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March 4, 2012
• White Hart Lane, London
Referee: M. Atkinson
• Attendance: 36034
J. Defoe 87'
W. Rooney 45'
A. Young 60', 69'
That's that, folks, United close the gap with Manchester City to two points as Spurs suffer consecutive defeats for the first time since the beginning of the season. Thanks for joining us!
90' + 3'
FULL-TIME! United extend their run of victories over Tottenham to 26 with a 3-1 victory at White Hart Lane, Adebayor had a goal disallowed in the first-half, before a Rooney header and two brilliant Young strikes stole the three points for Ferguson's men. Defoe pulled back a late goal but the game was dead and buried by then.
90' + 1'
Adebayor is nearly in behind the United back four but Ferdinand gets a last ditch tackle in to deny the striker a shooting opportunity, just getting his boot to the ball.
Three minutes of added time signaled by the fourth official.
Yellow CardJonny Evans
GOOOAAAALLL! Jermain Defoe pulls one back for Spurs. United granted the Tottenham man far too much room as he advanced before beating De Gea with a decent strike into the corner. The keeper may have seen it late, he didn't move a muscle as the ball flew past him.
United have beaten Spurs 4-0 before, in February 2007. That was their biggest win against the north London side in Premier League history and they have just over five minutes to add a fourth today.
Welbeck does brilliantly to keep the ball in after winning a battle with Assou-Ekotto on the wing, United just keep going as Spurs look a little out of ideas.
Our man Wayne Veysey at White Hart Lane: "It feels like we are passing time at White Hart Lane. The away fans are delving into their entire song book, while the home fans shrug their shoulders and accept they are merely playing for pride now. It has been a strange game. Spurs have dominated and looked strong in spells, although they have badly missed the influence of Gareth Bale, Rafael van der Vaart and Scott Parker."
Nani plays a one-two with Ryan Giggs who then shifts it on to Welbeck, the Englishman can't get the ball out from his feet though. United look good value for another goal on the break.
De Gea comes out and meets the ball before Rooney hacks it away, Tottenham build from the back once more.
Free-kick to Spurs just outside the United area after Rooney fouls his man, Modric lining it up.
Lennon cuts in from the right hand side and tries his luck with a left-footed strike, but it rises well over the bar. Goal-kick to United.
An efficient display for United then, they have managed to get all six of their shots on target today, with half of them finding the net.
GOOOAAAAALLLLL! What a finish from Young, his second of the day makes it 3-0 to United. The England winger had far too much space when he received the ball, he was then allowed to turn onto his right boot and pick his spot before dispatching a curling strike into the top corner.
The ball finds Assou-Ekotto on the edge of the box and he unleashes a drive on the volley, it has power but is straight into De Gea's arms.
Redknapp looks displeased to say the least on the Tottenham bench, and you can't blame him. It has been a bit of a smash and grab by United so far. Plenty of time left yet as Spurs win a corner of Ferdinand.
Goal.com's Wayne Veysey at White Hart Lane: "'We shall not be moved' sing the jubilant United fans in the corner of this stadium after Ashley Young's athletic volley gives Tottenham a mountain to climb. Once again, United show their ruthless side from a set piece (a throw-in this time), while Spurs defend ponderously. White Hart Lane is in silent shock."
GOOAAAAAALLLLLL! Young makes it two for United! Nani receives the ball from a quick short throw-in, which completely catches out the Spurs' defence. The winger rolls it along the face of goal and despite Walker's best efforts to clear the full-back loops the ball straight to Young who finishes very well on the volley.
Adebayor takes a tumble in the area as he brings the ball down under pressure from the United centre-backs. Atkinson waves away his appeals for a spot-kick.
Assou-Ekotto hits it and sees his effort shave the top of the bar, De Gea had it covered but it was a good strike from the left-back.
Modric's ball is headed clear and Tottenham start again from the back. The Croatian midfielder wins a free-kick just on the edge of the United penalty area after being fouled by Patrice Evra.
