After a shaky first few minutes on the defensive side by back Phil Jones, the Red Devils wasted little time to get going against the Spurs. The game turned out be United’s finest performance under manager Louis van Gaal, according to Musa Okwonga of ESPN FC. United scored all three of their goals in the first half, while Tottenham didn’t register a shot until the 89th minute.
United got on the board at the nine minute mark as midfielder Michael Carrick slipped a through ball to midfielder Maroune Fellani, who rocketed a left foot shot from the left side of the box into bottom right hand corner of the goal. The goal was Fellani’s fifth of the season while Carrick, who tallied his second goal of the Premier League season 10 minutes later, picked up his third assist of the campaign.
United’s star forward, Wayne Rooney, sealed the victory for the Red Devils with his 12th league goal of the season at the 34th minute mark. Rooney stole the ball off a horrendous pass by Spurs midfielder Nabil Bentaleb and then burned past Bentaleb as well as defender Eric Dier before depositing the ball into the far corner of the net.
Rooney’s goal celebration made reference to previous footage that showed him appearing to be knocked out by Stoke City defender Phil Bardsley.
United controlled the ball the majority of the game, holding a 52-48 advantage in time possession. The Red Devils also held an advantage in shots 11-5, including 3-1 on goal.
The victory moves United (56 points) five points clear of fifth place Liverpool and within two of second place Manchester City with nine games left. The Red Devils have a difficult remaining schedule, starting at Liverpool on Saturday. Liverpool can pool within two points of United with a victory over Swansea City tomorrow.
United has won three straight games and is 5-1-1 in their last seven Premier games. Of their remaining nine league games, five of them are away from Old Trafford, where the Red Devils are 4-7-3 for 19 points. United has a plus-1 goal differential in their 14 road matches. The Red Devils also visit EPL leading Chelsea (April 18), No. 14 Everton (April 26), No. 12 Crystal Palace (May 9), and No. 15 Hull (May 24).
United hosts Aston Villa (April 4), Manchester City (April 12), West Brom (May 2), and Arsenal (May 16). With the victory over Tottenham, United improves to 12-1-2 at home. The Red Devils have scored 33 home goals and surrendered 10.
In other United news
- Nineteen-year-old Brazilian Andreas Periera saw his first action in a Premier League contest against Tottenham.
- Burnley 22-year old star Danny Ings is reportedly interested in joining Manchester United this summer, according to Paul Hetherington of the Daily Star.
- Dean Jones of the Sunday Mirror is reporting that Gareth Bale could leave Real Madrid for Old Trafford if the offer is right.
[Photo by Michael Regan/ Getty Images]