A second-half brace from Lucas Moura helped Tottenham Hotspur deal another early-season setback to Manchester United with a 3-0 win at Old Trafford on Monday.
The Brazilian’s first goal came minutes after Harry Kane’s deadlock-breaking header, and he capped Tottenham’s biggest win at United in 46 years six minutes from the end.
Spurs join Liverpool, Chelsea and Watford on maximum points from three matches but it is back-to-back defeats in August for United for the first time since the Premier League’s debut season.
Seeking a response to their 3-2 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion last weekend, United came flying out of the blocks and had a chance within 20 seconds when Fred latched onto a Jesse Lingard flick-on only to shoot wide.
Spurs spent much of the opening half-an-hour on the back foot but surged upfield through Lucas on 29 minutes, and the January signing from Paris Saint-Germain should have had a penalty when he was thudded into by Phil Jones.
Jose Mourinho’s side would have been encouraged by their first-half performance but were hit by a double sucker-punch early in the second period as Spurs struck twice in two minutes after the restart.
Kane climbed above Jones from a 52nd-minute corner to expertly direct a header over David de Gea and underneath the crossbar – his first goal on five trips to Old Trafford.
The hosts were truly rattled when Spurs hit them again moments later, with Christian Eriksen running unchecked into the right channel and pulling a cross back for Lucas to stroke into the bottom corner.
United responded reasonably well but Tottenham stood firm defensively with Toby Alderweireld making several important interventions against the club who were linked with his services for most of the summer.
Jose Mourinho’s defence missed a player of the same authority and a couple of errors from substitute Victor Lindelof, who replaced the injured Jones, nearly gifted Spurs further goals.
The Swede was bailed out by De Gea when he gifted Dele Alli possession on the edge of his own box and then allowed Kane a free header which he missed from six yards.
Lucas landed the killer blow on 84 minutes when he burst past Chris Smalling and buried his shot confidently past De Gea, as Spurs sent a message to Manchester City and Liverpool that they shouldn’t be counted out of the title race.
Meanwhile, United are already six points off the pace ahead of next weekend’s trip to Burnley.