The day their hopes died

The day their hopes died

MAN UNITED 1

(Danny Welbeck 67)

TOTTENHAM 2

(Emmanuel Adebayor 34, Christian Eriksen 66)

The great unmasking of Manchester United took place on Thursday morning at Old Trafford.

Tottenham's thoroughly deserved 2-1 win revealed the uncomfortable truth.

The kind festive fixtures provided a soothing smokescreen, but Spurs blew it away.

United's aura is gone. So has any lingering hope of retaining the title.

Spurs' win showed at least six reasons why United's title defence died a slow death.

1. EASY FIXTURES MASKED FAILINGS

Much was made of the six consecutive victories and the tired, myopic cliche that United could only beat the teams put in front of them.

But their form was sustained by beating minnows.

Christmas bells drowned out alarm bells, but they were both ringing out.

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