Tottenham Hotspur 1-3 Manchester United – as it happened
Ashley Young and Wayne Rooney mugged Tottenham Hotspur, whose good play was marred by some woeful concentration. . Image from Well Offside.
93 min: The game has petered out at Spurs have no belief. They have one last free kick from over the D, but it’s headed out for a corner by Wayne Rooney. Kaboul takes, cleared at the near post, and that’s full time.
91 min: A couple more minutes left, and Rio Ferdinand with a great tackle to stop Adebayor getting a shot away from close range.
84 min: Goal! Tottenham 1-3 Manchester United (Defoe). The Spurs striker robs a blind pass from Giggs to slot past De Gea.
79 min: Defoe and Kranjcar on, Sandro and Saha off. Park replaces Young for United.
78 min: United try some intricate backheeling and flicks in the Spurs area, but Welbeck can’t think quickly enough and ends up dispossessed. Spurs go nowhere after receiving the ball – Redknapp has a real job on to make sure they don’t implode after their recent results.
74 min: Another free-kick for Spurs outside the United area. Modric is over it, and his delivery is far better than his previous efforts, but Spurs still can’t direct it goalwards. United have had a tendency towards profligacy once ahead this season, but this one’s as dead as disco.
71 min: Spurs, as you might expect, have given up. United, as you might expect, aren’t searching a fourth with particular hunger. Lennon gets into a decent amount of space as the United defence stands off, but his shot is poor and flies over.
68 min: GOAL! Tottenham 0-3 Manchester United (Young) And that’s that. Simple stuff as Spurs stand off too much, with Evra supplying Young and allowing him to cut inside and curl one into the far post. There will be much soul-searching for Spurs, but United have performed about as well as it’s possible for a team playing pretty badly to play.
65 min: Assou-Ekotto shoots from 30 yards, straight at De Gea. United counter-attack, slowly, and eventually King deflects Jones’ cross behind for a corner.
64 min: Another free-kick for Spurs is completely wasted by another dreadful delivery from Modric, which goes out for a throw-in. Good god, Kranjcar is looking nice today.
61 min: Spurs almost pull one back immediately! Lennon leaves Evra – who really is awful at defending now – in the dust and his cross is only barely headed away, and finds Assou-Ekotto at the far post with an excellent shooting opportunity, but he slices his shot badly. Spurs have missed a big chance to get back into this.
GOAL! Tottenham 0-2 Manchester United And suddenly, United take a huge step towards winning the game, and a huge step in the direction of the Premier League title. After winning a seemingly innocuous throw-in, Luka Modric goes to sleep and allows a clever throw-in to release Nani down the right wing. His cut-back is poor, but can’t be cleared, and Ashley Young meets the rebound with a scissor-kick from an acute angle to put United ahead. That was a fantastic finish. Now Giggs replaces Scholes.
59 min: This is getting somewhat ill-tempered. Adebayor goes down in the area and pleads for a penalty, but there’s nothing doing from referee or linesman. Adebayor doesn’t take the decision kindly.
57 min: More terrible tackling from Evra. He chops down Modric outside the United are, and this is another good opportunity from the free-kick. Assou-Ekotto takes it, but he curls it narrowly over. De Gea wisely leaves it.
56 min: Poor defending from Evra allows Lennon to get to the byline down the right, but Ferdinand putis his cross behind for a corner. Despite some poor communication leading to De Gea having the cross headed out of his hands, United just about get it clear.
53 min: A promising United attack comes to a halt when play is stopped for Phil Jones being down after being elbowed by Luka Modric. Jones really needs to go off.
52 min: A fine save from De Gea! Livermore has a hopeful low effort from range, but it takes a nasty deflection and the Spaniard sees it late, but manages to get down to turn it behind. Kaboul heads the corner wide.
50 min: The corner comes to nothing. The first phrase every MBMer stops trying to think of different ways to write.
