Harry Kane, Son Heung-min fail to fire in latest FA Cup loss for Tottenham
The wait goes on as Tottenham were again found wanting in a big cup game. Their losing streak in FA Cup semi-finals now stretches to eight games. Spurs started much the brighter and took the lead inside 11 minutes when Dele Alli ran on to an inch-perfect cross from Christian Eriksen. But a mistake from Mousa Dembele quickly allowed Manchester United back into the game. Eric Dier did hit the post shortly before the break but Spurs ran out of ideas in the second half and when Anders Herrera gave United the lead, Tottenham never threatened to claw their way back into the game.
None. No Spurs player really managed to lift his game and it felt very much as if the occasion meant rather more to the fans than it did to the team. Some cold comfort is that Spurs can now concentrate on winning their last four games to secure their Champions League place with no distraction.
Although this was a game of fine margins, Spurs were still very much in the game at half-time having created more clear-cut chances. But in the second half, Tottenham seemed to lose focus and were all too easily contained by a United team that were much hungrier to win the game. Once falling behind, Spurs' inability to put United under any pressure was unforgivable in such an important cup tie.
Manager rating out of 10
5 -- Mauricio Pochettino's pre-match remarks in which he said he was not that concerned about winning a trophy conveyed entirely the wrong message to his players. If Pochettino wants to be considered a great manager rather than merely a very good one, he has to start setting up his team to win the big games. Whatever changes he suggested at half-time also had no effect as Spurs faded out of the game badly in the second half. May also regret not starting with both Hugo Lloris and Toby Alderweireld.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Michel Vorm, 5 -- Having played in every previous round of the FA Cup, Vorm was given the nod ahead of Lloris. However, his lack of game time may have told as he was slow to react to Herrera's shot which went under his body.
DF Kieran Trippier, 7 -- One of the few Spurs' players to be somewhere near his best. Took up some nice attacking positions, especially in the first half, and was solid in defence.
DF Davinson Sanchez, 6 -- Played a wonderful long ball to release Eriksen in the build-up to Tottenham's goal and by and large contained the United attack without ever being fully commanding.
DF Jan Vertonghen, 7 -- Made a couple of key interceptions and was one of the few players who appeared to believe Spurs could still win the game. Never really adjusted to being switched to left-back when Ben Davies was substituted.
DF Ben Davies, 6 -- Did an OK job defensively but seldom got behind the United back four. And when he did, his final ball was wayward. Must release the ball more quickly.
MF Eric Dier, 6 -- Started well, winning 50-50 balls in midfield, taking up some nice positions and was unlucky when his deflected shot rebounded off the post. Was far too anonymous in the second half.
MF Mousa Dembele, 6 -- It was his carelessness in getting caught in possession that led directly to United's equaliser. A few nice turns and touches, but never really managed to take the game by the scruff of the neck and control the midfield.
MF Son Heung-min, 5 -- Used his pace to create openings early on but wanted far too much time on the ball when an early shot or cross was required. Faded badly in the second half.
MF Christian Eriksen, 7 -- Laid on the perfect cross for Alli's goal and went close to levelling the scores when a long-range shot went just wide of David De Gea's left post. Struggled for inspiration in the second half but was still Spurs' most creative player.
MF Dele Alli, 6 -- Took his goal well with a late run to the far post, but was otherwise unusually indecisive on the ball. Several times in the first half, Spurs had a clear break only for Alli to slow down play.
FW Harry Kane, 5 -- Barely got a touch and when he did, like the rest of the Spur' attack, he wanted far too much time on the ball and was easily closed down. Failed to lose his markers and seemed reluctant to drop off and go looking for the ball. His lack of form since his return from injury is a major concern.
MF Lucas Moura, 6 -- Brought on to try and inject some pace and to run at the United defence. Made a few promising runs but was unable to create even a half-chance.
MF Victor Wanyama, NR -- Looked busy in the 15 minutes or so he was on the field but was unable to translate his enthusiasm into performance.
MF Erik Lamela, NR -- Late replacement for Son. Barely had a touch.
John Crace is one of ESPN FC's Tottenham bloggers. Follow him on Twitter @JohnJCrace.