Best half of football in four and a half years – Poch on Spurs’ second 45 against United

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Tottenham Hotspur fell foul to a top six rival yesterday, ending their title charge by losing 1-0 at home to Manchester United.

United took the lead in the first half after a loose pass from Kieran Trippier in the middle of the park allowed Pogba to chip a ball through to Rashford who made no mistake.

Spurs were unable to recover from this mistake, as they knocked on the De Gea shaped door for the remainder of the match, but found no way through.

Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen both went close with free kick attempts, while Dele Alli saw his one-on-one saved by the Spanish shot stopper.

Kane also had a one-on-one denied, as well as a close-range header. Fernando Llorente was unable to poke his own effort home late on.

David De Gea made 11 saves in total, the most in the Premier League since 2017, when De Gea again made 14 against Arsenal.

Despite the loss, and the inability to hit the back of the net, Pochettino still claimed the second half was the best 45 minutes in his time at Tottenham.

He said (Football London): “I think the performance I am so happy with. The last 45 minutes, the second half, we played so well. I think we created enough chances to score and win the game. De Gea made 11 saves which made him man of the match in the end. For me it was one of the best performances that I’ve seen, after four and a half years, at Tottenham, the best 45 minutes.

“In the first half we didn’t create too much but I think we dominated the first half. Of course when we suffered the injury of Sissoko, we didn’t organise quickly and maybe in that moment there were a few minutes in which we conceded the goal. Overall I think the performance was fantastic. That is football.

“Sometimes you deserve it but you don’t win, but sometimes you don’t deserve it too much and you win. My feeling today is in the opposite way to when we played at Old Trafford in Manchester. We won the game 3-0 but I wasn’t happy, today after the defeat I am very pleased with the performance.

“That is the way that if you want to build a team and a structure for the future and be close to winning titles, that is the way you have to work and play. Disappointed with the result of course, I cannot talk in a different way, but very happy with the reaction after we conceded the goal and in the second half we created more than enough chances to score to draw or win the game.”

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