Manchester United were presented with the perfect opportunity to put their shock defeat to Brighton behind them, by beating Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on bank holiday Monday.
Alas, the ideal scenario was fast snatched away from them, with a ruthless Spurs side taking all three points back to London with them.
It was a tale of two halves in all honesty, with United absolutely dominant in the first 45 minutes – but without taking their chances.
A key moment in the game came when Romelu Lukaku rounded Hugo Lloris and found himself with an open goal to stroke the ball into – but his finish was dragged mere centimetres wide of the far post – taken on his weaker right foot, rather than the left foot which would have provided a near-certain goal.
The two sides went in goalless at the break, and a different Spurs team came out the tunnel following half-time; a ruthless, hungry side emerged, and sent United to bed.
The opener came through Harry Kane with a world-class header, before a Lucas Moura brace sealed the deal for Spurs.
Here are our United player ratings on a frankly dismal night at Old Trafford.
David de Gea: 5
Couldn’t really have done anything about the Spurs goals, but you can’t give a ‘keeper who’s conceded three times a rating much higher than that.
Antonio Valencia: 5
Went somewhat unnoticed, in all honesty. Not his finest 90 minutes but good to see him back from injury and there’s more to come.
Phil Jones: 7
Made a fairly impressive return to action – was really solid at the back and very comfortable on the ball. Unlucky not to beat Kane to the cross for the first goal and let’s hope his injury is nothing serious
Chris Smalling: 6
Made a brilliant tackle to deny Dele an easy 1v1 with De Gea and was generally very robust. A decent enough showing, despite the scoreline
Luke Shaw: 6
Didn’t have his best game but did get down the left eagerly, and provided some much-needed width. Will need to show a little more to keep his place, though.
Ander Herrera: 6
Did a good job in the midfield and slotted into the back line well when Shaw and Valencia were up either side – but can take some blame for Lucas’ goal as he should have got something on it before the shot came.
Nemanja Matic: 7
A typically steely performance from the big Serb, but you can tell he needs some more minutes to get back to his best.
He’s clearly learning on the job, but put in a busy display and was consistently getting into the right areas – encouraging, and there’s definitely a lot to come from him.
Paul Pogba: 6
When the chips are down, United need Paul to step up. He wasn’t at his best but was a constant runner, tracking back well and filling in where Fred roamed forwards. More needed, but not a bad showing.
Jesse Lingard: 5.5
Another player who did play well, but didn’t play well enough, in terms of what the team needed from him. Constantly busy and at times unlucky, but an improvement is certainly needed next time out.
Romelu Lukaku: 5
His runs, passing, tracking back and general playmaking was spot on – but his finishing left a lot to be desired.
After smartly rounding Lloris, he missed a golden chance to put his side 1-0 up, which was ultimately costly.
SUB: Marouane Fellaini: 5
Didn’t really do anything wrong – but didn’t do much the other way either. Nothing to report.
SUB: Victor Lindelof: 3
I think 3/10 is kind. Did nothing but make the Spurs front line feel more at home. Go on Lucas, put your feet up mate, shall I put the kettle on?
SUB: Alexis Sanchez: 6
Looked really bright when he came on and hopefully that means the best is about to come from him – United sorely need it.