An awful Tottenham Hotspur surrender to Manchester United took a lot of pressure from the shoulders of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer whose side bounced back from the miserable 5-0 defeat to Liverpool to beat Spurs 3-0 with Nuno Espírito Santo now surely hanging by a thread to his job.
Tottenham Hotspur Surrender Leaves Nuno Espírito Santo to Face the Jeers
Huge Game for Both Teams
In what much of the media and social media had humorously called ‘El Sackico’ in reference t0 the two under pressure managers in Nuno Espírito Santo and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, it was a surprise to see both men only make two changes each to the sides that lost to West Ham United and Liverpool respectively last time out. Whilst the majority of coverage was focused on the pressure on Solskjaer, Espírito Santo was also starting to feel the heat with fans unhappy at a negative approach to games and only nine goals in nine games in the Premier League this season despite having players such as Son Heung-Min and Harry Kane at his disposal.
Two Teams Lacking in Confidence
From the first whistle it was clear that both teams were lacking in confidence and at times it was like watching a group of giddy schoolboys chasing the ball and tacking with little tact. United started with a back five and sat very deep which led to Son having a shot early on that was deflected for a corner.
Tottenham didn’t have a shot on target in the defeat to West Ham and it looked like this would be the case again against United. Edinson Cavani headed wide before Son had the chance to put Spurs ahead but instead of following his fine control with the assured finish you would expect from him, he blazed over from close range. It was very much a tit for tat game with the next chance coming from a fierce drive from Fred that produced a superb diving save from Hugo Lloris.
World-Class Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo received plenty of criticism for his performance against Liverpool but there is never any doubt that he will find moments to change games and he did so in impressive style at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Questions will be asked over Ben Davies who came in to replace Sergio Reguilon at left-back who lost the flight of the ball from Bruno Fernandes but the finish from Ronaldo was world-class. He found space at the back post and the finish was unerring as he volleyed low into the far corner giving Lloris no chance. The relief that lifted from Solskjaer’s shoulders was almost visible as much as the pressure that heaped onto Espírito Santo’s was.
Tottenham Fans Turn on Espírito Santo…And Harry Kane
There was never a conceivable moment in Tottenham history that fans would boo Harry Kane but it happened at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with ten minutes to go. Kane gave the ball away time and time again and each time he did the fans grew more and more frustrated which seems harsh on a player that has given the club so much but his dalliance with Manchester City in the summer and the way he conducted himself has not been forgotten and his performances are only adding to the growing disconnect between the fans and someone who can only ever be a Tottenham legend.
Espirito Santo felt the boos as well when he substituted the one player that looked like he might make something happen for Spurs in Lucas Moura. Coming on was Steven Bergwijn and although the jeers were not for him, they were audibly aimed at the manager followed by chants of ‘You don’t know what you’re doing.’
The atmosphere started to become toxic and the jeers that met the half time whistle soon became louder and louder as the game wore on with it clear that Spurs were not going to get anything from the match.
Manchester United Stood Together as Tottenham Looked Lost
There have been suggestions that the United players are not playing for the manager but against Spurs that could not have been further from the truth. This was not a superb United performance by any stretch of the imagination but the players stood tall and deserved the 3-0 victory. Ronaldo was again involved when he set up Cavani for the second goal before Marcus Rashford came from the bench to secure what in the end was an easy win.
For Tottenham this was an abject surrender with players simply not performing at the levels they should. Cristiano Romero and Eric Dier were ragged at the back and Davies and Emerson Royal struggled throughout. In midfield, Oliver Skipp was at fault for the second goal making two mistakes in a row to give the ball away too easily and then not tackle back. Giovani Lo Celso came in and was ineffective, demonstrated none more so than when he had the opportunity to play a simple ball to Son who would have been clean through but the Argentinian’s pass was woeful. This was an abject Tottenham Hotspur surrender that leaves the club searching for form.
150 Minutes – No Shots on Target for Tottenham
Harry Kane, Steven Bergwijn, Son, Lo Celso, Tanguy N’Dombele, Lucas Moura. These are players that have a wealth of attacking talent yet in the last 150 minutes of Premier League football they have mustered not one shot on target. That is an indictment on the manager and the players and is not good enough – something that the Spurs fans made very clear.
Solskjaer Survives But Tottenham Hotspur Surrender Leaves Espírito Santo on the Brink
The pressure has now momentarily lifted from Solskjaer and should they falter against Atalanta in the Champions League and against Manchester City on Saturday 6th November it will all be back and more intense than ever.
For Tottenham Hotspur they have huge issues that need to be resolved. Kane looks like a player who would rather be anywhere but playing in a Spurs shirt and the fans know it. The manager was never really the man that was wanted by the board or the fans and by the end of the game there were chants of ‘Levy out’ as the Spurs fans turned their ire on the chairman and the owners.
Spurs are falling fast and the slide needs to be stopped with the total surrender against Manchester United suggesting there are issues with the squad, the manager and now the fans have turned which leaves Espírito Santo in an almost untenable position.