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January 16, 2011
• White Hart Lane, London
Referee: M. Dean
• Attendance: 35828
90' + 4'
FULL TIME! All over at White Hart Lane and it ends goalless. A chance missed for Spurs after Rafael was sent off in the second half. However United remain unbeaten and return to the top after a strong defensive display.
90' + 1'
A rare attack from United culminates in Giggs almost getting the better of the Spurs goalkeeper but Gomes just does enough. He does spill the ball but United have no-one on hand to profit.
Into FOUR minutes of stoppage time at the end of the game...
Brilliant defending by Hernandez! Vidic is off the pitch receiving some treatment and Lennon races into the box and just as he is about to cross he is denied by the striker!
Manchester United keep giving the ball away and it keeps coming back into their box. It's getting increasingly scrambled back there as time ticks away...
Vidic is penalised for a spot of shirt-pulling. The Serbian is furious at the decision but the referee is not going to change his mind. Another free-kick for Spurs and yet again United defend it comfortably.
Bale cuts inside with a good run but shows too much to Anderson who intercepts. However, the substitute then gives the ball away and Defoe almost profits but Fletcher is back and manages to get the ball back to Van der Sar.
Harry Redknapp urges his side forwards on the touchline as they aim to end their miserable recent record against United. Defoe scuffs a shot wide but again Spurs can't find the target.
INCHES AWAY FROM VAN DER VAART! United are caught napping from a short corner. Hernandez then gives the ball away in his own box and the Dutchman tries to curl one into the top corner and is millimetres away from scoring!
Back to our man Wayne Veysey for his thoughts: "The United team and touchline have erupted in fury following the sending-off of Rafael, who followed his horrific two-footed first half challenge with an obstruction of Assou-Ekotto. Deserved to go before the break but perhaps a little unfortunate to go in this manner. The Brazilian responded petulantly to Mike Dean's decision by kicking over a microphone on his way to the tunnel and pushing away the proferred arm-round-the-shoulder from the United kit man."
Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez
Changes all around. Palacios goes off for Spurs and Defoe comes on. Meanwhile, United almost make a change with Hernandez on for Berbatov. Two strikers joining the fray, this should be an interesting final 10 minutes or so.
Spurs monopolising the ball at the moment but without really troubling United who have everybody back behind the ball and are proving difficult to break down.
So the visitors will have to play the last 15 minutes with just 10 men. It looked a harsh decision but Spurs won't care. Can they profit and finally end Manchester United's unbeaten run?
Yellow CardWayne Rooney
RAFAEL IS SENT OFF! United down to 10 after the young full-back picks up his second yellow of the afternoon. He runs across Assou-Ekotto who takes a tumble and that's his afternoon over. United are furious and Rooney picks up a booking for voicing his opinion.
A long punt upfield is almost profitable for United. Ryan Giggs is the man to chase it but Gomes is there a fraction of a second ahead of the Welshman to claim on the very edge of his box.
Back to our man Wayne Veysey at White Hart Lane: "Spurs still look the better team and are continuing to dominate possession without carving out too many clear-cut chances. With Ferdinand and Vidic looking almost impregnable, it might require something special to break down the visitors. A very ineffective Nani has been replaced by Anderson and it could be time for a change from the home side too, in order to improve their efficiency in the final third."
Bales crosses from the right this time and it's a better delivery. Vidic almost makes a hash of it but Van der Sar manages to claim. United then attack with Fletcher trying to pick out Rooney in the box but the England international can't quite connect.
Palacios has another pop from range but yet again it's high, wide and not very handsome from the Spurs midfielder.
Another Spurs corner, but again they can't make anything of it. However, they continue to press with Lennon crossing from the right and finding Crouch at the back post, but the ball is out of play and it's a goal kick.
Sir Alex Ferguson has seen enough and opts to make a change. On comes Anderson and off goes Nani - the Portuguese has made hardly any impact on the game and so it's an early bath for Nani.
Spurs continue to attack and only a timely intervention by Vidic denies Van der Vaart a shot on goal from inside the box. The ball, however, falls to Palacios who has a pop at goal himself but gets it close to the corner flag than Van der Sar.
Yellow card for Evra who brings down Lennon right on the edge of the box. Spurs have another free-kick, Van der Vaart takes it and goes for goal but, once again, Van der Sar claims confidently.
Yellow CardPatrice Evra
Patient build-up from Spurs before eventually Modric picks up possession on the right, cuts inside before dragging his shot wide. Spurs just starting to pick up the tempo again.
Van der Vaart hits his kick straight into the wall as yet again United hold firm.
Vidic goes in late on Van der Vaart and Spurs have another free-kick on the edge of the United box. They've had a few of these types of opportunities but are yet to make one pay off.
GOOD SAVE GOMES! United looking far brighter in this half. Rooney picks up possession just inside the Spurs half. Brings the ball forward, skips past a couple of challenges before shooting and forcing a diving Gomes to tip it around the post.
