Manchester United are trying to improve. They are trying to win the faith of the fans and they are trying to win and they are winning – Ole’s team might lack the conviction of their arch-rivals Manchester City, but in terms of trying hard and breaking the sweat till the end, they have been a much better force than the last season.
Manchester United had been in a buoyant mood following their mid-week success against Granada in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final. Meanwhile, Tottenham Hotspur returned to league action after a week since drawing 2-2 away at Newcastle United.
Manchester United looked to exact revenge for their 1-6 drubbing at the hands of Jose Mourinho’s men in October and they ended up in smiles.
Both the teams looked to cash in on the counter and which posed a danger of both sides might end up like the stalemate between United and Chelsea earlier in the season when both sides were so intent on letting the opposition come on to them and not taking risks that the ball might as well have been left on the centre-spot at kick-off as both sides sat in their own half and watched it.
After 33 minutes Edinson Cavani seemed to have given United the lead, only for the referee, Chris Kavanagh, to decide, after consulting the video screen, that the brush of Scott McTominay’s fingers in Son Heung-min’s face as he stepped away from him in the buildup constituted a foul.
Then, Victor Lindelof helped by getting his feet in a tangle, but after Serge Aurier had swept the ball forward, the interplay between Harry Kane, Lucas Moura and Son, who was left to roll the ball in, was slick and incisive.
Spurs took the lead and they went back to sit deep and it turned against them as they did against West Ham, Lask, Crystal Palace, Liverpool, Wolves, Fulham, Arsenal, Dinamo Zagreb and Newcastle.
As Spurs sat deeper, United began to play with fluency and imagination. After a couple of decent blocks from Hugo Lloris, the equalizer arrived 12 minutes into the second half, Fred knocking in the rebound after Cavani’s effort had been saved.
Cavani got the second with a diving header from Mason Greenwood’s cross.
He did then head against his own post as Pogba flicked on a Spurs corner but the game was not to be shifted from its destiny and Greenwood added a late third.
Mourinho, whose side has forfeited 18 points from winning positions in the Premier League this season and who has now endured 10 league defeats for the first time in his managerial career, meanwhile, Ole is enjoying his time.