Pogba

Manchester United Survive? What seemed like a return to business for two of England’s best clubs who are currently marred by mediocrity, no matter whatsoever the reasons are, the spoils of their comeback war were shared in a contrasting tale of two halves. Manchester City visited Tottenham’s turf to start their return journey after an excruciating hiatus of 99 days and what followed after the whistle was a mere slugfest that didn’t have any kind of categorical chances falling for any of the contenders.

The first chance of the night, albeit a bit wild going by the stature of it, fell for a modest Rashford on the night whose half volley was adrift by miles. United was shortly jolted by a rude awakening as Mourinho’s January signing, Steven Bergwijn smashed home the opener, exploiting a flat-footed United defence and a rare howler from David De Gea.

United drafted an immediate response, scurrying for an equalizer but Rashford’s inability to inflict himself on Davinson Sanchez saw the effort bundled out by Lloris. After Spurs taking the lead, they seemed rejuvenated and started pegging back United on all fronts. Shortly after United’s sortie, Spurs almost doubled their lead as Bergwijn’s blistering run past Shaw helped him create a delectable chip which was headed beautifully by Son only to be tipped away by a flying De Gea.

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In the dying embers of the first half, Fernades lashed out a curling belter from the distance. The was no end product, only to see his effort gazing past the net by whiskers.

It seemed that in the face of an impending calamity which United was shortly sinking into, Bruno started spearheading a resurgence for the Devils. After finishing the first half on a high, he crafted United’s first chance in the second with a ripper, once again from the distance that left Lloris gaping widely at the beauty of it.

The masterstroke came from Ole after an hour of exasperation, as he introduced Paul Pogba. It was the much-anticipated substitution to combine with Bruno in the midfield. A roaring Mason Greenwood was brought in as well. He superseded an otherwise pedestal James for the night.

 This swap summoned instant vim for the visitors as Pogba dealt a double whammy in a span of 26 seconds. Into his arrival to the pitch, he was successful in unleashing a low shot, which troubled the opponents. Then he divested Aurier out of his possession to tee up Rashford.

The Chances That Followed

All of this United salvo seemed to intensify in the following minute as a delectable through from the Frenchman found Bruno Fernandes in the box. The play-maker with an incredulous turn, squared-off Martial for a brilliant finish. The striker did not convert, only to see the latter bundle his shot straight at a diving Dier.

Manchester United was just beginning and after a reprieve of two minutes for the hosts, the Devils were at it once again. Shaw glided past a couple of defenders with consummate ease and teed up Martial with a difficult delivery. However, the Frenchman belted out a brilliant left-footer, though it was not good enough. The shot was saved with tantamount brilliance from the Spurs’ skipper, Hugo Lloris flying high on the left.

With the introduction of Pogba and Greenwood, Solskjaer made a tactical change too. This saw United playing a much higher line than in the first half. Also, great recoveries from the defence that was closing down the options for Spurs were made now.

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What Manchester United Earned A Point?

As the moments elapsed, United was getting more vicious in their search of an equalizer. Pogba was leading the charge as his crazy skill on the right-wing left Dier bamboozled, making the error. In an attempt to stop the midfielder, he clipped him inside the box. The referee pointed straight at the dreaded spot. It was once again the Portuguese who stepped up (Bruno). The attacker blasted a fine spot-kick into the bottom right corner, steering Lloris into the wrong direction.

There was further drama to this high-octane encounter. It witnessed another penalty going United’s way. Fernandes was flipped in the middle of the box after a probable contact with Dier once again. However, VAR intercepted and showed it to be a dive. This rescinded what could have been a telling blow to Mourinho’s hopes of staying alive in the contention for European glory.

Mason Greenwood crafted two clinical opportunities that flew agonizingly close off the far post. This was in the dying embers of the extra time allotted by the referee. It was laced with another long-ranger effort from Bruno. That was once again in touching distance of the woodwork.