“It looks like they’re going backwards,” Carragher began, speaking on Super Sunday [as per Sky Sports] after the match.
“Manchester United are a much bigger team than Tottenham, although Tottenham have a better side at the moment, and [Louis van Gaal] is talking about how well they played,” continued the Liverpool legend, referring to the Dutch coach’s magnanimous post-match comments.
“The fact we’re saying United played well, we even mentioned it at half-time. That’s United playing well now, without ever looking like scoring in that first half,” Carragher concluded.
Indeed, it’s hard to dispute the former England defender’s conclusion.
While United achieved top four qualification last season under van Gaal, who was drafted in to pick up the pieces following David Moyes’s miserable campaign, they appear set to miss out this season.
Defeat for United, coupled with Manchester City’s 2-1 victory over West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, means that the Red Devils remain four points behind their neighbours, who currently occupy the final top four spot.
With only six matches to play, United will both need to improve their form and hope that City slip up in order to wrest the final UCL qualifying position away from their fierce rivals.
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Indeed, United were thoroughly outclassed by Spurs in Sunday’s bout; the home side enjoyed 16 shots to their rivals’ five, and devastated United with three goals in six second-half minutes.
Dele Alli opened the scoring in the 70th minute, before Toby Alderweireld and Erik Lamela wrapped up the triumph for the Lilywhites.