In the 34th minute at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Edinson Cavani thought he had given Manchester United the lead after slotting in from a Paul Pogba pass.
Three minutes and several replays later, the goal was ruled out because of a foul on Son Heung-Min in the build up by Scott McTominay. The Korean attempted to stop McTominay with his hand as the midfielder dribbled past him. The Scotsman brushed aside his arm with his own hand which flicked Son in the face.
The decision brought with it the usual claims of death of the game and so on despite it being a marginal judgement call. Fans and pundits alike blamed Son for staying down too long to force a decision from the referee.
I don’t recognise the game any more. This is NEVER a foul. 😡 pic.twitter.com/HSU6cZwyHm
— Micah Richards (@MicahRichards) April 11, 2021
Looking at it again, Son tried to pull McTominay first. But Son was smart enough to fall to the ground after being touched.
— Adewale Adetona (@iSlimfit) April 11, 2021
PRESS ROOM BANTER
When asked about it in the press conference, United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said “If my son stays down like this for three minutes and needs 10 minutes to help him up, he won’t get any food.” A jest, not well taken by his counterpart Jose Mourinho. “Sonny is very lucky that his father is a better person than Ole. Because I think as a father, I am a father, you always have to feed your kids no matter what they do,” the Portuguese said in reply.
Twitter naturally had a field day over the mini spat.
Son is making a meal out of McTominay’s hand. Ole G says it wouldn’t have given him food if he was Son’s father. Jose says he is glad Son is not Ole G’s son
It’s a funny old game
— Jan Aage Fjørtoft 🏳️🌈 🇳🇴 (@JanAageFjortoft) April 11, 2021
Mourinho about to call Social Services on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for that comment 🤣
— Adam McKola (@AdamMcKola) April 11, 2021
No problem with a bit of deflection from a manager after their team loses but taking Solskjaer’s comments literally here is a new low from Mourinho. As pathetic as it is hilarious pic.twitter.com/PSzKQQ4B05
— Si Lloyd (@SmnLlyd5) April 11, 2021
Naturally, feeding children brings Marcus Rashford MBE into the conversation.
— MUSC Mumbai (@ManUtdMumbai) April 11, 2021
Rashford when he heard Ole say he’s not feeding his kids 😭
— Steve Arnott (@LaPiochey) April 11, 2021
PRESSURE ON MOURINHO
Solskjaer’s men turned around a half time 1-0 deficit with three goals in the second 45 from Fred, Cavani and Greenwood.
The defeat left Spurs six points behind West Ham in fourth place in the Premier League with just seven games left to play. Fans were quick to call for Mourinho’s head after the match.
Spurs lose this and thats top 4 done for them. Say goodbye to Kane and Son because no way will they be playing europa league next season. Jose Mourinho is washed up and finished. Needs to retire now
— Ben Halliday (@benhallidayCUFC) April 11, 2021
They are waiting for that cup final game to make their decision. I'll be surprised if we pick up a win at all for the last few games of the season. We have everton next which is not a game you want after yesterday performance. Everyone is to blame.
— JustFootballTBH (@Mightytottenha1) April 12, 2021
Mourinho's greatest achievement is no longer coming 2nd with United – it's turning Son from one of the most likeable players in the league to…this. #TOTMUN
— Gunjan Mukherjee (@Gunjanx) April 11, 2021
Mourinho had a turbulent relationship at Old Trafford with several players, including Pogba and Luke Shaw, who have arguably been United’s two best players this season. Solskjaer got revenge for the 6-1 defeat earlier this season and the day was truly won by the Red Devils, on and off the field.
Solskjaer and Shaw celebrating in front of Mourinho 😂 pic.twitter.com/Qzla4OVyYp
— The Football Arena (@thefootyarena) April 11, 2021
After the ‘Ole Mourinho Son’ debacle, Tottenham and Mourinho’s season now relies on a single match – their Carabao Cup final against Manchester City later this month. The game could be decisive to the future of several individuals at the club, both player and staff.
United meanwhile are looking up and putting the pressure on Manchester City. They are also well poised to qualify for the Europa League semifinals. Two roads diverged in North London and it is clear which club is on the right one.