Jose Mourinho suffered his first defeat as Tottenham boss at the hands of his former club.
Two Marcus Rashford goals, one at the beginning of each half, gave Manchester United a 2-1 win at Old Trafford and eased the pressure on United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The home side were more than worth the three points and put in an assured performance, while Spurs were lacklustre from start to finish with only a moment of brilliance from Dele Alli offering a glimmer of brightness on a damp night in Manchester.
Mourinho made two changes to the side that beat Bournemouth, with Harry Winks and Lucas Moura replacing Tanguy Ndombele and Eric Dier.
Solskjaer, meanwhile, made four changes to the team that drew with Aston Villa at the weekend. Jesse Lingard, Ashley Young, Mason Greenwood and Scott McTominay were all brought in, at the expense of Anthony Martial, Brandon Williams, Juan Mata and Andreas Pereira.
Mourinho’s return to the Old Trafford dugout did not start as he would have liked. His Spurs side began sluggishly and failed to keep hold of the ball. As a result, United’s first real attack brought with it the game’s first goal.
Marcus Rashford was fed on the left of the Spurs box and shot from a tight angle. Paulo Gazzaniga in the Tottenham goals should have saved comfortably at his near post but it bounced up and went in off the post.
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Ten minutes later the England striker nearly doubled his own and his team’s tally. The 22-year-old, who looked particularly lively in the opening exchanges, had a central free-kick 20 yards out but his effort went just wide of the left post.
And Solskjaer’s side continued to impress. A tidy move started from the back eventually found Daniel James wide. His cutback found Lingard who laid the ball off to Mason Greenwood, but Gazzaniga was equal to his low drive.
Two minutes later, Rashford crashed an effort back off the bar, with Gazzaniga getting the faintest of touches. The Argentine had to save again from Rashford moments later. Nearly half an hour gone and the home side had utterly dominated.
With half-time approaching, the first moment of quality from a Spurs player brought about their first goal. Serge Aurier's shot was parried up in the air and Alli took the ball between Ashley Young and Fred with a wonderful first touch before dispatching a strike past David de Gea’s right-hand side.
From the start of the second half Manchester United, and Marcus Rashford, simply picked up where they left off. The forward raced towards the byline with intent and was brought to the ground by Moussa Sissoko. After a VAR check and wait, the England striker cooly slotted his second of the night home.
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Any thought that United may panic or fade showed no signs of appearing. An hour into the game they’d been as good as any outing this season – only a moment of lapsed concentration had seen Spurs score. A Daniel James effort from distance continued to keep Gazzaniga’s palms warm.
Mourinho responded by bringing on Christian Eriksen for Lucas Moura and Ndombele for Harry Winks but in truth the moves had little effect. While the Winks change was forced through injury, Eriksen was virtually anonymous after his introduction.
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