The latter were completely outplayed in the first half and had it not been the introduction of Wayne Rooney in after the break, United might not have been able to score a single goal throughout the game.
Bale, Vertonghen and Dempsey were the goalscoring heroes for the away side and Nani and Shinji Kagawa netted for the home team.
Without much further ado, let us have a look at three things we learned from the game.
1) Defence United’s Biggest Worry
Alex Ferguson will surely regret buying decent defensive back up this summer. Against Tottenham, his back four was thoroughly tormented and exploited by the pace and skills of Spurs’ attackers.
Rafael and Evra were often found sleeping at the back and the central defence duo of Ferdinand and Jonny Evans just could not contain Dembele, Bale and Lennon.
Spurs’ players were easily allowed to make marauding runs towards United’s penalty area, with no one caring to make any interception, tackle or even a simple challenge.
In all fairness, United need to make some changes at the back. In my assessment Evra and Ferdinand are just not good enough to play for United any longer and even Rafael is a liability against big teams with a pacy winger and the ability to counter easily.
Alexander Buttner needs to be more on the field, rather than sitting on the bench watching a past his best Frenchman play in his position and if the fitness issues of Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Nemanja Vidic continue to persist, then Ferguson should surely start planning for a winter transfer coup of a decent defender.
2) United have an Inability to get Kagawa and van Persie get involved in the game
One of the major reasons for United being heavily ineffective in the first half was the club’s inability to help Kagawa and van Persie up front.
Kagawa was all over the pitch, trying to create something out of nothing, but the midfielders and defender barely provided him with enough support. The Japanese operated as the fundamental No.10, but his teammates clearly let him down.
Van Persie on the other hand, was deployed as the poacher in front of the goal but many a times, United failed to provide the Dutchman with required balls.
Nani’s wastefulness and Giggs lethargic play on the wings further added to the Red Devils’ woes. However, the situation improved with Rooney’s introduction as the England international formed the much-needed link between the defence and the attack and formed a decent attacking trio with Kagawa and van Persie.
If Alex Ferguson wants to make the most of his two biggest signings of the summer, then he surely needs to work upon his midfield. Maybe it is time to move on from Scholes, Giggs and Carrick to somewhat more creative and lively players.
3) Tottenham Are Good Enough To Challenge For the Champions League
After a mediocre start to the season, on Saturday, Tottenham clearly showed what they are capable of. Andre Villas-Boas has now a decent team on his hands which can only get better.
The former Chelsea manager has two excellent ‘keepers in the team, a strong enough defence to shut down almost any attack in the Premier League and a world class attack that can surely beat any opposition on its day.
Some questions may arise with respect to somewhat lack of depth in the team, however, the game against Carlisle United showed us that the youngsters are not that bad either and can step up when it matters.
Moreover one cannot forget the fact that Spurs’ were without two of their best players of the past season, Adebayor and Assou Ekotto, against United and the duo’s return from injury are only going to make matters better for AVB and Co.
image: © Denise&David