Edinson Cavani.

Report: Tottenham 1 United 3

Sunday 11 April 2021 18:20

After having to contend with a hugely controversial and bizarre decision to disallow a first-half goal, Manchester United staged a superb comeback victory over Tottenham Hotspur, thanks to a brilliant second-half display and goals from Fred, Edinson Cavani and substitute Mason Greenwood.

The Reds had a first-half Cavani goal harshly chalked off for a perceived foul on Heung-min Son in the build-up and, minutes later, Son gave Jose Mourinho's men the lead.

United roared back after the break however, as Fred, Cavani and Greenwood all found the net to seal a memorable and deserved 3-1 win.


Solskjaer made three changes to the side that won 2-0 away to Granada with Dean Henderson, Fred and Edinson Cavani coming in for David De Gea, the injured Daniel James and Mason Greenwood, who started on the bench due to carrying a couple of niggles, as confirmed by Ole during his pre-match interview.

The Reds went into the game knowing we could extend our advantage over Leicester City, who lost 3-2 to West Ham just before kick-off, and close the gap on leaders Manchester City who had gone down to a shock 2-1 defeat to 10-man Leeds 24 hours earlier. Our 6-1 reverse to Spurs back in October was also, no doubt, in the players’ minds.

In truth, it was a somewhat scrappy opening 15 minutes or so from both sides, before the move of the match thus far came on 17 minutes as United threatened.

Bruno Fernandes floated a lovely ball forward to Paul Pogba on the edge of the box, who headed it into the path of Cavani and his first-time lay-off dropped perfectly into the path of the onrushing Marcus Rashford. He took a touch and took aim, but Eric Dier flew across brilliantly to deflect the effort out for a corner.

The most controversial moment of the match arrived on 33 minutes with an utterly bizarre decision taken following a check by VAR.

United had the ball in the net on 33 minutes after a superb move involving McTominay, Fred and Pogba, who slotted a lovely pass into Cavani and our no.7 finished with aplomb. The Spurs players immediately surrounded the referee following Son's fall to floor in the build-up after McTominay’s had pushed forward to escape his attentions. Incredibly, the goal was ruled out after Chris Kavanagh went over to the pitchside monitor and deemed McTominay had fouled Son. The decision was met with utter disbelief by everyone involved with the Reds.

Just to compound our anger and frustration, Son put the hosts ahead, seven minutes later. The ball was played into Harry Kane, who laid it off to Lucas Moura and he unselfishly found Son at the back post to slot home.

United ended the half on top, but Spurs held firm to take a 1-0 lead into the break.


United were hoping to channel our frustration at the injustice and, 12 minutes into the second period, the Reds got a fully deserved equaliser.

A nice bit of play involving Rashford and Fred led to the latter putting Cavani through on goal. Hugo Lloris saved well, but the rebound dropped perfectly into the path of Fred to hammer into the empty net.

Three minutes later, Spurs almost regained the lead when the ball deflected to Son in the United box, but his shot was saved superbly with his feet by Henderson.

Soon after, Aaron Wan-Bissaka made a great interception, allowing Pogba to find Fernandes in midfield and he sped forward and was denied by an excellent stop from Lloris who tipped the Portuguese’s whipped low effort around the post.

United had a glorious chance to take the lead on 67 minutes when a corner was cleared to Shaw, who found Fernandes at the back post with a precise pass. Our no.18 volleyed it into the path of Pogba, but his close-range backheel was blocked by Dier.

Spurs still looked a threat at the other end and Henderson was alert again with his feet when he saved well from Kane at his near post. There was a similar threat at the other end when substitute Greenwood took aim, but his low drive dropped just wide.

Eleven minutes from time, Cavani had the ball in the net again and this time it counted. It was a superb move from United. Fernandes and Greenwood linked with the substitute curling a delicious cross into the area and Cavani was there to meet it with a diving header into the corner.

There was drama at the other end when a Spurs corner was flicked on by Pogba and Cavani then headed it against his own post in defending the goal.

United had six minutes of injury time to contend with - which was a little difficult to fathom - as Spurs went in search of an equaliser, but it was the Reds who topped off the victory instead, as the hugely impressive Pogba found Greenwood who fired home to seal a fantastic comeback victory for United.

Solskjaer explains James absence


The boss has given an update on the fitness of our Wales international after he was left out of the matchday squad.


Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris (c); Aurier, Rodon, Dier, Reguilon; Hojbjerg, Ndombele (Lamela 78); Lo Celso (Sissoko 61), Lucas, Son; Kane.

Subs not used: Hart, Alderweireld, Tangana, Winks, Dele, Bale, Vinicius.

Goal: Son 40.

Booked: Sissoko.

: Henderson, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire (c), Shaw, Fred, McTominay, Rashford (Greenwood 71), Fernandes (Matic 90), Pogba, Cavani.

Subs not used: De Gea, Telles, Tuanzebe, Williams, Amad, Mata, van de Beek.

Goals: Fred 57, Cavani 79, Greenwood 90+6.

: McTominay, Cavani, Fred, Shaw, Maguire.