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Manchester United 2-3 Tottenham
17.18 – Hello and welcome to this evening’s liveblog. Here are the teams:
Manchester United: Lindegaard, Rafael, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra, Carrick, Scholes, Nani, Giggs, Kagawa, van Persie. Subs: De Gea, Anderson, Wootton, Cleverley, Rooney, Hernandez, Welbeck.
Tottenham: Friedel, Walker, Gallas, Caulker, Vertonghen, Sandro, Dembele, Dempsey, Lennon, Bale, Defoe. Subs: Lloris, Dawson, Huddlestone, Falque, Sigurdsson, Townsend, Mason.
17.28 – Tottenham have a traditionally poor record against United at Old Trafford, so they won’t exactly be going into this game filled with confidence.
They’ve started the season in a less-than-convincing fashion, though United themselves have yet to really take off.
The big news as far as the starting line-ups are concerned is that Wayne Rooney starts on the bench.
17.30 – We’re underway…
17.32 – GOAL FOR TOTTENHAM!
17.36 – Tottenham 1-0 Man United (2 mins): Brilliant run forward from Vertonghen and his rather innocuous shot deflects off Evans, totally deceiving Lindegaard in the process and finding the back of the the net.
Perhaps all the bad luck Spurs have accumulated over the years at Old Trafford is finally set to end.
17.40 – Tottenham have started very well.
Dempsey has hit a powerful shot just wide, while Aaron Lennon has just burst forward menacingly, before his shot is deflected away for a corner.
17.42 – Deary me, Jon Champion…
17.46 – Tottenham were almost the orchestrators of their own downfall there.
Dempsey heads it straight to Van Persie, but a timely interception from Gallas prevents the Dutchman from getting a clean shot on goal.
It was quite a rough challenge though, which probably would have been penalised had it not taken place in the penalty area.
Moreover, Van Persie is moving pretty gingerly now, and has had to receive treatment.
17.49 – Another threatening run forward from the lively Vertonghen, but a poor first touch after the ball is played to him allows Ferdinand to intercept.
As is usually the case when Spurs play United, it’s been very entertaining to watch so far.
17.56 – United are starting to come more into this game, and have put concerted pressure on their opponents in recent minutes.
Spurs, though, continue to look dangerous on the counter-attack.
18.02 – GOAL FOR TOTTENHAM!
18.05 – Man United 0-2 Tottenham (32 mins): A superb tackle from Sandro allows Spurs to break and from then on it’s all about Gareth Bale.
The Welsh winger uses his pace to evade Ferdinand before finishing consummately, finding the corner of the net with his weaker right foot.
18.09 – Seasoned Tottenham fans will know that this game is far from over.
Spurs have held considerable leads over United in the past and still lost, most notably in the 2001/2002 season.
YouTube credit: PhantomFX91
18.13 – Should United lose this game, questions will inevitably be asked about the age of this United team.
The likes of Ferdinand and Scholes have at times struggled to cope with the pace of the Tottenham attack.
18.16 – Tottenham are really under siege at the moment and unless they get a hold of the ball, a United goal looks highly likely.
The hosts have also been denied what appeared to be a clear penalty, with Vertonghen pulling back Nani in the box.
For all the Belgian’s attacking prowess, the Portuguese winger has caused him problems down the other end of the field.
18.18 – BREAKING: Paul Scholes has just made a clean, well-timed tackle.
18.19 – HALF-TIME: MAN UNITED 0-2 TOTTENHAM
18.22 – It’s no wonder Spurs are leading 2-0 – they’ve only gone and signed Batman, or so Alex Ferguson claims anyway.
YouTube credit: parki1988
Thanks to reader red_dogg for the tip.
18.32 – So it’s half-time and rather intriguingly, it’s Man United 0-2 Tottenham.
Spurs have approached the game in a clever fashion, defending well and taking full advantage of their opportunities on the counter-attack, with Bale, Vertonghen and Sandro looking particularly impressive.
In contrast, United’s build-up play has looked decidedly laboured at times.
