When Bruno Fernandes converted the brilliant penalty won by Paul Pogba 10 minutes from the end, United could have felt that he had come out of prison with a precious point.
But while Fernandes watched his penalty hit the back of the net for Hugo Lloris, he did not check his run, instead retrieving the ball and beckoning his teammates to return directly to the center circle. One point was not enough, he wanted all three.
This is exactly the kind of attitude we already expect from the Portuguese playmaker and his game has not changed in three months. He immediately spoke to his colleagues, demanding more and wanting higher standards.
Fernandes was a revelation on this side, his approach as important as his ability, and he looked like the most likely United savior for most of this match.
His partnership with Paul Pogba is tantalizing and the World Cup winner showed some shine when he stepped off the bench. When they start together it will be fascinating to see this dynamic in action, but it is Fernandes who now looks like the leader of the peloton.
Use your bench
With five replacements available now, this will add to the role of the manager on match day, which will give them more opportunity to change the game, and it was Ole Gunnar Solskjaer who showed that he can change the game.
Having a team at full power will certainly give the Norwegian more options in his arsenal and he has used them well against the Spurs. Bringing Mason Greenwood and Pogba together tipped the scales for United.
Greenwood brought the energy and fearlessness of an 18-year-old on offense and could have won the game late with a low shot across the goal, while Pogba seemed in the mood to make up for lost time.
His quick feet to win the penalty kick were mesmerizing but it was a pass that almost freed Marcus Rashford shortly after that took his breath away. It was a long range pass that few players in the world are capable of and something that we saw regularly during his purple patch after Solskjaer’s nomination last season.
There could be more games that should be influenced by the bench by the end of the season, so this double substitution was a good sign for Solskjaer and United.
Fred vs. McTominay
For most of this season, Fred and Scott McTominay have aligned well in the United midfielder. Much of the Brazilian’s improvement this season has come from partnering up with his Scottish colleagues and the two have had good seasons, but they may soon be competing for a place on the team.
Solskjaer made the decision to bring Pogba off Tottenham’s bench, but it was only a matter of time before it started and Fred or McTominay made its way.
Theoretically, the four could be in a diamond midfielder, but that would be a surprise. Instead, one of Fred’s or McTominay’s will likely be sidelined, although according to the evidence this season, none should be missed.
McTominay’s superior fitness and energy may well give him the advantage. It was not surprising to see that the academy graduate was the United player who set the tempo early, dominating the tackle and regularly gaining possession. Fred looked disappointed to be leaving for Pogba against the Spurs, but that could well become an ongoing problem.
United’s No. 9
Earlier in 2020, United was linked to Harry Kane, when the Tottenham striker hinted that his stay in North London could end if the trophies did not arrive soon.
The fact that United was the first club to be linked to Kane showed that there was still a feeling that there was still a vacancy at the head of the line.
It was Anthony Martial’s best season at the club, but it is still not the convincing presence that makes him a long-term certainty of being United’s number 9 for years to come.
Extending Odion Ighalo’s loan agreement has alleviated the need for a new striker to arrive this summer, but sooner or later competition will come for Martial and if it isn’t Kane, it will always be someone who should do pressure on the French.
His comeback has been very respectable this season but he was anonymous at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. In his defense, Kane too, but when United needed a comeback, it rarely looked like Martial.
You won’t have many chances in a match like this, but two arrived in the race just after the hour. After working hard to control Fernandes’ pass, it took too long to shoot and allowed Eric Dier to block, before testing Hugo Lloris with a better effort than his compatriot saved well.
It was an interesting first season at Old Trafford for Daniel James, who made a fairytale debut in his United career before struggling for several months as he tried to adjust to his new environment and the sudden jump that he had made championship to one. of the biggest clubs in the world.
But just before the season was suspended, the winger was beginning to regain his best form, impressing against Manchester City and scoring in the rout of LASK Linz. So the break was probably the wrong time for him and he was rusty against Tottenham before being replaced by Mason Greenwood.
James is only in his second senior football season and will have days like this, but there must be some frustration that his momentum has been interrupted by the suspension of the season.