The pressure is rising on Manchester United and Jose Mourinho.
Despite a lively first half with multiple quality chances, Man United fell to Tottenham 3-0 at Old Trafford on goals from Harry Kane and Lucas Moura, including two two minutes apart.
Man United was in need of a statement win, despite the season being only a few games old. The hysteria surrounding Mourinho hasn't calmed–especially after a stunning loss to Brighton last week–and instead has picked up steam in the aftermath of more off-field comments about and from Paul Pogba and by the star's agent.
Tottenham, meanwhile, has now opened the season with three consecutive wins, with one at Man United a statement after triumphs over Newcastle and Fulham. Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris returned to the starting XI for Tottenham just days after being arrested for drunk driving and spending his Friday morning in police custody, and he produced the clean sheet, his first of the season.
Mourinho made six changes to his lineup–and went with a surprise three-back formation–an obvious statement to his locker room after the Brighton loss. One of the holdovers, Fred, nearly scored off the opening kick, firing right of Lloris's goal as Man United came out looking to strike right away.
United had an even more golden opportunity in the 17th minute. After a horrible Danny Rose back pass, Romelu Lukaku was able to round an on-rushing Lloris on the right side of the box and was facing a gaping-open net. He pushed his angled chance wide of the far post, though, spoiling the empty-net opportunity and keeping the match scoreless, much to the Old Trafford faithful's chagrin.
Lukaku scuffed another chance in the 19th minute after Luke Shaw's excellent work to get forward and cut back a cross for the Belgian striker, who couldn't hit it with full power and made for a simple Lloris save.
Tottenham's first chance came off a giveaway from Nemanja Matic, who made his season debut after an injury in preseason. It gifted Dele Alli the ball going at the United goal, but Chris Smalling went to ground and came up with a pristine tackle to take the ball off his countryman's foot before he could test David De Gea.
The end-to-end action picked up from there, with Moura taken down on a shoulder-to-shoulder challenge by Phil Jones in the box, only for his penalty shouts to go unheard. On the other side, Fred was given space in the Tottenham box and cut back to his left foot, only to curl his left-footed chance wide of the far post.
In the 34th minute, United had two great chances go begging. First, Pogba took a layoff pass and drilled a 20-yard bullet at Lloris, who made the save. Off the second wave of attack, Matic wound up with a deflection that just evaded the goal and trickled out for a corner instead.
The second half began the way the first half ended, with Pogba curling a great chance from 20 yards just wide of a diving Lloris less than a minute after the restart.
Kane made Manchester United pay for all of its wastefulness. After Alli had a close-range chance redirected out for a corner, Kane rose highest for Kieran Trippier's set piece, looping a header into the upper right-hand corner to give Spurs a 1-0 lead in the 50th minute.
Moura followed two minutes later with a second strike, and United, despite all of its opportunities, suddenly fell down 2-0. Trippier started the sequence, playing Christian Eriksen down the right-hand side into acres of space. The Danish star crossed for Moura, who redirected it beyond De Gea to double the lead.
Alli had an opportunity to make it 3-0 not too long after, with another wayward giveaway gifting the Tottenham star a 1-v-1 chance vs. De Gea in the box, one that the Man United goalkeeper won with a block out of pure desperation.
Moura put the finishing touches on the rout with his second of the night, taking it upon himself to make it 3-0 after taking a pass from Kane, torching Smalling and beating De Gea to pad the lead.
After the final whistle, Mourinho remained on the field and applauded the Manchester United supporters who maintained their applause for him, even after the result.
Where Man United goes from this result is anyone's guess, but with road matches at Burnley and Watford next on the docket, Mourinho will need to turn the club's ship around in order to relieve the mounting pressure and steady the Red Devils' season.
Here were the lineups for both teams:
The match kicks off a big week for both clubs, as they'll learn their Champions League group fate in Thursday's draw in Monaco.