That was fun!
It was straightforward by the end but after Eriksen alertly put us in front straight from the kick-off Man Utd began a knife through butter impression, mostly down the left, and you began to fear how long the lead would last. That period of threat though lasted for 5-6 minutes, and that, a couple of scares aside, was that.
We dominated the rest of the half and as well as pressurising Jones into increasing our lead could’ve had two penalties when Dele and Trippier were felled. All of Son, Dele and Kane could have should have done better with opportunities – opportunities won by skilful running, pressing and thought but not often technique. We can play far better than this.
Passes were over or underhit regularly when a bit more finesse would’ve seen Jones and Smalling get the really really embarrassing evening they deserved, it’s somehow right when these two are made to look like the lumps they are.
The cleverness the away team had shown after Eriksen’s opener never resurfaced. Trippier was excellent and held Sanchez, Lingard and Young at bay with the assistance of Eriksen and Dier. Down the middle Sanchez and Vertonghen coped admirably with Lukaku and when he did get away once in the second half, Lloris was brilliant at his near post – not words you often see written together.
On the left Davies was bamboozled once early doors by Martial and Hugo was called into action but mostly he was able to do good work deep in the opposition half.
It was all good stuff.
Three Man United personnel in particular had poor evenings, Pogba was outplayed and outfought by a supposedly on the wane Dembélé to the point where he was substituted. And talking of subs Marouane Fellaini was in the action for all of something like seven minutes after coming on before the third member of this sorry trio, Mourinho, decided he’d seen enough and hooked him for the spiteful Herrera. Mourinho’s tactical and personnel changes made no difference to the performance of his side, no positive difference anyway. It’s rare but somewhow gratifying to see him quite as baffled as this.
The performance of Christian Eriksen should not go unacknowledged. He was material in almost everything good and also an honourable exception to my point about a lack of technique. He was assured and surefooted, he may have been ill but the rest appears to have done him good.
It was a tremendous and uplifting result but as I say, we didn’t need to be at our best to achieve it. That will not be the case on Sunday I’m sure. Anfield up next.
Have something to tell us about this article?