Belfast Telegraph

Great Dane hails dream start as boss Pochettino eyes assault on top four

Tottenham 2-0 Manchester United

By David Charlesworth

Christian Eriksen admitted it was an odd feeling to open the scoring with his first touch as his goal within 11 seconds propelled Tottenham to a 2-0 victory over Manchester United.

Eriksen's strike is the third fastest in Premier League history, with the Dane keeping his cool to sidefoot beyond United goalkeeper David de Gea after latching onto Dele Alli's feathered flick.

"It feels a bit weird to score from your first touch," Eriksen said. "It was the perfect start to a game and after that we never gave it away. We had a lot of chances to score more goals, I think we had a strong game."

United defender Phil Jones diverted Kieran Trippier's cross into his own net in the 28th minute as Spurs closed the gap on fourth-placed Chelsea to two points.

Eric Dier said: "One of the criticisms of ourselves over the last couple of weeks was our slow starts, it was something we wanted to improve on and we definitely did that.

"We were in control of the game from beginning to end, we came out and pressed them and didn't give them any time. They suffered under it and I think that's where the second goal comes from."

Defeat ended United's eight-game unbeaten run in the league and left them 15 points adrift of leaders Manchester City in second.

Thrilled Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino said: "It's a fantastic dressing room after a fantastic performance. The performance was great and I congratulate the players because they deserve all the credit.

"The first goal was a fantastic goal. Christian Eriksen believed that it would arrive in this situation. We tell the young players to always anticipate.

"I am so pleased we are in the race for the top four.

"There's a lot of games to play and that is why we need to stay focused.

"The early goal for us was good so that we can go on and dominate the game. That goal gave us more confidence and belief.

"Dele Alli was very good today, but all the team were great. The quality of performance was fantastic.

"It'll be tough against Liverpool now because they are one of the best teams - but it's about taking it one game at a time."

Marouane Fellaini was substituted just seven minutes after coming on, the Belgian walking straight down the tunnel with a knee problem on a night of frustration for those in red.

United boss Jose Mourinho said: "He came off because he had something in his knee. Unlucky for him and unlucky for me. He came on with enthusiasm, but he has an injury in his ligament.

"After the first goal the team had a good reaction - we were there and tried to create.

"The second goal mentally kills the team. Both goals were ridiculous goals."

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