, and now Mourinho will have to do some readjustments to keep the team in the flow.