Old Trafford hailed a new hero on Saturday as Alexis Sanchez ripped promoted Huddersfield to shred in a 2-0 victory in which he calmly converted his own missed penalty.
The January addition from Arsenal – with Armenia playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan going the other way in exchange – buzzed all over the pitch and got the goal his performance deserved in the second half, converting a spot-kick he won himself for a foul by Michael Hefele.
United had been frustrated throughout the first half by the team who shocked them in October, prior to Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku’s excellent opener on 55 minutes.
Here are the player ratings from Old Trafford…
David De Gea – 6: The Spain No1 made a grand total of zero saves in an effortless afternoon.
Antonio Valencia – 6: Bossed his right flank in usual fashion. Provided width on the overlap as United’s three attacking midfielders cut inside.
Chris Smalling – 7: Kept his place after the Spurs debacle and justified manager Jose Mourinho’s faith. On this form, Phil Jones might have a wait to get his place back.
Marcos Rojo – 6: Showed usual aggression whenever he was called into action during his first top-flight start since January 1. His seven interceptions was the joint-highest recorded by any player on the pitch.
Luke Shaw – 7: Ever willing on the front foot, although he did get caught out for Huddersfield’s only moment of true attacking intent just before the interval.
Nemanja Matic – 6: Denied a rest yet again, despite Huddersfield coming into the fixture with one win in their last nine Premier League games. This was a perfect 26th start from 26 top-flight fixtures for the summer addition from Chelsea.
Scott McTominay – 6: A tidy display by ‘mini Matic’, who was also denied a clear first-half penalty after being wiped out by Monaco loanee Terence Kongolo. His passing accuracy of 91.5 per cent will cheer Mourinho, an avid supporter of his talents.
Jesse Lingard – 7: The understanding between himself and Alexis Sanchez is already evident. Denied another collector’s item of a goal, his beautiful ball control in the middle of the park putting him through and drawing a great low save from Jonas Lossl.
Juan Mata – 7: Rewarded the decision to hand him a contract extension by being the architect of everything good for United. Delightful first touch teed up Sanchez for his penalty. In total, produced a leading four key passes. Deserved his standing ovation when replaced on 71 minutes. Booked.
Alexis Sanchez – 8: This is why United went the extra mile to snatch the Chile superstar from Manchester City’s grasp. Marked Old Trafford debut with a goal, was fouled a leading six times, produced a top-rated nine dribbles and even led the way with five tackles of his own. United have badly missed a magician of his standard. Booked.
Romelu Lukaku – 7: The whole team celebrated with the Belgium centre forward when his sharp volley awarded him a second goal in seven Premier League games. Should thrive, once again, with Lingard, Mata and Sanchez’s supply.
Paul Pogba – 6: Were gasps when the teamsheets were handed out and Pogba wasn’t present. Later, had nondescript run-out from 65 minutes.
Marcus Rashford – 6: Did very little with his 20 minutes on the pitch, despite get dispossessed a joint-second most times (2) for United.
Anthony Martial – N/A: Replaced Lukaku late on. Had a few almost moments.
Amid the pouring rain at Turf Moor, the runaway leaders had gone ahead through a surprise source – under-utilised Brazil full-back Danilo placing a superb effort in from distance. The newly prolific Raheem Sterling then produced a horrific second-half miss, prior to Gudmundsson’s 82nd-minute intervention.
Here, we rate the City players:
Ederson – 7: Showed sterling concentration and could not be blamed for the leveller. Hardly had anything to do, but excelled in two clutch moments. Dove at feet of ex-City starlet Ben Mee and managed to push Aaron Lennon’s rocket onto the woodwork.
Kyle Walker – 5: Showed all the usual drive going forward, being denied a sixth assist of the Premier League season by Sterling’s awful miss. Yet, he critically fell asleep on the back post for Gudmundsson’s leveller.
Vincent Kompany – 6: Came through unscathed from his first Premier League start in 2018. Headed wide under pressure in first half.
Nicolas Otamdendi – 6: Would have felt the presence of new buy Aymeric Laporte on the substitute’s bench. Went about his business with minimum fuss.