It’d be foolish to write off the home side however, given how they’ve come back against Spurs in the past.
Moreover, they seemed to up the intensity of their play towards the end of that first-half, as a tired-looking Tottenham struggled to hold onto possession and showed signs of weakness.
All of which sets us up for what looks set to be a thrilling second half.
18.36 – The second half is underway, and Rooney is on for Giggs.
18.39 – The next goal in this game is crucial – if United get it, they could easily go on to win, whereas Tottenham would surely seal their victory with a third strike.
18.40 – GOAL FOR MAN UNITED!
18.41 – GOAL FOR TOTTENHAM!
18.42 – GOAL FOR MAN UNITED!
18.47 – Chris Waddle accurately describes this as “like basketball”.
First, Nani finishes coolly after Rooney’s pinpoint cross. Then, Dempsey converts easily after the United keeper can only parry away Bale’s powerful strike.
And finally, a sublime through ball from Van Persie finds Kagawa, who finishes calmly past Friedel.
That was three goals in the space of 140 seconds, apparently.
18.51 – Despite losing 3-2, United look the far superior side at the moment – Tottenham spent a lot of the first-half chasing the ball, and now seem to be struggling to cope with the tempo United are playing at.
And as I type, Rooney has just hit the post with a free-kick.
18.52 – United have just had a Van Persie strike correctly ruled out for offside, after a clever through ball from Scholes.
I’d be very surprised if we don’t see another goal in this game.
18.55 – Ironically, given his age, the main difference between the first and second half is that Scholes has become far more dominant now.
The Tottenham midfield are struggling to cope with the mercurial Englishman.
18.58 – Perhaps, it’s only in adversity that United really start to play – as has been the case here, and against Southampton.
As I type, Van Persie drags the ball horribly wide when through on goal.
Every time United attack, they look like scoring, while Spurs are simply wilting.
19.01 – With 20 minutes remaining, Sigurdsson has replaced Dempsey as Tottenham make a much-needed change in their lineup.
And for all United’s attacking, the visitors still possess a considerable threat in the form of Lennon and Bale on the counter-attack.
19.03 – Tottenham are making United look like Barcelona at the moment.
They simply can’t keep hold of the ball and are continually hoofing it back to the hosts.
What would the visitors give for a player of Luka Modric’s calibre right now?
19.07 – Just over 10 minutes remain, and Kagawa is replaced by Welbeck for United.
19.12 – The pressure on the Spurs goal continues, as Gallas does well to head a dangerous cross out for a corner.
Chris Waddle has justifiably compared Paul Scholes to “Pirlo during the summer”.
Scholes has easily been the best player on the pitch in this second half, though Rooney has also made a significant difference.
Meanwhile, Huddlestone replaces Dembele for the final few minutes, as Tottenham presumably look to improve their possession stats.
19.15 – A Carrick flick-on has hit the crossbar, as the hosts continue to press intensively.
United will feel aggrieved if they don’t get anything from the game, given how this half has panned out.
19.17 – Defoe almost gets away from Evans, but Ferdinand does well to get back and intercept the ball.
Two minutes of normal time to play.
19.19 – 136 passes and a 91% completion rate for Scholes, though as I type, he gives it away…
Still, the English midfielder doesn’t deserve to be on the losing team, judging by the way he’s played.
19.21 – Defoe has been replaced by Dawson for Spurs, while Ferdinand comes off for Hernandez for the hosts.
We’re in injury time…
19.22 – Seconds remain and Lindergaard is up for the corner…
19.23 – FULL-TIME: MAN UNITED 2-3 TOTTENHAM
19.27 – So Tottenham have beaten United at Old Trafford for the first time ever in the history of the Premier League, and the first time in total in the league since 1989.
It hasn’t been the most convincing of wins for AVB’s men, but they won’t care, given the significance of the result.
19.29 – So that’s it for me for now, but do join me in a few minutes, as I’ll be liveblogging Sligo versus Derry in the Airtricity League.
Thanks for reading and commenting.