Manchester United came from a goal down to beat Tottenham 3-1 to help solidify their place in the top four and avenge their early-season embarrassment.
It was an even and fairly dull opening at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium until the game sparked into life when Manchester United thought they had taken the lead in the 35th minute. Paul Pogba slipped a perfectly weighted pass through the Spurs defence, with Edinson Cavani showcasing his years of experience with a darting run and first-time finish past Hugo Lloris.
However, the goal would be harshly ruled out following a VAR review, Scott McTominay’s flailing arm catching the face of Heung Min Son in the buildup and being judged as a foul to leave Ole Gunnar Solskjaer visibly furious on the sidelines.
Just five minutes later, and Son would rub salt in United wounds to give his side the lead. Victor Lindelof failed to cut out a Harry Kane pass on the edge of the box, with Lucas Moura squaring the ball across the area to the unmarked South Korean who slotted home past Dean Henderson.
The Red Devils came out brightly in the second half, and within 12 minutes of the restart they got themselves level. Some slick interplay from Solskjaer’s side saw the ball once again slipped into Cavani, the Uruguayan’s initial effort saved by Lloris only for Fred to follow in on the Frenchman’s parry for a rare goal.
Soon after, Lloris would produce a smart save to deny a Bruno Fernandes effort from just outside the box, while Henderson kept out a Harry Kane strike at his near post in what was a much more entertaining second half.
It was however Manchester United who were far the better side, and with 13 minutes left to play, they scored the goal that their positivity deserved. Mason Greenwood crossed excellently from the right, with Cavani once again demonstrating his supreme goalscoring instincts to fire his side ahead with a perfectly directed diving header.
United controlled the play for virtually the entirety of the second half, and as they looked to see out the win, the impressive Pogba out strengthened his man to maintain possession, laid the ball to Greenwood who shifted onto his apparently weaker right foot before drilling past Lloris at his near post to round off the scoring.
📊 Most @premierleague away points won from losing positions this season
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) April 11, 2021
Before discussing the overall game, Man Utd manager Solskjaer was fumed at his side’s disallowed goal in the first half.
“The game has gone. The game has absolutely gone,” he told Sky Sports.
“If that’s a clear and obvious error, it’s an obvious error he had to look at it. It was a perfectly good goal.
“We shouldn’t be conned. I have to say, if my son stays down for three minutes and he needs his 10 mates to help him up, he won’t get any food.
“We weren’t conned, the referee was.
“That kick-started us. [Before the goal] we had played like a team who had played in Europe on a Thursday night [last time out].”
As for his side’s comeback, the Norwegian said his showed ‘good character’ following the ‘injustice’ for the disallowed goal.
“Top reaction,” he said. “We played some great stuff second half. We felt the injustice and we showed good character to come back. We can’t let those decisions ruin this good season for us.
“The goals we scored, were excellent. Edinson [Cavani] shows why he’s a number nine. Fred even scores, that just shows us how good we were.”
Edinson Cavani’s game by numbers vs. Tottenham:
100% shot accuracy
4 touches in opp. box
2 ball recoveries
2 chances created
His 7th Premier League goal of the season. ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/nf8KtzupAt
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 11, 2021
Cavani has been linked with a move back to South America at the end of the season, though Solskjaer once again expressed his desire to keep the former PSG striker.
“For a new lad who doesn’t speak English and not having his family over here, of course, it’s in the back of his head. Fingers crossed. If he decides it’s just the season then we’d be very happy to have had him here.”
Next up for Manchester United is the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final against Granada before they host Burnley next weekend.