0-3 was the result on Monday, when Manchester United were handed a painful loss at home. Tottenham Hotspur were responsible, with Harry Kane breaking the ice first, and Lucas Moura following with a double. All that José Mourinho could do in the end was applaud.
While the first half was saturated with close calls, neither side was able to score. Romelu Lukaku’s disappointing performance in the first half foreshadowed his inability to find the goal throughout the whole match.
The second half was when the center of United’s defense was cleaved and taken advantage of when Kane scored after relentless Hotspur pressure early in the 50th minute. Two minutes after, Lucas Moura found David de Gea’s net to deepen the result, and he once again found the goal in the 84th to knock out Manchester in their home stadium.
Although we’re early in the season, this match holds great importance on how the fates of both teams.
So far, Tottenham has definitely impressed. Defensively, they were able to close Manchester’s efforts with ease most of the time. Center backs Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld knew very well what to expect when it was United’s turn to attack. Mistakes were rare, as for example Pogba’s unlucky shot from outside the box in the second half, which should’ve been prevented appropriately.
Kieran Trippier and Danny Rose also helped defensively, as they did offensively, serving balls for the defensive midfield line of Eric Dier and Mousa Dembele, who were themselves nothing short of spectacular.
On midfield, Lucas Moura came forward as the strongest glove with not only the punching goals, but also frequently creating for Kane. Christian Eriksen’s presence was the link that brought the offensive line together when posing great threats against United. Delle Alli’s talents can’t be denied, and his efforts definitely played an important part when coming from the left wing, but there were cases when he could have opened the scoring much earlier had he passed the ball to his open mates.
In the end, Tottenham’s performance sets the foundation early in the season for a lot of aspects of the game. The EPL is undoubtedly on their radar, as is the FA Cup. Champions League ultimate success may be a stretch, but they have definitely proven their worth to place themselves on the favorites’ list of this football season.
United and Mou
As for United, we could go on and despise the performance of Fred, Matic, or the disastrous Chris Small and Phil Jones, but it’s the manager that holds the responsibility. The club owners have to immediately address the managerial concerns of the club, as Mourinho’s influence in the club will only be damaging from now on. He has completely lost his touch as a manager and even his interest for the team, it feels like. His glories at Porto, Chelsea, and Inter will remain on the history books of the game as one of the most influential moments of the sport. It may sound harsh, but he has to understand that it’s time to take a break from club football.
I do think that he has two options from now on. If he would stay in the lanes of club football, he has to only keep his compass towards Milan, to take on Inter again. The club has limped itself during its first two matches of the Serie A, being handed a loss from Sassuolo, and a draw at home by Torino. Their past love affair may be a cause to rebuild Inter into the contender it used to be during the 2000s.
The second option is the international platform. I do believe that he has some fuel for national football, where pressure is not as high. His talent as a manager resurfaces with smaller teams which hope to conquer the world. The stories of Porto and Inter winning the UEFA Champions League were the most improbable, but Mourinho made them real. He can take maybe Portugal and develop it as a fresh team, rather than a Ronaldo-based one.
My point is, he has to start from scratch. Otherwise, he’ll face impending unemployment. With his post-Inter record, it will be difficult to find a top-tier team that will take him in.
I do hope he finds a way to propel in the world of football again, as his charisma added an extra spice to the game, and his strategic approaches changed the way we view the sport.
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