Marcus Rashford‘s first half goal made it six wins out of six at Manchester United for caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with a 1-0 win at Tottenham.
United were indebted to David de Gea’s heroics as he made a string of second half saves to maintain his side’s advantage — making more saves (11) in that 45 minutes than any other goalkeeper had made in an entire Premier League match this season.
“Results wise, to come away here and beat Tottenham is fantastic,” Solskjaer said.
“We hung on in the second half and we never got to grips with it when they changed the system, but you are allowed to have a good goalkeeper.
Obviously when you make 11 saves it is a top performance, but even so, two of them were top saves but the rest you would expect David to make.”
Arsenal’s defeat at West Ham meant victory for the visitors at Wembley would bring them level with Unai Emery’s men in fifth place, while Tottenham had the chance to move up to second with a win.
This match had been billed as the first real test of Solskjaer’s tenure at the club but he appeared to get his tactics right as his side were much the better in the opening exchanges.
United’s players had spent the week in the Dubai sunshine, while Spurs had played a Carabao Cup semifinal against Chelsea in midweek and the away side’s freshness was evident.
Having shot straight at Hugo Lloris when put clean through earlier, Rashford made no mistake with his second opportunity, and fired into the far corner past the France international to put United 1-0 ahead on 44 minutes.
Rashford had been played in by a sensational Paul Pogba through ball and showed plenty newfound confidence with the finish.
Meanwhile, Pogba saw a header saved before Lloris tipped a shot over the bar from his France teammate and beat another effort away after the ex-Juventus man had shot from the edge of the area.
Alli then had another good chance after he was played in but shot straight at De Gea, while Eriksen hit a free kick from the edge of the box wide and Toby Alderweireld forced another superb save at the near post from a corner.
United had to withstand heavy late pressure and De Gea got down well to save from another Kane effort late on.
“This is the real Manchester United,” the keeper said.
Tottenham remain third after this defeat, but the gap to first place Liverpool is nine points while United are six points adrift of fourth place Chelsea.