After a break of three months due to the coronavirus, the Premier League returned last week, and in game week 30, Manchester United were due to play Tottenham Hotspurs in north London on Friday night.
In the end, the two sides couldn’t be separated as the game ended in a 1-1 draw, with Bruno Fernandes’ penalty cancelling out Steven Bergwijn’s first-half strike.
As a consequence, Manchester United remain in fifth place, four points ahead of Spurs, who are still eighth. It was a tale of two goalkeepers at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, as David de Gea faltered, while Hugo Lloris kept his side in the game late on.
With so many talking points to look forward to, here are the five hits and flops from the game.
#5 Hugo Lloris (Hit)
After fracturing his elbow early on in the season, Hugo Lloris proved his value to Tottenham once again on Friday, as his saves kept Jose Mourinho’s side in the game after they had taken the lead through Steven Bergwijn in the 27th minute.
The Dutchman was clearly one of Spurs’ best players on the pitch, with his pace and tenaciousness proving too much to handle for the United defenders. However, Lloris just edges him out because of his crucial saves, which helped Tottenham to claim a point.
#4 Eric Dier (Flop)
Jose Mourinho raised a few eyebrows as he named Eric Dier in the starting line-up alongside Davinson Sanchez at centre-back, but the move clearly didn’t work out.
The Englishman clumsily pulled down Paul Pogba to give United a penalty, which Bruno Fernandes duly dispatched. Late in the game, he was adjudged by the referee to have committed yet another blunder, which resulted in another penalty. Thankfully, VAR came to spare Dier’s blushes.
The 26-year-old played Tottenham’s previous two games before the break as a centre-back, and they drew one and lost another. Is it a coincidence that Spurs struggle whenever he plays as a defender? Perhaps not.
#3 Bruno Fernandes (Hit)
The Portuguese midfielder has played a huge hand in Manchester United’s renaissance since joining from Sporting CP in January.
Fernandes’ goal against Tottenham was his third for the Red Devils, and he’s also provided three assists in that period, the most by any Premier League player.
He has quickly found a place for himself in the hearts of the United fans, and with performances like these, Fernandes may well go on to become a club legend – he certainly possesses all the qualities to do so.
#2 David de Gea (Flop)
The season just keeps getting bad to worse for David de Gea. In the past few years, the otherwise reliable Spaniard has been prone to erratic displays between the sticks, and it was a similar case on Friday.
The former Atletico Madrid man could have done much better to deal with Steve Bergwijn’s shot, but he failed to keep the Dutchman’s effort out. And now, his critics will only bash him further.
With Dean Henderson’s loan at Sheffield United ending soon, De Gea needs to redeem himself quick or risk getting relegated to the bench.
#1 Paul Pogba (Hit)
It’s almost ironic that Paul Pogba, of all people, helped Manchester United to earn a point against Tottenham, managed by Jose Mourinho, who didn’t see eye-to-eye with the Frenchman towards the end of his managerial tenure at Old Trafford.
Pogba has struggled with injuries this season, and he has constantly been linked with a move away from the club, with Real Madrid and Juventus credited with showing interest in him.
But the 27-year-old silenced his critics by playing a major role in Manchester United’s improved display in the second half on Friday.
Not only did he win the penalty which helped his team to make a comeback, but for the first time, the Manchester United faithful got to witness Pogba and Bruno Fernandes playing together.
The duo will be key for Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s team, especially as they aim to pip Chelsea to a place in next season’s Champions League.
All stats courtesy: Transfermarkt.co.in