Manchester United winning run continues 5/5 (7)

Manchester United’s unbeaten run continues also in London. Rashford and De Gea effectively ended Tottenham’s hopes to push Liverpool and Manchester City for the title.

The leading duo continues to prove that Premier League will be decided between them. However, there is no shortage of fights down the table.

Manchester Utd’s new old face

After 5 successes on the trot, Solskjaer had his first maturity exam this weekend in London against Tottenham. For this occasion, the Norwegian care-taker relied on less adventurous tactics.

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Some might argue that if United would present the same attitude under Mourinho he’d be crucified for negative approach. And rightfully so!

Even if performance at Wembley resembled what the team showed under the Portuguese manager, this time has a different story behind it.

Despite dominant and free-scoring displays in the last few weeks, Manchester United doesn’t have a clear identity and rehearsed mechanisms that Spurs have. Wins against mid-table oppositions were achieved due to superiority in class and quality.

But Pochettino’s team can match United’s quality, therefore, Solskjear had to revert to tactics best known to the squad; keep it tight at the back and hit on the counter.

De Gea miracles

With De Gea at his scintillating best everything is possible. A little “help” from the opponents is always welcome and with a bit of luck, you have all the ingredients for a joyful afternoon.

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Because, truth to be told, Tottenham perhaps had more to do with visitor’s win then United itself.

Pogba’s pass and Rashford’s finish were as good as you can hope for. The French midfielder later confessed that similar moves were trained during the week. If that’s true then hats off!

Anyway, without the unintentional Trippier’s assistance, it would never happen.

De Gea made 11 saves, big and small miracles, but can thank Dele Alli for one of them. Midway thru the second half, ironically after a counterattack, Alli came face to face with the Spanish goalie.

United’s keeper has to be given credit for not rushing his reaction however Alli had to take that chance. A player of his caliber has to score that kind of opportunity in every match. Even more so in such important fixtures.

Apart the goal, the Northern giants had a few good situations most notably with their prime star left to shoot from the edge of the box. It could cost Manchester the win if Tottenham managed to take advantage of one of the opportunities created.

It didn’t, Manchester United won and its winning run continues.

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Winning helps winning and with another month or so facing mid-to-low table opposition, the Red Devils have a great chance to catch Chelsea in the Champions League zone.

Liverpool’s struggles

Liverpool lost top-of-the-table clash against Manchester City which allowed Guardiola’s team to reduce the gap and ply pressure on Klopp’s men.

City deserved the victory abundantly and despite numerous absences to partially justify a submissive performance, Liverpool doesn’t have the squad to keep the pace.

Defeat at the Ettihad Stadium was followed by FA Cup exit at the hands of Wolverhampton. Two false steps in a row after 20 games in domestic competition without a loss.

The Reds redeemed themselves with a narrow but ultimately extremely important triumph at the weekend. As much for the points as for the morale!

Whereas Klopp can’t be satisfied with the teams’ performance. That’s 3rd consecutive under-par showing.

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Be it for congested fixtures, injuries or form loss, every team has its off period during a season. And Liverpool is currently in such cycle.

Accumulating points in times when your game isn’t at the very top is crucial to maintain title hopes.

Manchester City’s rise

Manchester City had its own dark period last month with a couple of somewhat undeserved defeats against Chelsea and Leicester City.

However, they picked themselves up and now produce the kind of football everybody’s expecting from them.

Unbeaten Solskjaer has every right to celebrate however needs to give his side an identity if he’s to challenge the big boys.

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