Belfast Telegraph

Pressure mounts on Mourinho as Moura steals the show

Brazilian winger Lucas Moura scored twice in a 3-0 win for Tottenham.

Manchester United are nursing the wounds of another humiliating loss after Tottenham condemned Jose Mourinho to his biggest ever home defeat as a manager.

United were in desperate need of a response following a shock defeat at Brighton that led to heightened scrutiny on the manager, key players and background operations.

Mourinho looked to have got the desired response from his players, only for United to unravel in the second half as Harry Kane’s header was complemented by Lucas Moura’s brace as Tottenham ran out 3-0 victors.

“You’re getting sacked in the morning” chanted the visiting fans after Spurs piled the pressure on the Portuguese and ended their run of four successive Old Trafford defeats.

While Mauricio Pochettino’s men enjoy a 100 per cent start to the campaign, this is just the second season in Premier League history that United have lost more than one of their opening three matches – a result few could have imagined during the hosts’ bright start.

Romelu Lukaku should have scored in a first half in which Phil Jones was fortunate not to give away a penalty for a foul on Moura, but the Brazilian would have the last laugh.

Kane’s headed opener was followed up by Moura striking home 133 seconds later, setting up a victory that the Brazilian added gloss to as the clock wound down to ratchet up the pressure on United.

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Jose Mourinho (left) and Mauricio Pochettino during the Old Trafford clash (Nick Potts/PA)

Once again it was woeful defending that proved United’s undoing.

Mourinho made six changes and switched to a back three – which surprisingly included Ander Herrera – in a bid to change things against a side captained by Hugo Lloris, just days after being charged with drink-driving.

Fred’s strike 12 seconds into the match underlined their intent, with United on top for large chunks of the first half.

Mourinho’s men looked hungry and Danny Rose nearly gifted them a 16th-minute lead. His woeful back pass was gleefully latched
onto by Lukaku, who took a touch past Lloris but sent the ball across the face of an open goal from an acute angle.

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Romelu Lukaku missed an open goal (Nick Potts/PA)

Lukaku was at the heart of things and sent a glancing header wide after hitting a bobbling effort following good work
by the rejuvenated Luke Shaw.

Spurs were not at their coherent best but were unsettling United with their directness in attack and Jones was fortunate not to give away a penalty after halting Moura’s burst with an overzealous blocked challenge.

It was a let-off that United quickly tried to capitalise on as Fred curled wide, Paul Pogba tried his luck from distance and Nemanja Matic saw an effort deflect wide.

Pogba struck wide after great work shortly after half-time, but Spurs had improved markedly and quickly kicked on.

David De Gea pushed Kane’s cross-shot out of danger, before Dele Alli saw an effort blocked and Spurs found a breakthrough.

Kane all too easily lost Jones to meet a corner with a fine header that arced into the far corner in the 50th minute.

Lloris did superbly to prevent Lukaku netting an immediate leveller for United and provided his team-mates with the platform to quickly go further ahead.

United’s three-man defence had glaring issues and Christian Eriksen ghosted behind to send in a low cross directed home by Moura.

It was a remarkable collapse that saw confidence drain out of the hosts.

Jones limped off injured and replacement Victor Lindelof struggled. Shortly after heading into Spurs’ side-netting, he gifted the visitors the chance to grab a third. Alli read the awful back pass and rounded De Gea, but the United goalkeeper managed to stop.

Calamitous Lindelof then fell to the deck from the resulting corner, allowing Kane to head just wide at the far post.

United eventually steadied as Shaw sent in a drive and Jesse Lingard saw a strike deflect just over, but things would eventually get worse.

Moura, so impressive for the visitors, raced past Smalling and fired past De Gea late on to leave Spurs in dreamland.

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