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Tottenham Hotspur 1-3 Man Utd: Edinson Cavani scores as visitors fight back

By Phil McNultyChief football writer at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Edinson Cavani
Edinson Cavani is the fifth player to score a league goal against a team managed by Jose Mourinho in two different countries

Manchester United inflicted further damage on Tottenham's hopes of making the Premier League's top four as they came from behind to secure a fully deserved victory.

Spurs went into this game knowing victory would keep them in touch with the Champions League places but another colourless performance led to what could be an expensive defeat.

Edinson Cavani thought he had given United a first-half lead with a smooth finish from Paul Pogba's pass but the goal was controversially ruled out by referee Chris Kavanagh following a video assistant referee consultation after Scott McTominay caught Son Heung-min with his trailing arm.

United's sense of injustice was increased when Son put Spurs ahead before the break but the visitors recovered impressively for a win that leaves them 11 points behind leaders Manchester City with a game in hand.

Fred was involved in the build-up and conclusion of the equaliser after 57 minutes, pouncing after Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris had saved well from Cavani.

And Cavani finally got the goal his superb movement and constant menace deserved with 11 minutes left when he launched himself to head beyond Lloris from substitute Mason Greenwood's cross. Greenwood completed the formalities with virtually the last kick of the game as he provided a finish that was too powerful for Lloris at his near post.

Solskjaer delight as Man Utd fire back

Tottenham 1-3 Man Utd: Solskjaer 'amazed and shocked' with disallowed goal

Manchester United ended the first half feeling as if the world was against them, wounded by the decision to rule out Cavani's goal and then hit by Son's opener.

And yet, as they have done so often this season, they bounced back from going behind to win and did so in very satisfying fashion for manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Keeper Dean Henderson, now seemingly first choice ahead of David de Gea, made a couple of saves with his legs and Cavani was fortunate when a header bounced off his own post but United were by far the better team and had plenty of chances of their own at the other end.

The Uruguayan may be 34 and surrounded by speculation that he could leave Old Trafford at the end of the season but the timeless instincts of the great striker remains. He was a permanent threat, fully meriting the goal that gave United the lead.

Pogba and Fred were also outstanding contributors in midfield for United, who have now opened up a seven-point gap between themselves and Leicester City, who lost at West Ham United, in third.

United are an enigmatic side, clearly full of talent and danger and yet often not at their best, but no-one could deny their quality here and no-one could begrudge them a very fine victory.

Spurs get what they deserved: nothing

Tottenham 1-3 Man Utd: 'I don't think Spurs deserved to lose' says Jose Mourinho

Greenwood's late goal may have extended Manchester United's victory margin more than Spurs manager Jose Mourinho would feel was justified but he can have no serious complaints about the final outcome.

Spurs led at the interval but it was United who came out after the break with real purpose and intent, Fred's equaliser the inevitable result of the pressure that built up.

For a side containing the attacking threat of Son and Harry Kane, Spurs lie dormant for long periods, dragged down by the stodgy gameplan that seems far too conservative for a team boasting two such elite attackers.

Spurs - who won the reverse meeting 6-1 in October - had their moments in the second half but they were fleeting and there was never a sense they were taking control. This loss leaves them six points behind fourth-placed West Ham in seventh and they will have to improve markedly if they are to turn their top-four aspirations into reality.

Match stats - Mourinho's worst league season for defeats

  • Spurs boss Jose Mourinho is winless in his past five home matches against sides he has previously managed (D2 L3), having won 12 in a row between 2002 and 2018.
  • He has suffered 10 league defeats in a single season for the first time in his entire managerial career.
  • In English top-flight history, Manchester United's current 23-game unbeaten run away from home in the league (W15 D8) is bettered only by a 27-game run from Arsenal between April 2003 and September 2004.
  • Spurs have dropped 18 points from winning positions in the Premier League this season, second only to Brighton (20). It is the most points a Mourinho side has dropped from winning positions in a single Premier League campaign.
  • Manchester United have gained 28 points from losing positions in the Premier League this season - in the competition's history, only Newcastle in 2001-02 (34) and Manchester United themselves in 2012-13 (29) have earned more points from such positions.
  • Son Heung-min became the first player to score three or more goals against Manchester United in a single Premier League campaign since Sergio Aguero in 2014-15.
  • Manchester United's Fred scored just the second goal of his career in the Premier League, with his previous one coming against Wolves in September 2018; his equaliser ended a run of 73 shots without scoring in the competition.
  • Only Wayne Rooney (15) has scored more Premier League goals for Manchester United as a teenager than Mason Greenwood (13).

What's next?

