Wayne Rooney and Manchester United produced the most outstanding performance of their season to send out a loud signal to the rest of the league about their ambition and determination to finish in the top 4 of Premier League this season.
For a number of weeks now, Van Gaal and his men have come under severe criticism by the media, pundits and some corner of the fans about not playing attractive brand of football. All those allegations were smashed by United in the first half alone.
Manchester United turned on the style in the way only they can at Old Trafford by switching play from one side to the other, making darting runs in the box, finding players at impossible corners and after all of that there was still room for Marouane Fellaini to dominate the game using his chest and his head.
It came as a surprise though when Fellaini used his left foot to provide a sublime finish after Carrick found him with one of the best passes seen at Old Trafford this season. Fellaini then returned the favours by setting up Carrick from Mata’s corner to give United a 2-0 lead.
Spurs manager Maurico Pochettino was rattled and made his first substitution in only 30th minute of the game but when Nabil Bentaleb’s back pass was stolen and finished by Wayne Rooney, United had moved in to cruise control and virtually finished the game in the first half itself.
There was shuffle to United’s line-up with Van Gaal opting to play Daley Blind at left back with Michael Carrick and Ander Herrera from midfield, while Juan Mata came in the side in place of the suspended Angel Di Maria.
The changed had a positive impact on United’s play as Carrick and Mata were having one of their finest games dictating play from midfield.
Fellaini was powerful and available whenever a ball was sent his way and he was ready when Carrick found him with his through ball and the Belgian finished it expertly.
Fellaini’s celebration after his goal indicated the frustration United’s side has faced due to the criticisms thrown their way. Daley Blind combined well with Ashley Young on the left and both made life tough for Spurs defence on the left side. Ashley Young continued his sparkling recent form and was well appreciated by the home fans.
Fellaini was not the only one to draw attention with his celebration on the night. Wayne Rooney, who has been dominating media headlines got in the act after his goal and decided to mock his leaked home video where he has been knocked out cold by Phil Bardsley.
Rooney threw some punches and fell to the ground acting like he has been hit with a knockout blow. There were smiles on the face of players, manager, staff and most importantly fans. Old Trafford felt like Old Trafford again and fittingly Sir Alex Ferguson was in the stands to witness all of that.
Those who have followed United’s season would truly agree that against Spurs in the first half, United played their best football of this season. Second half saw United opted to let Tottenham have more of the ball and decided to play on their lead.
Tottenham, despite having the ball for almost the entire second half could not carve out one decent chance to test David De Gea. It was a frustrating night for Harry Kane, who was being watched by the England manager Roy Hodgson for the upcoming Euro 2016 qualification games.
Late on, United fans greeted Juan Mata, Marouane Fellaini and Michael Carrick off the pitch and welcomed Radamel Falcao, Rafael and a debutant Andreas Perriera which further lifted the mood at Old Trafford.
With the win, United have sent a clear message to the rest of the top 4 chasing teams that they mean business and they will go till the very end to chase this down. United are now 4th with 56 points and trail Arsenal (3rd) by 1 points and Man City (2nd) by 2 points.
Next up for Manchester United, it’s the make or break clash against Liverpool at Anfield. United now have the confidence behind their back and will enter the game more with an equal chance of getting a victory rather than an underdog.