After only a day and a half of rest, Spurs and Manchester United went at it at White Hart Lane on Sunday morning and it was a pretty weird game. After a first half where United were rampant, Spurs' superior fitness eventually let them take control of the match, but neither team could break through.
Much like Harry Kane's mouth, the first half was wide open, mostly due to Spurs lack of control in the midfield. The team created a couple chances, largely thanks to the work of Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen, and, surprisingly, Andros Townsend, but nothing really troubled David De Gea. United, on the other hand, created a few more chances. Like a lot more chances.
Unfortunately for United, the actual best keeper in the league plays for Tottenham Hotspur and Hugo Lloris came to the Lane ready to stop shots and chew bubblegum, and he was all out of bubblegum. He was clawing them out of the top corner, kicking it away from the line, and smothering them at the top of the box. Someone tell Madrid that he's a Catalan who dreams of having plastic surgery to look like Ronaldinho because I never want him to leave. The few shots that Hugo couldn't save were cleared off the line by magical football elf Vlad Chiriches, who took a few moments off from troubling children who venture too far into the forest to keep the game scoreless.
In the second half we discovered that Louis Van Gaal may not have rediscovered Alex Ferguson's magic at United, but he has rediscovered Fergie's credit line to the referees' union. Both Ashley Young and Rafael should have gotten sent off with second yellows AND Harry Kane should have been given a clear penalty in the box. It sucks but it's United, what do you expect? Aside from Jon Moss, Spurs had a much better half. Their pressing was very good and really limited United's chances. While Spurs didn't test DeGea too much, Harry Kane created a magnificent chance that Ryan Mason really should have done better with.
If there's any story to the second half, it's Spurs fitness. The team really took control of the game as United tired, and considering that we didn't use any subs until super late and how short the turn around between games was, it was very impressive. Whatever training regimen Poch has the team on seems to be really showing some results. That said, some earlier subs would not go unappreciated, particularly when our midfield looks so rough. Regardless, it was a better performance in the second half, and as Ben Daniels said in our writers room, it's a bit strange to feel hard done by in a game where we got outshot in one half by a gagillion to 4, but here we are.