Perhaps Tottenham will be just fine without Harry Kane.
Pape Matar Sarr scored early in the second half and Lisandro Martinez added an own goal to give Tottenham a 2-0 win over Manchester United in the English Premier League on Saturday.
It was just the kind of result manager Ange Postecoglou needed in his first home game to build a sense of belief as the club — and the fan base — move on from the departure of Kane to Bayern Munich.
After a lively first half, Sarr put Spurs ahead in the 49th minute after Dejan Kulusevski made a good run down the right and broke into the area. The Swede’s low cross was deflected into the path of Sarr, who slotted it into the roof of the net from close range.
The game had been wide open in the first half and the goal turned up the tempo even more, with chances flowing at both ends.
United nearly responded immediately; Antony hit the post with a left-footed curler at the other end and Tottenham goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario made a diving one-handed save to keep out a header from Casemiro after a free kick into the box in the 56th.
The goalkeeper made another save to deny Bruno Fernandes, and Son Heung-min had a shot blocked at the other end after a well-worked passing move by Spurs.
After the tempo settled down a bit, Spurs doubled its lead with a bit of fortune.
Substitute Ivan Perisic sent a low cross into the area toward Ben Davies, who couldn’t make clean contact as he tried to send a shot on goal, but the ball instead deflected in off Martinez.
It secured a first win for Postecoglou, whose team was held to an entertaining 2-2 draw at Brentford last weekend.
Coming off an unimpressive 1-0 win over Wolverhampton in the opening round, when Erik ten Hag’s team was largely outplayed at Old Trafford, this was a role reversal for United. The visitors largely bossed the first 30 minutes but struggled to properly test Vicario in the Tottenham goal, with Marcus Rashford drawing a good save and Fernandes missing a wide-open header in front of goal.
Unlike his predecessor Antonio Conte, Postecoglou wants his Tottenham side to play a possession-based attacking game based on playing it out from the back, but that’s clearly still a work in progress. Spurs struggled to beat United’s press in the first half, often turning the ball over to create dangerous counterattacking chances.
And when Tottenham did work its way up the field, Richarlison was largely anonymous up front. The Brazil striker hardly had a whiff of the ball before being taken off in the 70th, serving up a reminder that — regardless of the results — replacing Kane’s presence up front was still a work in progress as well.
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