20-year-old Danish striker Rasmus Højlund seemed to have turned his fortune around after a disappointing start to his English Premier League tenure with a goal and an assist in Manchester United‘s game against Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford last night, but even a brilliant showing from the young footballer Rasmus Højlund could not lead the Red Devils to triumph on Matchday 21 of the 2023/2024 Season. Ange Postecoglou’s men fought back twice in the game to force United drop points at home after the full 90 minutes plus added time.
A Goal and an Assist From Rasmus Højlund
Coming into this Premier League encounter, United won their last three games in all competitions, including a 2-0 victory over Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup Third Round last time around, whereas Spurs, on the other hand, were on a two-game winning run in two tournaments. A notable player who continued to start in this game for United was of course André Onana, who have delayed his 2024 African Cup of Nation participation with Cameroon beyond the opening match.
As soon as the first whistle of the game was blown, Manchester United got the perfect start they dreamed of, thanks to Rasmus Højlund’s second ever goal in the English top-flight football. The Danish striker was benefited from a United counterattack that started from Onana, before the ball was given to Alejandro Garnacho, who passed it to his captain Bruno Fernandes. The skipper of the Red Devils sent an accurate through ball to the charging Marcus Rashford, and the England striker wisely set up his strike partner Rasmus Højlund knowing that he did not have the opportunity to shoot inside the penalty box. The 20-year-old Rasmus Højlund then smashed the ball into the back of the net for the opener.
The home side did not enjoy their lead for long, as Richarlison equalised for the visiting Spurs shortly. The 26-year-old Brazilian caught everyone off guard during a corner set piece delivery, converting Pedro Porro’s cross into the bottom right corner of the goal to increase his season tally to eight in 20 games in all competitions. United did regain their lead moments before the half-time break, when Bruno, Rashford and Rasmus Højlund were again involved in the home team’s attack. Bruno found Rashford just outside the dangerous zone, before the England forward played a one-two with Rasmus Højlund to score his first Old Trafford goal in eight months, giving ten Hag’s men their second lead in this league clash.
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Spurs Fought Back Twice to Gain a Valuable Point
Down by a goal, Spurs rallied themselves back into the game when the game resumed in the second 45 minutes. 2022 FIFA World Cup-winning centre-back Cristian Romero found Oliver Skipp with a sublime long ball, followed by the England’s player’s pass to new winter transfer window signing on a loan deal Timo Werner. The ex-Chelsea man moved towards the penalty box, and set up Uruguayan midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur for Spurs’ equaliser and his first goal in 2023/2024. The game remained all square till the very end of the game, putting a halt to United’s and Spurs’ winning streaks as a result.
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Rasmus Højlund: “We Played a Great Game.”
Ten Hag was satisfied with his forwards’ performance yesterday, including Rasmus Højlund and Rashford. “I hope they keep going, there is progress. They are coming up with some routines and that is what you need, especially in the front line where a quick decision has to be made and in a split second you need the right decision so you need intuition. When your forwards are not scoring it is going through the whole team. It makes everyone insecure, starting with the front players when they are not scoring. Two goals and we created other chances. We played well and that pleased me most but you are still disappointed when you get this result,” said the Dutchman.
Rasmus Højlund, the player who contributed two goals for the Red Devils in the 2-2 Premier League stalemate, had this to say after the game: “We were talking in the [Half-time] break about switching off so it was a little bit annoying [To concede so quickly]. We need to take the positives with us, again we need to be disappointed, as two times we were ahead. It can happen but again I think we played a great game. I was happy to give Marcus [Rashford] an assist today as he has been assisting me many times already throughout this season.”
The 20-year-old Danish striker concluded his post-match interview by saying “I was very happy to give a little something back to him (Rashford) and we have a good relationship both on and off the pitch. He is a good bloke. In some ways yeah it is important [The winter break] but at the same time, we always want to play football. Again it is important to spend time with your loved ones and relax. It will be nice to have a few days off now”.
Erik Ten Hag’s response when asked if Man United should’ve been awarded a penalty against Spurs 👀 pic.twitter.com/hlf5j5usIy
— Football on TNT Sports (@footballontnt) January 14, 2024
Predict Manchester United’s Final Position in the 2023/2024 Premier League Season
After that 2-2 draw against Tottenham on top of Rasmus Højlund’s two-goal contribution on Matchday 21, United are currently the seventh best team in the English Premier League, trailing the first-placed Liverpool and second-placed Manchester City by 13 and 11 points respectively. United will not play another English top-flight football match until the final day of January 2023, when they prepare for a trip to Molineux Stadium for a matchup against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Leave us some comments down in the section below, on your prediction for United’s final position after 38 games in the 2023/2024 English Premier League Season.