Manager Mauricio Pochettino praised Tottenham’s “aggressive” opening as Christian Eriksen’s goal after just 11 seconds helped them to a deserved win over Manchester United at Wembley.
The Dane latched on to flicks from Harry Kane and Dele Alli to side-foot home the joint-third fastest goal scored in the Premier League.
“You can win a game if you’re ready to fight,” said Pochettino. “It was massive to be up early in the game.”
United responded well – with Jesse Lingard almost levelling – only for Phil Jones to turn Kieran Trippier’s cross into his own net to double Spurs’ lead.
Manager Jose Mourinho described the first goal as “ridiculous”, and added: “The second goal mentally kills the team.
“To win matches a team needs to score goals and also defend well – on this occasion we were very bad.”
Spurs looked sharper in a stretched game, and after goalkeeper Hugo Lloris maintained their advantage by denying Romelu Lukaku, Kane and Eriksen both went close.
Defeat ended United’s eight-game unbeaten run in the league and left them 15 points adrift of leaders Manchester City in second.
Alexis Sanchez proved peripheral on his first league start for the Red Devils, failing to register a shot and touching the ball just twice in the Tottenham area as the home side, who are fifth, moved within two points of the top four.
Eriksen’s goal ignited a game packed with attacking intent and littered with chances. His calm, placed finish was also controversial, as replays showed Kane – who flicked the ball on to Alli in the build-up – was two yards inside the United half when kick-off was taken.
Neither side paused for such controversy as each set about testing the opposing defence, with Lingard unable to fully gather the ball when well placed and unmarked, before Anthony Martial was only denied by a fine Ben Davies tackle.
Kane, seeking a 100th Premier League goal, twice fired tamely at David de Gea, and the relentless pace ultimately proved too much for Jones as he miscued a Trippier cross into the net.
This was a United defence that arrived in north London having kept six straight clean sheets.