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  • Writer's pictureBy Yann Tear at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

A Sarr is born as rampant Spurs bury Man United


Tottenham (0) 2 Sarr 48, Martinez og 83

Manchester United (0) 0



Pape Matar Sarr popped up at the far post to smash in his first goal for Tottenham as the Ange Postecoglou era kicked off in earnest with a scintillating win.


His performance underpinned a superb afternoon for the hosts, whose first victory at home to United in six seasons was full of thrilling football and positive intent. At times they ran Erik ten Hag's side ragged.


The Senegal midfielder controlled a superb half-volley into the roof of the net after Dejan Kulusevski's cut-back from the byline had flicked off Lisandro Martinez and into the ideal corridor for the 20-year-old from French club Metz.


His goal caught the eye, but so did his work in midfield. He was everywhere. Linking play, executing perfect sliding tackles to break up attacks.


That goal may have ignited Spurs fans but United hit back in a game that was never less than pulsating. Antony curled a shot against the far post and a Casemiro header brought a fine save from Guglielmo Vicario.


And the trading of attacks continued with another almost bringing a goal for Heung-Min Son - when only Luke Shaw's block prevented that all-important second goal Spurs craved.


But the goal had the biggest impact on the home team's confidence and they were simply irresistible as they started knocking the ball around and playing the sort of front-foot football fans have been starved of in recent seasons.


And the clincher they fully deserved came after the excellent James Maddison swept a delicious first-time ball wide out on the left to Ivan Perisic and the Croatian's cross towards Ben Davies was touched into his own net by Martinez.


What a statement performance. What a win for the new Australian boss.


And what a way to ensure there would be no self-pity in the wake of the departing Harry Kane.


This was more glory-seeking than anything seen under recent managers and the massed ranks of the South Stand responded with full volume.


The first half was full of fascinating duels and had a real ebb and flow to it as both teams sought to gain control. And although Spurs were good, there was not yet a sign that they would go on to dominate.


There were some really promising moments for home fans to savour, with the work of Yves Bissouma and Sarr shining.


There was also a fabulous turn and run from Maddison on his home debut which ended with Sarr forcing Andre Onana into a save. Kulusevski also twice fired low and hard at the new United stopper.


Spurs came even closer towards the end of the half when Pedro Porro hammered the crossbar after the ball had been worked in from the left and in the follow-up, Sarr's cross deflected onto an upright via Shaw's leg.


But United's pace on the break and use of two flying wingers in Antony and Alejandro Garnacho tested the Spurs backline.


Marcus Rashford forced Vicario into a near-post save and the England striker headed just over from an outrageous rabona cross by Bruno Fernandes. Fernandes also missed a golden opportunity, heading a Shaw cross well wide when unmarked in the six-yard box.


Spurs also had a scare when a Garnacho shot struck a raised arm from compatriot Cristian Romero - but a VAR check decided ref Michael Oliver was right not to award a penalty.


The first half had been so even that it looked as if anything might happen after the break. In the event, the game was going to go decisively one team's way.


Spurs: (4-2-3-1) Vicario, Porro (Emerson Royal 88), van de Ven, Romero, Udogie (Davies 70) - Sarr (Hojbjerg 76), Bissouma - Kulusevski (Solomon 88), Maddison, Son - Richarlison (Perisic 70)


United: (4-1-4-1) Onana - Wan-Bissaka (Dalot 65), Varane, Martinez, Shaw - Casemiro - Antony (Eriksen 65), Bruno Fernandes, Mount (Pellestri 85), Garnacho (Sancho 65) - Rashford (Martial 85)


Attendance: 61,910

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