Manchester United players warned not to be ‘conned’ by Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham

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Tom Doyle
·2-min read
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 (Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty I)
(Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty I)

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has warned Manchester United not to be "conned" by Tottenham in order to avoid another implosion against Jose Mourinho's Spurs.

United spectacularly lost 6-1 at home to Spurs earlier this season, with Harry Kane and Heung-min Son running riot as the Red Devils crumbled with Anthony Martial sent off in the first half.

With United trailing 2-1 after 29 minutes, Martial reacted to a stray elbow from Erik Lamela by slapping the Spurs player in the face. The French striker was shown a straight red card, and Spurs went on to score four more goals without reply as Mourinho celebrated a famous win against his former employers.

United head into the return fixture in better fortunes, sitting second in the Premier League with Champions League qualification likely. Spurs, meanwhile, sit sixth - three points off fourth place - and can ill-afford a setback at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Following that humbling defeat earlier this season and the nature of Martial's sending-off, Solskjaer has warned his players to be smart and avoid being tricked into losing their cool.

Martial saw red as United lost the plotTottenham Hotspur FC via Getty I
Martial saw red as United lost the plotTottenham Hotspur FC via Getty I

"I think the players will remember that game with a lot of pain and their pride has been hurt, our professional pride's been hurt," the United boss said on Friday.

"The way and the manner we lost is not ourselves and we know that. We gave ourselves a difficult game by having 10 men.

"Pre-season was short and we weren't up to the standard required, but we were so poor and I'm pretty, pretty sure we'll see some players wanting to prove that we're better than that.

"The biggest thing that we've improved on is our fitness levels because we were way short of what they were at.

"It was our third game and we didn't look anything like... and we got conned into a red card and that's something that we have to be aware of.

"We can't react like this because we know that in games there'll be situations where you'll be wound up and we've learned a lot from that.

"I'm sure we'll have a better performance this time around."

Additional reporting by PA.

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