Lennon plays a neat one-two with Sandro before his cross is turned behind for a corner.
Free kick to United in their own half as Adebayor is a little too keen to get the ball back from Scholes. Jones has also returned to the fray.
Jones is now down and it looks like he might have to be replaced. The England defender is off the pitch for the moment.
SAVE from De Gea! Livermore tries a low shot from outside the box which gets a deflection off Saha forcing the Spanish keeper to readjust quickly, he does very well to tip it out for a corner.
A worry for Ferguson as Jones is limping about tentatively.
The set-pieces continue with Modric swinging a corner in for the hosts, but again it comes to nothing.
Modric with a free-kick for Spurs now but it's headed straight out.
Free-kick for United just inside Spurs' half after Rooney is pushed, they go short to Scholes and he tries a long ball but gets it all wrong and it goes straight out for a goal-kick.
Tottenham kick-off the second-half.
Goal.com's correspondent at White Hart Lane, Wayne Veysey, reports: "Anger was pointed towards referee Martin Atkinson at half-time (it was ever thus) after Manchester United took the lead minutes after Adebayor had a goal ruled out for off-side. Wayne Rooney's well directed header from Ashley Young's corner came against the run of play but, despite the poverty of United's play up to that point, there was a sense that they were merely biding their time. Spurs need more variety in their play in the second half. Looking at the substitutes bench, Niko Kranjcar could one man to provide them with some second-half impetus."
HALF-TIME! The visitors lead 1-0 at White Hart Lane courtesy of Rooney's seventh goal in his last eight games against Tottenham, but it could have been oh so different. Spurs had one disallowed, after Adebayor's earlier effort was chalked-off for handball, with the hosts also enjoying the best of the chances so far. Don't go anywhere!
GOOOAAAAAALLLLL! 1-0 to United and it's that man Rooney who heads his side into the lead. The United forward managed to beat the Spurs' defence to get himself on the end of Young's corner to nod it beyond Friedel.
Couple of fouls breaking up the flow of play just now, firstly Rooney on Sandro then Adebayor with a push on Jones. Sandro then flies in with one of his own on Young, which earns his a yellow card.
Assou-Ekotto hits a low cross into the middle but Saha can't control it, Spurs looking increasingly dangerous.
Our man at the ground Wayne Veysey on that disallowed goal: "White Hart Lane has gone from ecstasy to agony within seconds after a goal from Adebayor was disallowed for handball. Nevertheless, it was a cute volleyed back-heel from the big striker after he had inadvertently blocked Louis Saha's goal-bound shot. Spurs are the better team here but these are classic United tactics - plotting, waiting, biding their time..."
Adebayor has the ball in the back of the net but Martin Atkinson rules it out. Lennon had cut it back to Saha from the touchline before the Frenchman's shot hit his fellow striker, the Togo international was judged to have hand-balled before flicking the ball into the goal with his heel. Tough call.
Ashley Young whips a corner in from the right-flank, Rooney flicks it towards goal from the near post but he doesn't get a substantial enough contact on it and Friedel saves.
Assou-Ekotto collects the ball expertly on the left-wing before swinging a brilliant ball into the box but no-one in a white shirt is attacking it.
Saha and Adebayor are linking up nicely along the Spurs front-line however the final ball is just lacking at the moment.
Jones chests the ball back to his keeper with a few shouts of handball coming from the home fans, nothing from the players though and the referee gives nothing.
Adebayor puts the ball through Ferdinand's legs inside the United box, but the ball just runs away from his and Evans hacks it clear.
Yellow CardPhil Jones
Lennons rolls it to Kaboul and his low drive gets a deflection as it goes out for a corner. Nothing comes from the initial delivery but Luka Modric's second ball in is better and forces Rooney to head it away from right beneath his keeper.
Nani shows some fancy footwork to pass Assou-Ekotto but Ledley King gets a foot on the cross. Saha breaks with it for Spurs and is brought down by Phil Jones, dangerous free-kick just outside the United penalty area...
