Spurs left-back Jan Vertonghen netted after only two minutes before Gareth Bale extended the lead just after the half-hour mark. The Reds rallied in the second half and scored twice in three minutes, but Clint Dempsey’s goal between those two strikes proved decisive.
“It was quite a game,” Sir Alex told ESPN. “We never started in the first half. It was a poor start to the game and they got a little break with a deflected goal. We really defended poorly.
“From there we were playing against the wind, really, until half-time came along and we were able to change things a little bit.
“In the second half we were fantastic. We should have got something from the game. We were very unlucky.”
Wayne Rooney’s introduction at half-time had an instant impact, as the former Everton striker teed up Nani to drag United back into the game.
But the Reds then conceded immediately, something Sir Alex believes cost United the match.
“I felt we should have dealt with [that situation] better. It was a bad break for us after getting one back. If we’d have kept it at 2-1 for a few minutes we would have won the match.”