Sunday 18 February 2018 / 09:30 PM


The clash of the weekend didn’t really live up to expectations, with Manchester United scoring late on to rescue this fixture from a bore draw.

But whilst the 1-0 result wasn’t the most exciting game in the world, there was still plenty to talk about. With that in mind, here are four thoughts from the heavyweight clash at Old Trafford:

Spurs might not be ‘the Harry Kane team’, but…

Mauricio Pochettino quite rightly took umbrage with Pep Guardiola’s description of Spurs as ‘the Harry Kane team’, and the reality is that the Spaniard knew full well that his comment would offend AND that it wasn’t wholly accurate.

Having said that, it was hard not to watch the game on Saturday and come to the definite conclusion that it would have been a very, very different game had Spurs’ first-choice centre-forward been available.

Kane may not be the be all and end all of this Tottenham side, but he is certainly the best and most important player – Spurs miss him dreadfully when he is not on the pitch.

Pochettino fails to take his own ‘bravery’ advice

You’ve probably seen the Guillem Balague book serialised in various sectors over the past week or so – it’s a biography on Mauricio Pochettino, his work at Spurs and his various footballing philosophies.

And one thing is very clear in the book – Pochettino values bravery.

Unfortunately, it has to be said that he was not brave on Saturday.

Rather than replacing Kane with Llorente and playing the same style game with a different striker, Poch went for Heung-Min Son up front, and consequently turned it into a game where both teams shut up shop and hoped for a lucky break.

The result is a lack of chances and a lack of spectacle.

Mourinho’s teams know how to win

Manchester United did not play well, but they were the only side that looked like winning. Were it not for Dele Alli’s late chance, Spurs would have had zero opportunity to score in the entire game, whereas Manchester United created far more.

And as the game grew, it became clear that if one team was going to win it, it would be United.

And so it is with Mourinho – his teams do not always play the most beautiful football, but one cannot deny that a well-drilled Mourinho side is pretty damn hard to beat.

Two-horse race?

Talk of Tottenham dropping out of the title race following this result is, of course, premature, but it’s still hard not to look at the table and feel like this game has been very significant.

Man City still have their five-point cushion, but now it is United chasing them alone, with Spurs a further three points behind.

I’m going to stick my neck out and say that realistically, it can only be one of these teams that will emerge as Champions at the end of the season, and it’s unlikely to be Tottenham.

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Seb Greenwood

CBS’s longest-serving contributor, Englishman Seb is our leading football correspondent, pulling no punches with his opinions on the Premier League and the international scene.

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