48 min: Alex Ferguson is wearing a coat that makes him look like he’s about to warn you of the dangers of Kulaks hoarding grain. Spurs have a decent chance from a free-kick, but Modric’s delivery is terrible. Now they have a corner…
47 min: Spurs attack down the left, but Jones shepherds the ball out of play, just. United need to get Rafael or Fabio on in his place, because another 25 minutes of Lennon running at him and he’s going to get sent off.
And we’re off again.
There aren’t even any real contenders out there that could replace AVB at Chelsea, even. Someone give Gylfi Sigurdsson a managerial job.
Here’s Stephen Sillars. “Now that AVB has gone, who is the premiership’s most handsome manager?”
Oliver Zelenczuk suggests Mancini. “No competition now.” He’s probably right, which is a pretty depressing state of affairs. Well, Gary Megson’s not doing anything, if anyone wants to bring in another contender.
HALF-TIME: Tottenham Hotspur 0-1 Manchester United That’s that for the first half, and United go in with a lead that you’d be hard-pressed to argue they deserve. Still, that’s football, ‘n that – you don’t win points for creating a lot of chances. Poor Spurs composure is the reason they’re behind, although presumably the boos that echo around the stadium are for the officials rather than Spurs’ performance. It should be an interesting second-half at any rate. We’ll be back in a while.
44 min: GOAL! Tottenham 0-1 Manchester United (Rooney) United steal the lead, through one of their most wasteful players. The free-kick is terrible, but it wins United a corner, and – yes! Manchester United score from a corner! Spurs’ marking isn’t brilliant, but Rooney directs his header brilliantly and United have the lead just before half-time.
43 min: Sandro goes in the book for clattering Young, and now United have a chance from the set-piece…
39 min: United put together their best move of the game through Nani and Young, but after Evra gets into a great position, his cutback goes behind everyone, and not far back enough for Scholes.
36 min: GOAL! No! Disallowed! Ridiculous! Lennon breaks down the left-wing and cuts the ball back for Saha, who shoots, but finds it cleared off the line by, ridiculously, Adebayor. From the rebound, Saha blasts it home, but Adebayor is judged to have handled the ball. Replays show that was very, very close.
34 min: Spurs attempt a couple of crosses from out wide, but they can’t get any change out of Evans and Ferdinand. United then lead a rare attack, once again through Rooney and Welbeck, but the pass is classic Rooney stabbed-into-the-shins-of-the-defender stuff.
31 min: Both sides still need to calm the eff down. Spurs are all over United here but they haven’t really created a great deal.
29 min: Kaboul takes it, via a quick lay-off from Lennon, and his shot takes a slight deflection off the wall which sends it wide of the near post.
28 min: Jones goes in the book for bringing down Saha outside the United area. It was a totally brainless foul – there were five players around Saha and he was going nowhere – befitting a poor game overall from Jones so far. And now Spurs have a good opportunity from the free-kick…
26 min: More poor stuff from United, whose inability to play out from defence forces De Gea into a series of aimless hoofs. In the end, they manage to cobble together an attack after Rooney forces Walker into surrendering possession outside his own area, but Young’s cross finds the back post deserted.
21 min: United get an opportunity to counter-attack, but have only Rooney and Welbeck committed – the latter gets slipped through with a decent through ball, but he’s dispossessed before he can get his shot away. This has been poor stuff from United – and now Spurs almost score! Lennon sends in a rubbish cross, but United’s indecisiveness in their own box leads to it ricocheting up, across, down, and around the corridor of uncertainty – fortunately for United, it doesn’t fall for a white shirt and they eventually get it clear.
18 min: De Gea hoofs the ball up the pitch, and Sandro intercepts it with a header which simultaneously puts Adebayor into space outside the United area. He gets a decent shot away, which De Gea tips around the post with some difficulty. From the corner, Kaboul heads wide.
