Spurs 1 United 3
United travelled to North London knowing they had to win to keep the gap between themselves and City respectable.
With City having won against Bolton the previous day, the pressure was on United to follow suit against a side that Sir Alex had already declared to be amongst the best footballing sides in the Premier League.
The boss was able to welcome back Wayne Rooney, after a throat infection, and also chose to start with Ashley Young instead of Ryan Giggs. Our hosts were handicapped by the suspension given to Scott Parker and the late withdrawal, through illness, of Gareth Bale.
The first half saw United struggle to stamp their authority on the game and much of the better football was played by Spurs. In fact united were reliant on the skills of David De Gea to keep the game all-square.
The Spanish keeper produced one peach of a save to push away a low curling effort form Adebayor, although the shot didn`t carry the power the striker would have wished it too.
As half time approached, United had a serious let-off when Spurs thought they had scored but Martin Atkinson, refereeing a United game for the first time since Sir Alex had given him a verbal blast that cost the boss a five game ban, was astute enough to notice that Adebayor had handled the ball before back-heeling it in from close range. A little harsh perhaps, but that`s life.
But, to rub salt in Spurs wounds, United were to go ahead shortly afterwards. Nani swung in a corner, after a shot had been deflected behind by a Spurs defender, Rooney lost his marker and powered a downward header past Freidel in the Spurs goal.
Half Time - Spurs 0 United 1
United been out-played by Spurs in the first half and Sir Alex obviously had words at half time because United started the second forty-five minutes better and were to increase their lead on the hour mark.
United had won a throw-in near the corner flag and when Modric lost concentration, Nani was able to skip past the Croatian and play a dangerous ball into the six yard box. Initially it looked as if it had evaded everyone but lurking, beyond the far post, was Ashley Young to hit a low shot through a sea of bodies and into the far corner of the net.
Nine minutes later the game was made safe and it was that man Ashley Young again. This time Young collected the ball from Evra, made a few feet of space and curled an unstoppable shot past his former Villa team-mate, Brad Freidel, in the Spurs goal, it was, most definitely, the best goal of the game.
With the three points` safe, United would have been hoping to keep a clean sheet but the Spurs substitute, Jermaine Defoe, had other ideas. Three minutes from the end of normal time Defoe took advantage of a shooting chance to fire a low shot past De Gea, although the keeper appeared to be unsighted courtesy of Ferdinand trying to close the shooting opportunity down.
Onwards and upwards as they say, next time out, in the Premier League, we take on a resurgent West Bromwich Albion, side who have won three on the bounce.
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