Sunday 30, September 2012
Bale spurs Tottenham to rare Old Trafford victory
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR ended their 23-year wait for a win at Old Trafford with a 3-2 victory over Manchester United.
The hosts made a slow start, and indeed lacked sharpness throughout the first half, as Spurs took an early lead through Jan Vertonghen’s well-worked goal. A slick one-two with Gareth Bale allowed the Belgian a chance to enter the penalty area, beat Rio Ferdinand, and drill a shot, which took a deflection off Jonny Evans into Anders Lindegaard’s net.
Sir Alex Ferguson won’t be pleased with the response of his players as Spurs went on to control much of the first half - limiting the hosts’ chances - eventually punishing United’s slackness with another goal.
New boy Mousa Dembele slipped the ball to Bale, who tricked his way through the United defence, which allowed him to place a shot past Lindegaard to make it 2-0.
A half-time telling off from Fergie woke up the home side as they came out all-guns blazing to try and claw back some dignity. And just five minutes in they did just that. Ryan Giggs was replaced by Wayne Rooney to add more pace and the England international’s cross in the 51st minute was met by Nani, who fired the ball in from six yards.
A resilient Spurs hit back immediately though, as Lindegaard could only parry Bale’s shot into the path of Clint Dempsey, who tapped the ball in for his first Spurs goal, and to restore the visitors’ two-goal advantage.
That only lasted seconds though as a third goal in as many minutes came from Shinji Kagawa after Robin van Persie slipped the Japanese man a pass. It also meant that Spurs now had to try and do what many teams struggle to do at Old Trafford - hold a lead - and with over half an hour to go, it was going to be difficult.
Predictably it was the home side that had all the chances as United strived to protect their 23-year record against Tottenham. A Rooney free-kick hit the woodwork, van Persie had a goal correctly ruled out for offside, and Michael Carrick also hit the woodwork from a header. There were also several of penalty appeals but referee Chris Foy did well not to give in to the pressure from United players to award them.
Spurs managed to hang on through injury time to claim a momentous victory and make it three consecutive league wins.
While Andre Villas-Boas praised his Spurs side, Sir Alex was quick to blame the officials for not giving enough added - “Fergie” – time but admitted that going behind is becoming a bit of a habit this season, something he will want to address as soon as possible.
MAN UNITED: Lindegaard 5, Rafael 5, Evra 5, Ferdinand 5, Evans 5, Giggs 4, Carrick 5, Nani 6, Scholes 4, Kagawa 7, van Persie 6. Subs: Rooney 6 (Giggs 46’), Welbeck 4 (Kagawa 78’), Hernandez 3 (Ferdinand 90’) Not Used: De Gea, Wootton, Anderson, Cleverley
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR: Friedel 6, Vertonghen 8, Gallas 7, Walker 6, Caulker 6, Dempsey 8, Lennon 6, Bale 8, Sandro 6, Defoe 6, Dembele 7. Subs: Sigurdsson 6 (Dempsey 69’), Huddlestone 6 (Dembele 83’), Dawson 4 (Defoe 90’) Not Used: Lloris, Falque, Townsend, Mason
Quays News Man of the Match: Gareth Bale - played a part in all three Spurs goals, scoring one, and was just too much for the United defence, causing problems all evening.
By Will Moorcroft
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