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VAR saves Spurs late in the day as they share the spoils with Man United

With the technology shenanigans from the Aston Villa vs Sheffield United game fresh in the memory, the Premier League will be pleased to see that VAR served it’s purpose today.

Jose Mourinho welcomed his former side Man United to London this evening as both teams played their first game since the lockdown.

Line Ups:

Spurs 4-2-3-1: Lloris, Aurier, Sanchez, Dier, Davies, Winks, Sissoko, Son, Lamela, Bergwijn, Kane

Subs: 70′ Lo Celso for Bergwijn, 70′ Fernandes for Lamela

Man United 4-2-3-1: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw, McTominay, Fred, James, Fernandes, Rashford, Martial

Subs: 62′ Greenwood for James, 63′ Pogba for Fred, 78′ Ighalo for Martial, 78′ Matic for Lindelof, 89′ Bailly for McTominay

First Half:

As expected Spurs were fairly compact and didn’t look to commit themselves too much to attack, while Man United struggled to find a decisive final pass.

There was a key moment where Bruno Fernandes broke down the right and had an unmarked Marcus Rashford at the back post for a tap in, but he didn’t look up and he tried to play a floated cross that was too high.

Spurs took the lead through Bergwijn who deserves credit for his play, but most of the focus will be placed on the United defending.

Luke Shaw failed to clear the ball with a header and the Dutchman managed to pick the ball up, drift past Harry Maguire like he was a statue before delivering a powerful shot straight at David de Gea.

Unfortunately for the Spaniard he had started to dive and all he could do was parry the ball into the roof of the net, and Spurs survived a VAR review for the goal to stand:

Man United offered little in the way of attacking intent before or after the goal, so Spurs went into the break with a 1-0 advantage.

Half time analysis:

Sometimes there’s no point in trying to re-frame what the experts say, so here’s Roy Keane’s level headed and unbiased view on the goal:

Second Half:

It felt like everyone on the pitch was waiting for the introduction of Paul Pogba and it finally came just after the hour mark.

He played a few nice passes and showed some great combination play with Bruno Fernandes, so the Man United fans will be hopeful for the future with those two in the midfield.

There was a huge moment immediately after Pogba’s introduction where Martial turned in the box and fired a shot towards goal, but Hugo Lloris was there to make an astonishing one handed save.

Again it was a half without many chances, and Eric Dier will feel he was harshly done by as a penalty was given for this foul, and Bruno Fernandes sent the keeper the wrong way to level the match:

There was still some late drama as United were awarded an even softer penalty as the game approached 90 minutes, but VAR stepped in to overturn the decision.

Mason Greenwood came the closest to grabbing the win with an angled drive that just went past the post.

Match Stats:

Courtesy of Sky Sports

Post Match thoughts:

The game did have the feel of two teams who were rusty and will need to play their way back into form, back Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must be encouraged by what he saw from Pogba and Fernandes when they played together.

There will be questions about David de Gea next season, with Dean Henderson poised to challenge for the starting spot when he returns from his loan spell next season.

From a Spurs point of view it was a solid performance and they probably would’ve won if it wasn’t for a soft penalty call, so Mourinho should be pleased with a lot of the performance.