Writer: Red Boy
Date:Sunday January 16 2011
United kept their unbeaten run going but were reduced to ten men, for the last quarter of an hour, at White Hart Lane this afternoon.
As far as team selection went, Van der Sar recovered form the flu bug and Rooney returned to the front line. Giggs was selected for his 600th league appearance. Scholes, returning from injury, was on the bench. Berbatov was, off course, facing his former club.
Team - Van der Sar, Rafael, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra, Giggs, Carrick, Nani, Fletcher, Berbatov, Rooney.
Subs - Kuszczak, Smalling, Evans, Anderson, Scholes, Owen, Hernandez
United got the first half underway and it was a half that was to be, at times, end-to-end and a half played at a high tempo. Straight from the kick-off United lost possession and a great early cross from Bale had to be claimed by Van der Sar.
Berbatov and Rooney exchanged passes before the latter shot across the face of the Spurs goal. Fletcher conceded a corner that saw Dawson`s weak header drift away from goal before Van der Sar saved a Van der Vaart free kick after Carrick had fouled Palocios on the edge of the area.
Rooney saw a shot, from eighteen yards, saved before a flowing move involving Modric and Hutton saw Crouch shoot narrowly wide. Lennon, as Spurs pushed forward in numbers, saw his shot blocked by Vidic before, first, a low cross from Rooney evaded everyone and then, at the other end, one from Bale did likewise.
A slick move involving Nani, Rooney and Berbatov saw a Rooney shot parried away by Gomes before Dawson fired wide after Spurs had caught United napping with a short corner. Rafael received a yellow card for a foul on Palacios before a cheeky thirty-five yard fee kick from Van De Vaart was easily claimed by Van der Sar.
Rafael, bursting forward, produced two great runs, the first being halted by a foul from Palocios and the second by sheer weight of numbers in front of him. As half time approached a Bale cross saw a Van der Vaart header ht the side netting before Fletcher became the second United player to be cautioned for a foul on Bale.
Half Time - Spurs 0 United 0
The second half provided much the same fare as the first half, a high-tempo game with real chances at a premium. Rafael continued where he left off in the first half with a third mazy run that ended at the edge of the Spurs box, whilst Giggs fired a volley wide.
Giggs earned a corner but the resulting header from Carrick drifted well wide. Rooney had a shot turned around the post by Gomes before Spurs had a decent spell of pressure. Modric drove a shot wide before Van der Vaart fired another free kick straight at Van der Sar after Evra had been show a yellow card for a foul on Lennon.
Palocios showed his shooting needed improving with two long range efforts that flew high, wide and handsome. Rafael, on another sortie up field, showed his inexperience after some superb skill had left his marker for dead, by firing at the keeper when it was begging for a cross.
With some sixteen minutes left the game saw a real contentious moment when Rafael was given his marching orders after receiving a second yellow card this time for a trip on Ekotto. It looked to be a harsh decision and Rooney was booked for contesting it.
Down to ten men, United had to survive a late burst of United pressure. Crouch fired over before a corner, cleared to Van der Vaart, saw the Dutchman curl a delightful shot just wide the wrong side of the angle of bar and post.
Hernandez, on for Berbatov, showed some great team spirit by producing a great last-ditch tackle to deprive Lennon whilst Giggs almost snatched a win for United but was foiled by Gomes rushing out.
The honours were, probably inevitably shared, but the unbeaten run goes on.
Vital Man United on:
Vital Man United on:
Date:Sunday January 16 2011
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