Danilo – 8: Deserved to be on the winning side. Produced an unstoppable curled effort from 25 yards and also threatened several more times. Led the way in defence with four tackles – double any other City player’s tally.
Kevin De Bruyne -7: Didn’t produce a grandstand moment, yet was his usual silky self. Tested Nick Pope on a couple of occasion.
Fernandinho – 6: City’s quiet man put in a quiet display. Made zero tackles in defensive midfield.
Ilkay Gundogan – 6: Couldn’t get enough purchase on a tricky first-half pass for Sterling. Will be disappointed that only one of his 60 passes counted as a key one. Booked.
Bernardo Silva – 5: Now we see why Pep Guardiola pursued Riyad Mahrez. Failed to trouble his marker and produced zero shots. Technically, produced the assist for Danilo but the credit was the Brazil international’s sole preserve.
Sergio Aguero – 5: Another City player who put in an invisible display. Had one effort on goal and this was a header from a rebound. Needs Gabriel Jesus to return soon and take some of the attacking burden – this was the fifth time in nine matches during 2018 that the jaded Argentina international completed 90 minutes.
Raheem Sterling – 4: Produced one of the misses of the season when he went with the wrong foot and missed an open goal from Walker’s searing centre. Was soon hooked by manager Pep Guardiola and had the indignity of the camera panning to him on the bench when Burnley levelled. But this represents a rare bad performance in a career-best campaign for the 19-goal forward.
Brahim Diaz – 5: Hardly noticed that the Spain Under-21 international had come on.
Moura, who joined from Paris St Germain for an initial fee of £25million, is arguably the biggest name to arrive at Spurs since Pochettino took charge in 2014.
When PSG splashed £38m to take the Brazilian from Sao Paolo five years ago, he was considered one of the next young South Americans ready to take Europe by storm.
His progress stalled in France, particularly after the big-money buys of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe last summer, and Moura may not find it easy at his new club either.
Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen are two Pochettino stalwarts, and, when Tottenham have lined up with three behind Harry Kane this season, it has been largely due to the brilliant form of Son Heung-min.
Erik Lamela has found it difficult to regain his place since returning from injury, and Pochettino said Moura too will be given no special preference.
“For him he’s not going to come here, arrive and say, ‘Oh because he is Lucas Moura and came from Paris St Germain, he’s going to play because he is Lucas Moura’,” Pochettino said.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) February 1, 2018
“He needs to show that he is better than our players. That is the fair competition. If you are in Paris St Germain and Neymar arrives, if he is better than you then he plays. It’s fair, he’s better.”
Pochettino continued: “If not, then they need to compete. Lucas Moura must compete with Lamela, with Sonny, with Eriksen.”
Moura is unlikely to make his debut against Liverpool on Sunday given he was still saying his goodbyes in Paris on Friday. The forward will undergo a series of fitness tests, starting on Saturday, and will have to prove his sharpness.
It means Pochettino is likely to pick a similar side that won so impressively against Manchester United in midweek but there may be a difference in approach at Anfield, where Spurs have not tasted victory since May 2011.
They were ripped apart there last year by Liverpool’s pace in attack but there have been signs this season, away to Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund, that Tottenham can show a more resilient side.
“I think this season, we are more mature, no?” Pochettino said.
“But we are a team that remember, some people complained or criticised that Tottenham don’t have Plan B.
“Now we can play with possession, without possession, in counter-attack or not counter-attack, dominate the games, play with one striker, without a striker, three at the back, five at the back, four at the back.
“Please. Now to be fair you have to say Tottenham have Plan A, B, C and D, no?”
Toby Alderweireld and Danny Rose have recovered from hamstring and knee injuries respectively but Pochettino has suggested they are yet to regain match fitness.
“I am happy with the evolution, and I am sure it is not too much time for them to start competing in games,” the Argentinian said.
“But to be fit for training and to be fit to start in games is completely different.”
Harry Winks and Serge Aurier may also have to wait. Winks has just overcome an ankle problem and Aurier has shaken off a calf strain.
Provided by Press Association Sport