Crunch Tottenham test for Man United today

Third meets fifth in today’s tantalising Premier League battle at Old Trafford, as Manchester United seek to return to winning ways against Tottenham Hotspur.

The Red Devils were forced to accept a point in a 0-0 draw with Newcastle United last time out, while Antonio Conte’s men ran out 2-0 winners over Everton.

Officiating controversy reared its ugly head once again as Man United and Newcastle shared the spoils in Sunday’s goalless stalemate, during which neither Jadon Sancho nor Callum Wilson were awarded spot kicks despite presenting strong cases to Craig Pawson.

It was not a dull 0-0 at the Theatre of Dreams by any means, as Joelinton rattled the woodwork twice in the space of a few seconds before Cristiano Ronaldo thought he had scored a perfectly good goal by intercepting Nick Pope’s free kick, but Pawson thought differently.

Having seen his side’s three-game winning run come to an abrupt end on Sunday, Erik ten Hag must pick up the pieces and help his side regain some ground on the top four, as the fifth-placed Red Devils have now fallen three points behind Chelsea after nine matches.

The Dutchman insisted that there were positives to take from the showdown with Eddie Howe’s side, but even in Man United’s pair of wins versus Omonia and narrow success over Everton, the Red Devils only won by one goal on each occasion and were far from convincing.

Man United’s eight-game scoring streak in the Premier League at Old Trafford was also brought to an end by Newcastle last week, but only two of their last 17 top-flight games in front of their own fans have ended in defeat, and no team has posted more than their 72 Wednesday victories in the competition.

While Man United and Newcastle were left to rue controversial penalty calls at the weekend, Tottenham Hotspur were on the correct end of such a decision against Everton, with Harry Kane taking a tumble over Jordan Pickford and banishing his Champions League spot-kick woes to put his side ahead on Saturday evening.

Some felt that Kane had gone down too easily under the challenge of Pickford in what was his 400th appearance in a Tottenham shirt, but there was nothing questionable about Tottenham’s second, as Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s strike took a nick off of Alex Iwobi into the back of the net.

Antonio Conte’s men had to be patient to break down a dogged Everton defence, and they have been rewarded heavily for their efforts, moving level on points with Manchester City in third place following the champions’ loss to Liverpool and ensuring their gap to leaders Arsenal would stay at four.

It is now three wins on the bounce for the North London club in all competitions, but rival turf has not been so kind to them, as they have only won two of their seven away matches in all tournaments this season and have just three goals to boast from their last five on the road.

Ronaldo rolled back the years with a hat-trick to propel Man United to a 3-2 victory in this fixture last season, which came a few months after the Red Devils triggered NunoEspirito Santo’s sacking with a 3-0 win in North London, and Conte is also at risk of suffering a fourth consecutive defeat away to the Red Devils as a manager. – SportsMole

EPL fixtures today:

Brentford  v Chelsea

Liverpool v West Ham

Man United v Tottenham

Bournemouth v Southampton

Newcastle v Everton

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