How Manchester United dominated Tottenham by suffocating their three-man midfield

On August 21, 2008, Metallica released The Day That Never Comes, the lead single from their ninth studio album, Death Magnetic.

The music video for that song shows soldiers in a hostile situation, but the song itself is about forgiveness and redemption, as drummer Lars Ulrich later explained. “Waiting for that one,” begins the chorus, “the day that never comes.”

Looking at Manchester United over the past decade, I have always felt that they are waiting for the day that never comes – the day when they will once again win football matches with complete, dominant performances, even against the top clubs in the Premier League.

“I think this was the best team performance so far this season,” said new manager Erik ten Hag after his team convincingly defeated Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

“First you get organization, in and out of possession,” he told British broadcaster Amazon Prime Video. “Then, if you have that right, you need the right intensity. You have to dictate the intensity, and I think that’s what we did today.”

What impressed Ten Hag the most?

“There were so many things that were so good,” he continued. “Our urgent organization was fantastic, magnificent. I also think the rest of the defense and the opposing press were good, but also in possession. Lots of dynamism (movement) at the forefront.”

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