Solid spell of possession from the visitors as they knock the ball around from the back to the front, and then back again. However the final ball into the box is poor and goes out for a goal-kick.
Our man at White Hart Lane is Wayne Veysey, he reports: "The atmosphere is starting to get a bit lively now after Emmanuel Adebayor drew a fine save out of David De Gea. The Man United keeper's weak goal-kick was headed by Sandro straight into the path of the Togolese striker. But that is not the deftest footwork we have seen in the opening 20 minutes. That came from Sir Alex Ferguson on the touchline. He killed a loose ball and slid a pinpoint pass back into play, having a wee bit of banter with the Spurs fans along the way."
Redknapp's men just starting to get the upper hand as they put another ball into the opponent's box, Evans heads out though. United then break with Rooney who feeds Welbeck but Kaboul gets back to extinguish the danger.
Younes Kaboul gets on the end of the delivery but misses the target.
SAVE from De Gea! The Spaniard's clearance is poor and allows Sandro to head it on to Adebayor, the forward then drives at goal and opens up his body before dispatching an effort across the United keeper who tips it out for a corner.
Paul Scholes gives the ball away in his own half, Tottenham it well and it eventually falls to Saha who hits it from outside the box, it's a tame effort though and David de Gea collects with ease.
Lennon tries a neat ball into Adebayor but Ferdinand cuts it out and clears.
Tottenham have scored more goals in the opening 15 minutes than any other team in the league but it doesn't look like that is going to happen today as United's defence is holding firm thus far. Spurs having a prolonged spell with the ball just now though.
Aaron Lennon races away from his man on the break after Rooney's shot was saved by Brad Friedel, but Jonny Evans times his slide tackle perfectly.
Emmanuel Adebayor tries his luck with a drive from range after receiving the ball from Jake Livermore, but the striker's shot goes over. Conserved start.
Saha breaks forward on the right hand side of the box, he gets a shot away but Ferdinand manages to block. The ball falls to the Frenchman again and he hits it on the turn but fails to get any real power behind the shot.
Early heavy tackle from Phil Jones on Benoit Assou-Ekotto, that looked pretty nasty on the replay but the Spurs left-back seems alright.
It's United who are enjoying the early possession as they knock it about in midfield.
The visitors get us underway.
The teams are out at White Hart Lane, let's hope for a cracker with United looking to close the five point gap between themselves and Manchester City.
When the sides met at Old Trafford earlier this season Ferguson's men triumphed 3-0, with goals from Rooney and Danny Welbeck who start today. There were 23 shots on target in that match.
In the 14 games between the current top five in the Premier League their have been 68 goals, which averages to nearly 4.9 per match. In the 20 matches featuring the same top five last season their were only 42 goals, just 2.10 per game.
Louis Saha starts against the club he played 124 games and scored 42 goals for.
Rio Ferdinand starts for the Red Devils and therefore will make his 450th appearance in English football.
Spurs have lost their last 25 meetings with Sir Alex Ferguson's men.
Let's have some pre-match facts ahead of kick-off at White Hart Lane...
So, Harry Redknapp leaves out Gareth Bale and Rafael van der Vaart despite suggesting earlier this week that both would play a part in the tie, with Scott Parker unavailable through suspension. Good news for the visiting side, though, who have Wayne Rooney back after illness.
Tottenham starting line-up: Friedel; Walker Kaboul King Assou-Ekotto; Lennon Livermore Sandro Modric; Adebayor Saha Subs: Cudicini, Dos Santos, Defoe, Dawson, Kranjcar, Rose, Nelsen Manchester United starting line-up: De Gea; Jones, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra; Nani Carrick Scholes Young; Rooney Welbeck Subs: Amos, Anderson, Giggs, Park. Hernandez. Fabio, Rafael
Hello and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE commentary of Tottenham's home clash with Manchester United. It's a big game for both sides this afternoon but the hosts have got a few key men out with injury. Team news in full to follow...
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