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Disinterested Man United dominated in final game at White Hart Lane

Tottenham Hotspur signed off at White Hart Lane with a 2-1 win over Manchester United, a margin of victory that did not do justice to their dominance for long periods. At one point at the end of the first half, they had completed twice as many passes as United and had a handful of excellent attempts on goal, with the visitors -- cowed in part by Jose Mourinho's tactics -- unable to get near them. It was worrying to see United yield so readily, and even though they had several players rested, they still had the players to offer sterner resistance than this.

Tottenham HotspurTottenham Hotspur
Manchester UnitedManchester United
2
1
FT
Game Details

Positives

Anthony Martial prospered despite being given very little to work with in terms of support from his fellow attackers. Eric Bailly was very good at right-back, and Axel Tuanzebe did not look overawed in midfield.

Negatives

United were generally pedestrian, with Chris Smalling and Phil Jones slow to sense danger when Tottenham attacked, and with Wayne Rooney dropping so deep that he never took pressure off his defence.

Manager rating out of 10

5 -- Jose Mourinho has clearly chosen to focus upon the Europa League as his team's best chance of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League, but that is a risky strategy. His team are short of attacking cohesion, and they lacked intensity until the very end, when he brought on substitutes to regain a measure of pride. His team were disappointingly passive today.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK David De Gea, 7 -- Was under pressure from the opening minutes, regularly called into action and making a cluster of fine saves. Once or twice slow off his line, but that reflected just how much he was exposed.

DF Eric Bailly, 8 -- By far United's best defender, even though he was playing in the unfamiliar role of right-back. Constantly closed down his opposite man and distributed the ball with intelligence.

DF Phil Jones, 5 -- Caught out by smart movement from players with and without the ball, time and again leaving room behind him. A poor outing.

DF Chris Smalling, 5 -- Flat-footed for Tottenham's second goal, a passage of play that summed up his afternoon -- he was half a step too slow in anticipating danger and was too indecisive in clearing his lines.

DF Daley Blind, 6 -- His delivery from deep was beneath his best. Had a conservative brief from which he rarely strayed and so was not caught out.

MF Michael Carrick, 6 -- The lack of runners ahead of him limited his effectiveness. Relatively good at screening the play but was too often short of passing options.

MF Axel Tuanzebe, 6 -- Deployed in midfield, he did not play poorly but did not see very much of the ball, spending much of the match closing others down.

On a day when many United players looked to be going through the motions, Anthony Martial was a rare bright spot.

MF Juan Mata, 6 -- Like Carrick, was unable to be truly effective due to the lack of dynamism from most of his attackers. When the game opened up on rare occasions, the weight of his passing was excellent. A frustrating day for him.

FW Jesse Lingard, 5 -- His contribution was disappointing. Up against the best defence in the league, he did not have the inventiveness to break them down and could not give much beyond his typically dogged defensive efforts, the home side escaping his press with ease.

FW Wayne Rooney, 5 -- Scored late on but provided little apart from that. Looked off the pace from the very beginning, losing Victor Wanyama for the opening goal, getting a yellow for a late challenge and failing to provide an outlet when his team were most under pressure.

FW Anthony Martial, 8 -- Was arguably his team's best player, doing everything other than score. Tirelessly working his flank despite having virtually no service, he found space beyond his man time and again and conjured a superb assist for his team's only goal.

Substitutes

MF Ander Herrera, 7 -- United were instantly more intense when he joined the fray, the midfield having more balance and drive.

MF Henrikh Mkhitaryan, 6 -- A fairly quiet game but had a couple of fine changes of direction as he promptly got into the game.

FW Marcus Rashford, NR -- Could and should have equalised in injury time as he tore through with hapless defenders in pursuit. Gave United much-needed pace and ambition up front.

Musa Okwonga is one of ESPN FC's Manchester United bloggers. Follow on Twitter: @Okwonga.

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