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Man Utd 2 Tottenham 0: Erik ten Hag’s side back in Prem title race as toothless Spurs flop away at Big Six rivals again

SNOOKER ACE Dennis Taylor celebrated as Manchester United got the big breaks they deserved.

Sat next to Sir Alex Ferguson in the Director’s Box the former World Snooker Champion had not seen so much movement from reds since he hung up his cue.

Bruno Fernandes proved to be the star of the show as Man Utd downed Spurs
Manchester United put on a dominant display against Spurs

But for all their fine play they could not chalk up a goal until Fred’s deflected shot off Ben Davies just after the interval broke the deadlock.

Then in the 69th minute it was his shot again bouncing back off Eric Dier that gave Bruno Fernandes the chance to curl home the second.

It was all the excitement a Whirlwind, Hurricane and Rocket could put together at Old Trafford in what was undoubtedly the best performance under Erik ten Hag since he took charge.

The question before the game was why Fred was starting after his awful performance in the goalless draw against Newcastle on Sunday.

By the end The Stretford End were singing his name in celebration.

Watching on as the action unfolded was Cristiano Ronaldo.

Well he watched until he realised he would not be brought on and headed down the tunnel just before the injury time board was held up. OK, there was just a few minutes left but it was not a good look.

It is nearly 20 years since he has been left out of a starting line-up in need of goals.

Ten Hag just prefers the extra movement he gives him and the boss got all his calls, tactics, set-up everything right.

It was fast accurate passing, no fear at shooting, some brilliant pieces of skill.

When Antony turned between two Spurs players late in the first half the roar that greeted it was as big as for a goal.

The United players were responding and so were the fans.

The Tottenham goal was being peppered from the off with Hugo Lloris like a cat on hot bricks as he danced across his line to keep the scores level.

When he came to far off his line he almost paid for it as Antony tried to chip him and he had to bundle the ball behind.

Fred was alive from the first whistle looking for through balls and a goal for himself firing narrowly over early on.

Antony was doing his usual cutting in from the right and having a shot with his left, scrapping the outside of the far post after ten minutes.

Fred’s through ball to Marcus Rashford brought the United fans to the edge of their seats but the shot across Lloris was well saved by the Spurs goalkeeper.

Fernandes contribution of one goal and one assist in the build up to the game had forced Ten Hag into a defence of his current on pitch captain.

Fernandes celebrates his stunning goal
Fred popped up with a surprise goal too
Cristiano Ronaldo stormed down the tunnel before full-time after being left on the bench

This was better from him too, one blistering free kick denied by the overworked Lloris’ finger tips.

Next up Rashford with a shot deflected over followed by a Luke Shaw volley tipped over.

Too often their build up play under Ten Hag does not get it’s rewards with their 13 league goals before the game second worst in the top half at that stage behind Bournemouth who had ten.

There must have been fears it was going that way.

And when a minute before the break the previously anonymous Harry Kane served warning that despite United’s domination the visitors were still in it.

His near post shot was well saved by David De Gea who had been a virtual spectator up to that point and the Spurs striker’s follow up hit Diogo Dalot in the face and floored him. He would be ok.

At the break United had hit 19 shots to Spurs five, five on target to the visitors’ one and had earned six corners to their none.

Little wonder Antonio Conte was an exasperated figure in the technical area.

His side had arrived here looking for a win to move up to second behind North London rivals and league leaders Arsenal.

Antonio Conte’s side looked toothless all night
Despite his heroics Hugo Lloris was unable to help Spurs salvage anything at Old Trafford

But they would go the way of the Gunners who have lost their only game of the season by 3-1 here at the start of September.

The opener came in the 47th minute.

Jadon Sancho appeared from his self-imposed first half exile to tee-up Fred just outside the box.

His low shot looked to be heading straight at Lloris but Davis boot deflected and there was nothing the Spurs ‘keeper could do.

It was a goal that Rashford very quickly nearly added too when he cut inside from the right straight from the restart only to be denied again.

Then on 68 minutes a big chance for Kane came when a cross was headed onto at the far post.

He volleyed into the ground from close range but De Gea saved and United went straight up the other end to add a second.

Replays showed Kane would have been offside but United’s quick transition was in the club’s best traditions, fast and efficient.

Fernandes crashed through one challenge, Fred picked it up and shot. That deflected back to Fernandes whose finish was superb.

He’s back. On nights like this you can believe Manchester United are too. On to Stamford Bridge.

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