Tottenham Hotspur legend Gary Mabbutt has told Football FanCast that Manchester United took inspiration from Jose Mourinho’s tactics to beat Manchester City at the weekend.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men won 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium, as goals from Bruno Fernandes and Luke Shaw ended City’s run of 20 successive victories in all competitions.
City’s last defeat before the game against United came in north London, as Spurs won 2-0.
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Goals from Son Heung-min and Giovani Lo Celso proved decisive that day and the statistics are remarkably similar.
In north London, Spurs had 34% possession; United had 34% possession at the Etihad Stadium. Spurs had two shots on target, United had six.
Quite simply, both Spurs and United used their time on the ball better than Pep Guardiola’s side, as they utilised efficiency over possession.
Mabbutt believes that Mourinho’s tactics inspired United as they picked up all three points.
City did not fall into the same trap against Spurs at the Etihad, as they won 3-0.
Speaking exclusively to FFC, he said: “They go to Man City and basically they did to Man City virtually exactly what Spurs did to them in Man City’s last defeat, whereby you deny them space, they need that space to create their fantastic opportunities and to create their free flowing football.
“They were denied space by Spurs and by Man United, and both teams won two goals to nil.
“So yes, I mean, it’s just showing that every single team are fallible, every single team can be beaten. Get your tactics, right, which I thought Solskjaer did and, obviously, Jose did in the game at the new stadium at Spurs.
“And yes, so for me, it showed other teams that watch and go over those games, what do they do in those games that make it difficult for Man City, take those points and try and put that into when you play against them.”
Spurs will be aiming to repeat that 2-0 victory in the League Cup final when they take on City at Wembley.
A victory at the national stadium would end Spurs’ 13-year trophy drought, as they have not lifted a cup since their League Cup triumph over Chelsea back in 2008.
They have a blueprint to follow.