It’s nearly impossible to attribute a team’s poor performance to one player in particular, but when a team begins to struggle the moment one player leaves the pitch it tends to indicate how important that player was. Case in point: Man United defensive starlet Timothy Fosu-Mensah, who played an incredible game for the Red Devils against Tottenham Hotspur for nearly 70 minutes before being pulled out of the game. The stats show that Fosu-Mensah was essential to the team up to that point, and the drop-off in production after he left the pitch was quite startling.
Per stats from Squawka Football, Fosu-Mensah recorded five tackles won, six cleared balls and five interceptions against the Spurs prior to the 68′ injury that sent him off in favour of Matteo Darmian.
Unfortunately, Man United wasted little time falling behind the Spurs’ superior speed, and over the course of the next eight minutes would score three goals – from Dele Alli, Toby Alderweireld and Erik Lamela to send the Red Devils home with a bitter 3-0 loss.
Fans on Twitter were quick to notice what had happened too:
Fosu-Mensah substituted, we concede 3 goals from the right. Coincidence? #mufc
— Vishal Rupani (@VishalRupani18) April 10, 2016
Take Fosu-Mensah off and look what happens — Jordan Elston (@JordElston) April 10, 2016
Since Fosu-Mensah limped off, United ripped apart down their right. Darmian caught out. Good deliveries bring goals for Alderweireld/Lamela
— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) April 10, 2016
3-0 goals conceded since Fosu-Mensah taken off, Darmian allowing the cross in the third. Diabolical.
— Jordan (@FourFourJordan) April 10, 2016
The loss mathematically eliminated Man United from Premier League title contention this season.
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