Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes

Tottenham Hotspur 1 Manchester United 1

Manchester United came from behind to earn a point on the club's Premier League return but surely more was deserved from a dominant second-half display at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

The Reds' first game at Spurs' new ground was of course played behind closed doors, and had there been any travelling supporters in the stands, they would have been off their seats and on their feet frequently.

The highlight of the away performance came in the 81st minute when second-half substitute Paul Pogba used some brilliant trickery to dupe Eric Dier into giving away a penalty and Bruno Fernandes fired it home with steely confidence.

Another January introduction into the English game, Steven Bergwijn, had given Spurs the lead in the 27th minute with a surging run and powerful finish past David De Gea. But the hosts' ascendancy was, for long periods, really in the scoreline alone and it seemed somewhat inevitable that United would eventually draw level. 

Highlights: Tottenham 1 United 1Video

Bergwijn’s goal – his third in six Premier League games since arriving from PSV Eindhoven – was clinically executed. When United’s possession broke down between Luke Shaw and Marcus Rashford, Spurs’ flying Dutchman collected the ball and, with Harry Maguire and Fred snapping at his heels, he unleashed a powerful shot that De Gea got a hand to but couldn’t keep out.

It was Tottenham’s first attack of note, and very much against the run of play after a period in which Rashford’s half-volley, Bruno Fernandes’s ferocious low strike and Fred’s more routine effort all had to be dealt with by Spurs’ French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, to varying degrees of difficulty.

Fred almost conjured an instant reply to Bergwijn’s opener with a curling free-kick in from the right flank but Davinson Sanchez’s touch took the ball away from Rashford’s head and Spurs scrambled it out for a corner that came to nothing.
In fact, the hosts came closer to grabbing the game’s second goal when the dangerman Bergwijn found enough space on the right to turn creator, and deliver a decent cross that Son met with an arrowing header towards the top corner. De Gea took off and brilliantly tipped the Korean’s effort over the bar, to maintain United’s hopes of regaining parity before the break. That didn’t happen, despite Fernandes letting fly in injury time, with a dipping shot from distance that Lloris held well.

The Reds continued to dominate possession as the second half unfolded, and were camped in Spurs’ territory for long periods. It seemed Mourinho had primed his men to defend the slender lead with bodies behind the ball in the second half and that limited United to only one real effort on goal before the hour mark. That one effort almost went in, however, as Fernandes’s long-range daisy-cutter crept inches wide of the left-hand post with Lloris seemingly beaten for once.

United fans eagerly awaiting the axis of Fernandes and Pogba were granted their wish when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made the first two of his five permitted substitutions. Mason Greenwood also came on, for Daniel James, and Pogba took Fred’s place in midfield as the Reds chased a leveller with fresher legs for the final half-hour or so.
Bruno Fernandes scores the penalty
Fernandes equalises from the penalty spot after Dier's foul on Pogba.
It was a tale of two different Frenchmen, however, when Anthony Martial was denied by Lloris’s greatest save of the night. The keeper almost soared through the North London sky to divert a glorious shot that seemed destined to nestle in the top corner. Martial was also thwarted on the ground too when Dier, who later became Spurs’ villain by conceding the penalty, made a heroic block when the United forward seemed all set to score.

The outcome of a thrilling contest could have been even more dire for Tottenham’s no.15, had VAR not overruled referee Jon Moss’s award of a second spot-kick against the England international, this time for a challenge on Fernandes. Spurs and Mourinho breathed a sigh of relief then and once again when Greenwood’s low strike flashed across goal in the fifth minute of stoppage time.
Mason Greenwood shoots fractionally wide
Greenwood fires fractionally wide, deep into injury time.
MATCH DETAILS

Tottenham: Lloris, Aurier, Sanchez, Dier, Davies, Winks, Sissoko, Lamela (Fernandes 70), Son, Bergwijn (Lo Celso 70), Kane.

Substitutes not used: Gazzaniga, Alderweireld, Vertonghen,  Sessegnon, Ndombele, Skipp, White.

Scorer: Bergwijn 27

United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof (Matic 78), Maguire, Shaw; McTominay (Bailly 89), Fred (Pogba 63), Fernandes; James (Greenwood 62), Martial (Ighalo 78), Rashford.

Substitutes not used: Romero, Williams, Mata, Lingard.

Scorer: Fernandes pen. 81

Booked: James.

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