16 min: Spurs are having more of the game at the moment, but once again hotheadedness lets them down – Benoit Assou-Ekotto escapes into a decent amount of space down the left, but elects to cross early for Adebayor – it’s the wrong decision, and De Gea claims easily.
14 min: Now it’s Spurs’ turn for some aimless passing. Both teams are lacking a bit of invention at the moment as they struggle to get into each other’s areas – Modric has been quiet so far, and Spurs will have to look to change that.
11 min: My position in the ‘Carrick is not good enough for United camp’ may be getting more and more isolated every day, but here he shows exactly why I’m of that school of thought – United are dominating possession, but they waste a chance to penetrate Spurs’ backline with some needless dawdling around the area. Spurs regain position, United spread the ball impotently around the area and eventually lose it.
9 min: Nani manages to work his way down the right-wing, and centres a low pass for Rooney, who meets it first time – he can’t get the power or direction on it to beat Friedel, and soon Spurs are haring away on the counter – Sandro gallops towards the United area with menace as red shirts are scattered before him, but Jonny Evans is there to stop him with a crunching but fair tackle.
6 min: A half-chance for Spurs as Adebayor gets a clear sight of goal from 20 yards out and pelts one a foot over the bar. De Gea had it covered, in any case.
5 min: This game will hinge on who can make the most of brief spells of calmness – Scholes or Modric. The former does so here, and he soon releases Danny Welbeck into space ahead of the Spurs defence, where he beats Kaboul but skelps his shot high and wide.
4 min: It’s what you’d call an energetic start – the ball is zipping from end to end with gusto, but quickly breaking down outside either area due to general panic. It’s lively, but neither team have been able to impose any real quality so far.
2 min: Jones and Assou-Ekotto come together and both players are down hurt. Atkinson waves play on and Spurs attempt a counter, but they can’t break the United defence. This is a chaotic start.
Similarly, I wasn’t browsing on Grindr because I don’t have a smartphone. The solution to that is the same as I mentioned in the previous entry, although you won’t really gain anything from that unless you’re in your early twenties and live in the North London area. Speaking of North London, oh look – we’ve kicked off.
And now I, Callum, will take over. I was away. It was not my fault. Again, this wouldn’t have happened if I could afford to move. If you care, buy a t-shirt by clicking the merchandise link above. AT HALF-TIME. We’re about to kick off so don’t leave us.
Here are the line ups:
Tottenham Hotspur (4-4-2) Friedel; Walker, Kaboul, King, Assou-Ekotto; Lennon, Livermore, Sandro, Modric; Adebayor, Saha.
Subs: Cudicini, Giovani, Defoe, Dawson, Kranjcar, Rose, Nelsen.
Manchester United (4-2-3-1) De Gea; Jones, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra; Carrick, Scholes; Nani, Rooney, Young; Welbeck.
Subs: Amos, Anderson, Giggs, Park, Hernandez, Fabio, Rafael.
As you can expect from Callum, he’s swanned off somewhere, so I’ve put the post up. Alexander Netherton, superhero and all round great guy.
We’ll be doing live coverage of the Premier League game between Spurs and Manchester United. It’s Harry Redknapp, England manager-elect, and bare bones juggler. It’s Alex Ferguson, vile genius. It’s rumoured that Rafael Van Der Vaart is out injured, and Scott Parker will miss today due to his red card against Arsenal last week. If Manchester United win they will fancy their chances for the title, with an easy run in, Manchester City away being by far the toughest challenge left.
For Tottenham, it’s a chance to consolidate their league postion. Arsenal are back on track to some extent, and Chelsea might enjoy a dead cat bounce. Win today, and they can stop looking over their shoulder quite so intently. Having said all that, Manchester United have better recent form away from Old Trafford against Spurs, so the signs point towards trouble for Harry. Those signs, as we know, as basically meaningless. Why did I bring them up? To pad out the intro. Callum will be around with team news as soon as he’s finished his veal stock reduction or grindr browsing. It’s 50-50 as to what.