With a relief of finally getting a victory, and with a pride of the victory over a man that he had replaced, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer patted Jose Mourinho on his head, as old Trafford had a rare reason to smile.
Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspurs, two teams who are far away from where they should be in terms of league position, had to rack up a victory. For one manager, it was restoring faith with his old owners, while for another, it was about making an impression in front of his new.
United started the game brightly. It took them only six minutes to open the scoring through Marcus Rashford. But six minutes before half-time, and within six yards from the goal, Dele Ali’s delightful touch enabled him to level the score.
“I think they deserved the victory by their first half,” Mourinho said after the game.
“We didn’t start well at all. For the first 30 minutes they were the best team. Because of that, for this strong 30 minutes where we were not there, and also because of the way we conceded the second goal, I think they deserved to win.”
Just four minutes into the second half, Rashford won and converted a penalty to put United in front once again. The introduction of Christian Eriksen later could not change much for Spurs as the scoreline remained 2-1.
Scoring twice in the match, Rashford took his goals tally for the season to 12, with nine of them coming in the Premier League.
“The boy is 22 and today he played like he was in a back yard or garden, a playground with his mates,” Solskjaer said of Rashford after the match. “He’s just enjoyed himself.
“Sometimes maybe the expectations and pressure on him…we do expect a lot from him because he’s showed it so many times. We want them to enjoy themselves, we want them to go out there and face players, take them on with no fear of losing it.
“I love to watch that and that’s what the Stretford End loves to watch. Man United fans love to watch wingers or forwards play with courage.”