Manchester United has a return to Premier League action on Jun 19th, as they face Tottenham Hotspur away. They shared the spoils with Tottenham Hotspur in a 1-1 draw as the Reds returned to competitive action after three months since football was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It will be the Reds’ first fixture at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, which opened its doors in April 2019; it’s the 58th different away ground that we have visited in the Premier League.
With different recognition of Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur in The scenes in North London prior to kick-off, they showed hugely significant situations.
Firstly, the players lined the centre circle for a minute of applause to memorize those around the world who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Both sides took a knee in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement as the match was about to commence.
As fantastic as it was to see the Reds return to action, the match certainly had a different look and feel to what we’re all used to. The empty stands and drink breaks midway through each half were among the more obvious visual signs, but the lack of atmosphere that we associate with big matchdays was the most striking change. In all honesty it was a little eerie. What we gained in return, however, was an audible insight into how the players react to the different moments within a match, from passionate appeals for fouls to telling team-mates to push further forward in the early stages of an attack.
Eric Dier, the Tottenham defender knew that he had not touched Fernandes before the United man went to ground but the referee, Jon Moss, had bought it and pointed to the spot. No penalty. Tottenham Spurs breathed in collective relief. Dier had been angry enough about the first one, except this time he had put his hands on Paul Pogba, having been bamboozled by a piece of skill from the Frenchman. Pogba, on as a 62nd-minute substitute, danced past Dier on the byline before feeling the contact and hitting the ground.
Following a long injury, Paul Pogba appeared the first time since Boxing Day when he was introduced as a substitute just after the hour mark. The Frenchman’s impact was swift; within a minute, he produced an effort on goal, prompting a key block by the Spurs defence. Then, in the closing stages, an enticing run into the area drew a clumsy foul from Eric Dier as Pogba’s quick feet proved too much for the Tottenham man to handle. It was great to see Pogba back on the pitch and no doubt there’s more to come between now and the end of the season.
It was an absorbing game that built to its climax with United turning the screw after Pogba was introduced with Mason Greenwood. And it was the latter who almost stole all three points with virtually the last kick of the game only to see his low shot fly past the far post. Spurs were on their knees. They narrowly dodged the knock-out that would have blown a hole in their hopes of a Champions League finish.
Fernandes fizzed wide from distance early in the second half but United were struggling for penetration until Solskjær made his substitutions and, almost immediately, his team advertised the equalizer. His words after the match, “ It is not enough for us because we want to win every game. It is a good result but we are not happy with it”. The result of match made Reds are fifth in the table with Chelsea 2 points ahead and Tottenham trailing by four.