Manchester United suffered a humbling 2-0 Premier League defeat to Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday (August 19) that exacerbated the current ominous mood around the club.
The Red Devils were lethargic and lacked spirit while Spurs had that in abundance in an entertaining clash . Erik ten Hag’s men were bright in the first half but were furious not to have been awarded a penalty. Alejandro Garnacho’s strike had hit Cristian Romero on the arm in the 25th minute, but both referee Michael Oliver and VAR decided that it wasn’t a penalty.
Manchester United nearly went a goal down in a frantic period in the 40th minute when Pedro Porro’s ferocious strike smashed off the upright. Luke Shaw then almost deflected a cross into his own net with the ball bouncing back off the post.
It was a relief for Ten Hag‘s side who headed into half-time showing signs of promise. However, the second half was in stark contrast, as United came out a completely different side.
They were overrun in midfield, and the likes of Mason Mount, Marcus Rashford, and Antony went into hiding. Tottenham capitalised on that, with youngster Pape Sarr scoring his first goal for the north Londoners.
Sarr crept in at the back post after the ball had bounced around Manchester United goalkeeper Andre Onana’s box. Onana could do nothing about the midfielder’s powerful effort that flew into the roof of the net in the 49th minute.
Ten Hag’s men nearly found an immediate equaliser through Antony just two minutes later. The Brazilian produced his trademark left-footed curler that hit the Spurs post.
However, Tottenham were dominant from there on, with James Maddison and Yves Bissouma running the show for the hosts. They added a second in the 83rd minute when Lisandro Martinez deflected Ben Davies’ tame effort past Onana.
It was a sorry second-half showing from Manchester United whose transfer business is under scrutiny. It was against Tottenham last season that their club legend Cristiano Ronaldo‘s exit from the club ensued.
A fan account of the legendary striker alluded to that:
“Manchester United are down 2-0 against Tottenham once again, except this time they don’t have Cristiano Ronaldo to save them.”
Here’s how Twitter reacted to a massive setback for Ten Hag’s team:
Cristiano Ronaldo on not respecting Manchester United Erik ten Hag
Manchester United and Cristiano Ronaldo’s relationship fell apart last winter, as the Portuguese icon was at war with Ten Hag. It was during a 2-0 win over Spurs when the forward refused to come on as a substitute.
Ronaldo gave an explosive interview with British broadcaster Piers Morgan about his situation at the club. He told him on Talk TV regarding being told to come on late on against Spurs:
“I don’t have respect for him because he doesn’t show respect for me. If you don’t have respect for me, I’m never gonna have respect for you.”
Ronaldo soon left United by mutually agreeing to terminate his contract in November. He joined Saudi giants Al Nassr and has returned to his goalscoring best, netting six times in seven outings across competitions this season.