Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea produced for vanguard sports , a Wembley masterclass as interim
manager Ole Gunnaer Solskjaer made it six wins out of six to damage Tottenham’s Premier League title ambitions.
Marcus Rashford’s low finish from Paul Pogba’s superb pass on the stroke of half-time stretched Solskjaer’s flawless start but the Norwegian had De Gea to thank for a magnificent display as Spurs laid siege to United’s goal after the break.
The Spaniard made a succession of crucial interventions, 11 in total, including many with his feet, as Spurs tried in vain to avoid a defeat that makes their task of keeping pace with Liverpool and Manchester City even more arduous.
United showed great resilience to back up their early positive approach but it was De Gea who broke Spurs’ hearts by denying Harry Kane on several occasions, as well as Dele Alli and Toby Alderweireld.
The result leaves Spurs nine points behind leaders Liverpool and United level on points with fifth-placed Arsenal as they revive their top-four hopes.
Solskjaer staking his claim
And while he may not be the front-runner yet, he has done everything asked of him and this victory against a team in title contention , and with a manager in Mauricio Pochettino who many regard as favourite to be next in the chair at Old Trafford – was the biggest statement of his credentials yet.
Make no mistake, Solskjaer relied hugely on De Gea’s brilliance as he formed a one-man barrier to defy Spurs to secure this win, but he also arrived with a positive mindset and team selection that put United right in the game and led to them getting that half-time lead through Rashford’s goal on the counter-attack.