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Spurs take down toothless Man United to give Postecoglou 1st win

Chloe Knott - Danehouse / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Tottenham earned their first Premier League win of the Ange Postecoglou era as Pape Sarr inspired an impressive 2-0 victory against Manchester United on Saturday.

Postecoglou's first home game as Tottenham manager served as the perfect introduction for the Australian, whose side played with the kind of flair sorely lacking from the north Londoners in recent years.

Senegal midfielder Sarr opened the scoring early in the second half with his first goal for Tottenham since signing from Metz in 2021.

Lisandro Martinez's late own goal capped a dynamic Tottenham display that sealed Postecoglou's first victory in his second game in charge.

After a draw at Brentford last weekend, Postecoglou will hope this eye-catching result against sloppy United can kick-start his reign.

"It was good. Man Utd probably had the better of the chances at the start, but I like the fact we hung in there and worked our way into the game," Postecoglou said.

"Second half, certainly in spells, it kind of showed the team we want to be. I keep saying we're still a long way to go, but I really liked the belief and resilience the guys have. They were brave."

Following Antonio Conte, Nuno Espirito Santo and Jose Mourinho's drab spells in charge, this was more like the 'glory game' that Spurs fans regard as their birthright.

But while Postecoglou earned plaudits for his success and attacking football in two seasons with Scottish champions Celtic, achieving similar feats with star-crossed Tottenham will be far harder.

Postecoglou has already had to deal with Harry Kane's departure to German champions Bayern Munich, while also trying to erase the bitter taste of last season's turbulent campaign.

After years of underachievement even with Kane in the team, Postecoglou's first game in north London offered hope of life after the England striker.

In contrast to the sudden optimism around Tottenham, it has been a worrying start to the season for United manager Erik ten Hag.

United were unchanged from Monday's scrappy 1-0 win over Wolves, although it was notable that Harry Maguire was absent from the squad following his decision to reject a move to West Ham this week.

Fortunate to beat Wolves in their opener, United weren't so lucky this time as they paid the price for poor first-half finishing and a strangely lethargic second-half performance.

'Look in the mirror'

"It was a very good performance in the first half, except we have to score. We deserved a penalty. I don't know why it's not," Ten Hag said.

"Then we switched off. The start of the second half was not good, it was totally unnecessary to concede the first goal.

"We didn't collapse, but when you lose it's never good. You always have to look in the mirror."

Spurs' tannoy announcer loudly declared "The Tottenham way is back" before kick-off and Postecoglou's men lived up to the hype after a nervous start.

Marcus Rashford drew a smart stop from Tottenham keeper Guglielmo Vicario after linking up with Antony to carve open the hosts' defence.

United appealed in vain for a penalty after Alejandro Garnacho's shot hit Cristian Romero's outstretched arm.

Bruno Fernandes was guilty of a shocking miss when the unmarked United midfielder headed woefully over from Luke Shaw's cross.

And Pedro Porro nearly made Fernandes pay as he lashed a fierce strike against the bar before Sarr's cross hit Shaw and deflected onto the post moments later.

Tottenham took the lead four minutes after half-time when Dejan Kulusevski was released down the right by Porro and his deflected cross looped off Martinez towards Sarr, who guided a clinical volley past Andre Onana from six yards.

United were inches away from an instant equaliser, with Antony curling against a post from Fernandes's pass.

But Vicario preserved Tottenham's lead with a superb save from Casemiro's header after Fernandes's free-kick picked out the Brazilian.

On a perfect day for Postecoglou, even his substitutes worked to perfection.

After sending on Ben Davies and Ivan Perisic, Postecoglou watched in delight when Perisic's 83rd minute pass reached Davies, whose scuffed shot deflected in off Martinez.

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