Jose Mourinho showed his determination to turn things around at Manchester United as soon as he made his team selection v Tottenham.
Although the Red Devils aren’t exactly deep in a rut, the club has been criticised for playing negative football in big names and were shamefully unravelled by Huddersfield Town last week.
Upon the visit of a Spurs team that tore Liverpool to shreds, though, Mourinho looked set to fight fire with fire – deploying two up and three at the back.
In the early exchanges it certainly paid off with United showing more ambition and attacking prowess in 10 minutes than they managed in the full 90 at Anfield.
Nevertheless, it proved a fruitless effort in the first-half with the game trundling to half time at 0-0 with United creating few clear-cut chances.
Perhaps the biggest incident of the opening 45 minutes came after a drop-ball when Ashley Young and Dele Alli clashed, needing separation from team mates and the referee.
Furthermore, Gary Neville – commentating on the match – had absolutely no doubt what Young was up to you.
The Manchester United legend reckoned that the Englishman was trying to get his compatriot to headbutt him and, consequently, get himself sent off.
When you consider Alli’s temperament in the past, it’s quite a cunning, albeit underhand, tactic.
Neville stated: “Ashley Young knew exactly what he was doing – he’s trying to get Dele Alli to throw his head at his face.”
He then went onto conclude that Alli wanted to do just that.
“His heart would have been saying: ‘I want to break your nose.'”