United were in a position where a win would seal the league title, and didn’t hesitate to get going. Already in the fifth minute of play, Paddy McNair found Andreas Pereira, who laid it off for Donald Love, who smashed home the opener from distance! It was a really powerful finish that gave United the lead, and would set the standard for the rest of the night.
Tottenham’s Harry Winks started a series of one-two passes in an attempt to engineer an equaliser later on, but it only ended in a cross deflecting into the hands of Joel Pereira in the United net. This was only one indication of Tottenham’s dominace.
United, however, were not finished provding the end-product. Joe Riley turned play to Guillermo Varela, who crossed it ino the penalty area immediately. He had spotted Andreas Peira, who needed nothing more than one touch to extend the lead to 2-0, in a game where Tottenham had seen the most of possession.
2-0 up, but Tottenham not giving up
The Lilywhites, however, had no intent of handing in the towel. Zelion Stylianides picked out the skipper William Miller at the edge of the come, who made short process from a long shot and pulled one back for the away side.
Emmanuel Sonoupe was even close to equalise not long after, after curling a shot towards the far corner, but it went just wide of the target.
Tottenham piled up some pressure towards the end of the half, and when Roshaun Williams gave away a free-kick on the edge of the box, William Miller got the opportunity to bag a brace from distance. Thankfully for United, the ball hit the wall.
Donald Love was on the counter-attacking foot just before the break, and looked to get one-on-one with McGee in the Tottenham net, but Walks didn’t let him pass, and Love was raging, as he claimed Walks denied him an obvious goal-scoring opportunity. The referee didn’t agree, and probably rightly so, so the game stood with United 2-1 up at half time.
Explosive start of the second half
Tottenham came really close to equalising the lead straight after half-time. Walker-Peters got through in the middle, found Sonupe on the right, who put in a perfectly weighted cross – but there was nobody there to tap it home.
Less than a minute later, Onomah got loose on the left, nutmegged Axel Tuanzebe, and the ball eventually found William Miller’s feet, but he only toe-poked it onto Joel Pereira.
In an eventuful opening of the second half the Spurs keeper Luke McGee almost found himself on the wrong side of events. In a moment of overconfidence, his sloppy pass went straight to Donald Love, who had the opportunity to seal the game – and the title – for United, but it went wide.
Pereira hits the post
After the game had stalled for some time, both sides knowing that the 2-1 scoreline would win United the title, Andreas Pereira was fed up by the chance of a single Spurs goal eventually ruining th eparty. He brought the ball forward on a one-man counterattack, cut in from the left and absoutely rattled the far post!
Tottenham go level
And Pereira was right in his mind, Tottenham weren’t done. The substitute Marcus Edwards provided proper menace on the right, put it it for his fellow subsitute Alex Pritchard, who had no problems with making the sides level, only five minutes from time! Tottenham had bounced back!
He came from Uruguay
Despite giving away a two-goal lead in a sloppy manner, neither the game or United were done. Andreas Pereira was the man behind an injury-time free-kick. He pulled it back for McNair, whose shot was blocked, but then a crucial Uruguayan turned up just at the right time. Guillermo Varela pulled the trigger and Luke McGee could do nothing to prevent the rocket from finding its way to the back of the net!
Pereira credited teammates
That means United are U21 champions for the second time in a row, and for the fourth time in five seasons. To quote United’s skipper Joel Pereira in the post-match interview with MUTV: Everybody in this team, even the ones who didn’t play, were f***ing brillant!» (He later apologised for the phrasing.)
In other words, United now have 45 points and two remaining games, Sunderland are stuck at 43 points and have no more opportunities to extent their point tall.
United – champions!
Manchester United 3-2 Tottenham Hotspur | MUFC: Love 5, A. Pereira 16, Varela 90+3 | THFC: Miller 26, Prichard 85)
United: J Pereira, Varela, Tuanzebe, Williams, Borthwick-Jackson, McNair, El-Fitouri, Love, Redmond (McTominay 61) A Pereira, Riley.
Subs: Poole, McTominay, Mitchell, Reid, Henderson.
Tottenham: McGee, Walker-Peters, Muscatt, Stylianides (Goddard 89), Lesniak, Walkes, Sonupe (Edwards 73), Winks, Sterling, Onomah, Miller (c) (Pritchard 65)
J Pritchard, Goddard, Edwards, Marsh, Glover (GK).