Rashford brace sees Mourinho’s Old Trafford return end in defeat

Premier League

Manchester United 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur 

Marcus Rashford scored twice for Manchester United as they beat Tottenham 2-1 to leave Jose Mourinho empty handed on his return to Old Trafford.

Rashford struck early in the first half, before the hosts were pegged pack before the break by a superb Dele Alli goal. Rashford then converted the winner shortly after the break from a penalty he won himself to ease some of the pressure on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The result lifted United up to sixth in the table, albeit eight points behind Chelsea in fourth, while Spurs – who were disappointing for most of the Premier League clash and lost for the first time under Mourinho – drop to eighth.

It was a huge morale-boosting performance from United and for Solskjaer, which will stand them in great stead ahead of the Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday evening.

It took just six minutes for United to take the lead and it came in somewhat opportunistic fashion, as Davinson Sanchez dallied on the ball for too long and Jesse Lingard picked his pocket before finding Rashford.

Dele Alli celebrates after brining Spurs level.

The England striker then caught Paolo Gazzaniga cold with a near-post drive from the left-hand corner of the 18-yard box, which the Spurs goalkeeper should have done far better with.

Gazzaniga did redeem himself, however, with three fine saves as United pushed for a second. The first after 23 minutes to deny Mason Greenwood from close range, the second and third shortly afterwards from Rashford, as he tipped a 30-yard piledriver onto the bar, then pushed a curling effort from just inside the box wide.

United would pay for those missed opportunities as Spurs levelled in remarkable fashion shortly before the break. Alli has been in fine form since the arrival of Mourinho and his finish was spectacular, vintage stuff from the midfielder.

The ball arrived in his path with his back to goal from a David de Gea save, but in two sleek movements he flicked it over two defenders, turned, and then finished past the Spaniard. United simply had no time to react to his moment of brilliance.

Shortly after the break, though, United were back in front. Rashford was tripped over by Moussa Sissoko after charging past him into the box and he stepped up himself to send Gazzaniga the wrong way with what proved to be the winner.

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