By: Colin Noonan
Tottenham Hotspur made a statement on Monday, winning 3-0 against Manchester United at Old Trafford as the Red Devils' manager Jose Mourinho’s seat gets hotter each day. United paid dearly for some early squandered opportunities as a Harry Kane header and a brace from Lucas Moura sealed the three points for Spurs.
While most of the headlines will be about Manchester United and Jose Mourinho’s future, it is important to recognize the significance of the moment for Tottenham. Old Trafford has historically been "the Theatre of Nightmares" for Spurs. They have lost there 21 times in the Premier League era, more than any other club, and were victorious twice before today. Indeed, they had not tallied at Old Trafford since Christian Eriksen scored the winner in 2014.
Much has been made of Tottenham’s lack of success away against the Big Six under Mauricio Pochettino, but it looks like things could be turning around in that respect. This rare win at Old Trafford comes after Spurs exorcised their Stamford Bridge demons in April, beating Chelsea away in the Premier League for the first time since 1990.
Full disclosure: I had an article ready to go before the start of the season which skewered Spurs for not making any new signings in the summer. However, this win highlights Tottenham's strong start. While no new players were brought in, the reintegration of Toby Alderweireld into the side and the emergence of Lucas Moura are essentially new additions to the core group of Kane, Eriksen, and Alli. In addition, Spurs’ South Korean star, Son Heung-min, will rejoin the side at the conclusion of his country’s participation in the Asian Games. Should South Korea emerge victorious, Son would receive exemption to his country’s mandatory military service,, thereby giving Tottenham both an immediate and long-term boost.
The prevailing thought before the season was that the Premier League title would likely be a two horse race between Manchester City and Liverpool. But perhaps by putting United to the sword, Spurs have announced that they intend to compete with these two giants. This latest also evidences a certain amount of mental fortitude that was absent when they lost out to Leicester City and Chelsea for the title.
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