United host Granada on Thursday in the Europa League quarter-final second leg, holding a 2-0 lead (20:00 BST). They then play Burnley at home in the Premier League on Sunday, 18 April (16:00).

Spurs visit Everton in the Premier League on Friday (20:00).

Player of the match

CavaniEdinson Cavani

with an average of 8.42

Tottenham Hotspur

  1. Squad number7Player nameSon Heung-Min
    Average rating


  2. Squad number27Player nameLucas Moura
    Average rating


  3. Squad number10Player nameKane
    Average rating


  4. Squad number1Player nameLloris
    Average rating


  5. Squad number28Player nameNdombele
    Average rating


  6. Squad number5Player nameHøjbjerg
    Average rating


  7. Squad number14Player nameRodon
    Average rating


  8. Squad number3Player nameReguilón
    Average rating


  9. Squad number24Player nameAurier
    Average rating


  10. Squad number18Player nameLo Celso
    Average rating


  11. Squad number9Player nameBale
    Average rating


  12. Squad number15Player nameDier
    Average rating


  13. Squad number17Player nameSissoko
    Average rating


  14. Squad number11Player nameLamela
    Average rating


Manchester United

  1. Squad number7Player nameCavani
    Average rating


  2. Squad number11Player nameGreenwood
    Average rating


  3. Squad number6Player namePogba
    Average rating


  4. Squad number23Player nameShaw
    Average rating


  5. Squad number26Player nameHenderson
    Average rating


  6. Squad number17Player nameFred
    Average rating


  7. Squad number29Player nameWan-Bissaka
    Average rating


  8. Squad number18Player nameBruno Fernandes
    Average rating


  9. Squad number39Player nameMcTominay
    Average rating


  10. Squad number5Player nameMaguire
    Average rating


  11. Squad number2Player nameLindelöf
    Average rating


  12. Squad number10Player nameRashford
    Average rating


  13. Squad number31Player nameMatic
    Average rating




Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Lloris
  • 24Aurier
  • 15Dier
  • 14Rodon
  • 3Reguilón
  • 18Lo CelsoSubstituted forSissokoat 61'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 5Højbjerg
  • 28NdombeleSubstituted forLamelaat 78'minutes
  • 27Lucas MouraSubstituted forBaleat 82'minutes
  • 10Kane
  • 7Son Heung-Min


  • 4Alderweireld
  • 8Winks
  • 9Bale
  • 11Lamela
  • 12Hart
  • 17Sissoko
  • 20Alli
  • 25Tanganga
  • 45Alves Morais

Man Utd

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 26Henderson
  • 29Wan-Bissaka
  • 2Lindelöf
  • 5MaguireBooked at 70mins
  • 23ShawBooked at 67mins
  • 39McTominayBooked at 18mins
  • 17FredBooked at 48mins
  • 10RashfordSubstituted forGreenwoodat 72'minutes
  • 18Bruno FernandesSubstituted forMaticat 90'minutes
  • 6Pogba
  • 7CavaniBooked at 41mins


  • 1de Gea
  • 8Mata
  • 11Greenwood
  • 19Diallo
  • 27Telles
  • 31Matic
  • 33Williams
  • 34van de Beek
  • 38Tuanzebe
Chris Kavanagh

Match Stats

Home TeamTottenhamAway TeamMan Utd
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Tottenham Hotspur 1, Manchester United 3.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Tottenham Hotspur 1, Manchester United 3.

  3. Goal!

    Goal! Tottenham Hotspur 1, Manchester United 3. Mason Greenwood (Manchester United) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Paul Pogba.

  4. Post update

    Luke Shaw (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Serge Aurier (Tottenham Hotspur).

  6. Booking

    Moussa Sissoko (Tottenham Hotspur) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  7. Post update

    Fred (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Moussa Sissoko (Tottenham Hotspur).

  9. Post update

    Luke Shaw (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur).

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Manchester United. Nemanja Matic replaces Bruno Fernandes.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Scott McTominay (Manchester United).

  13. Post update

    Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Post update

    Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Fred.

  15. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Sergio Reguilón.

  16. Post update

    Attempt missed. Son Heung-Min (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right following a corner.

  17. Post update

    Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Victor Lindelöf.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Gareth Bale replaces Lucas Moura.

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. Serge Aurier (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Erik Lamela.

  20. Goal!

    Goal! Tottenham Hotspur 1, Manchester United 2. Edinson Cavani (Manchester United) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Mason Greenwood with a cross.

As It Stood

1Man City32235467234474
2Man Utd31189461342763
4West Ham31167851391255
11Aston Villa301351243331044
13Crystal Palace31108133352-1938
19West Brom3049172559-3421
20Sheff Utd3142251755-3814
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