It's taken 50 minutes but the visitors win their first corner of the match! Giggs swings the ball in, it's flicked on by Carrick at the near post but he can't find a team-mate to apply the finishing touch.
Another early run from Rafael who is not afraid to go forwards in this match. However, Gallas is alive to the danger and makes a good challenge on the edge of the area.
No changes for either side as Spurs kick off this second half...
45' + 2'
Over to Goal.com's Wayne Veysey at the Lane for his first-half analysis: "After a great start from Spurs with Modric conducting the orchestra, it has all fizzled out a little. United have soaked up the pressure superbly, Van der Vaart has been quiet and the first half ended scrappily. Rooney is the only United player to have had a shot in the first half. The onus is on Spurs to break United down and show what a force they have become. More needed in the final third for the home side."
45' + 2'
HALF-TIME! No goals at the break but Spurs have come the closest with Crouch and Van der Vaart both having good chances but failing to find the target. Join me after the break for all the second half action.
45' + 1'
Yellow CardDarren Fletcher
45' + 1'
Now Fletcher is booked for a foul on Bale, just seconds after Crouch escapes a yellow for a foul on Vidic. The free-kick is flung into the box but Van der Sar punches clear with both fists.
Heading into two minutes of stoppage time at the end of the first half..
GREAT CHANCE FOR VAN DER VAART! This time Bale beats Rafael and DOES manage to get in a good delivery. He finds Van der Vaart at the near post who beats Vidic but can only find the side netting with his header!
After a vibrant start this game is just starting to fizzle out and half-time may well by a welcome distraction. Too much pace and not enough precision by both teams at the moment, particularly in the final third.
Rafael does superbly to beat Bale and rampage forward and try to pick out Rooney. The striker can't control it though and the danger fades. Rooney not enjoying his best half of football here.
A touch of sloppiness creeping in as both sides are guilty of giving the ball away under no pressure. Heading towards half-time and whilst Spurs have been the better side, they have nothing to show for their efforts as yet.
Yellow CardWilson Palacios
A surging run by Rafael sees the youngster cut inside before being fouled by Palacios. It's a free-kick, Rafael then waves an imaginary yellow card and the referee obliges, booking the Spurs midfielder.
Rooney finds himself some space on the left but then wastes the opportunity by smashing the ball out of play. It may have been a cross. It may have been a shot, there is no way of knowing.
Lovely stuff by Spurs who ping the ball around with pace and precision, until they work it out to Bale who wastefully puts his cross high into the stands.
Up steps Bale who gets it on target but again a pretty tame effort and Van der Sar isn't troubled.
Another shooting chance for Spurs after Vidic is penalised for a foul on Crouch. It's almost 40 yards out but, definitely an opportunity for the hosts...
Now Evra brings down Van der Vaart as the game just starts to get a bit scrappy for the first time this afternoon.
Rafael goes in late on Palacios and is then next man to be booked. The Spurs played surround the referee immediately, they are none too impressed with the young Brazilian's antics.
Bale on the attack again but once more his cross is overhit. Hutton picks it up on the other side and manages to win a corner. Spurs play it short, the ball eventually comes to Dawson just outside of the area but he shoots wide.
Another corner to the hosts but this one is far too close to Van der Sar. Who plucks the ball out of the air and then throws out quickly to Rafael.
Good play by Rooney and Berbatov. The England man picks out Berbatov just inside the box. The Bulgarian returns the ball and Rooney smashes it goalwards but is denied by a diving Gomes who actually spills the shot but grabs it at the second attempt.
Yellow CardRafael van der Vaart
First booking of the afternoon and it goes to Van der Vaart. He pushes Rooney and then smashes the ball up the pitch, and it's for the latter offence that he sees yellow.
Bale drives past Rafael and fires in a cross, Crouch is at the back post but there's too much pace on the ball and it goes out of play on the side of the pitch for a United throw.
Back to our man Wayne Veysey at White Hart Lane: "Spurs are throwing absolutely everything at United at a rocking White Hart Lane. They're pinging the ball about with speed and style, getting Lennon on the ball and creating chances. Crouch was inches from giving them the lead after a brilliant move down the right and an early goal would be deserved. But United are the masters at soaking up pressure and killing their opponents on the counter-attack."
Nani almost catches out Assou-Ekotto who is dawdled in possession inside his own box. The Spurs full-back just does enough to get the ball clear under huge pressure from the United winger.
Another free-kick to Tottenham, Van der Vaart whips the ball in but again the visitors defend it well and it's out for a goal kick. Still, it's all Spurs at the moment.
More Spurs pressure with Lennon winning a corner which Vidic, rather unconvincing, hacks clear. It's been a great opening to this game, plenty of pace, plenty of attacking, just one thing missing but you get the feeling goals aren't very far away.
Another Spurs corner, this one is taken short to Modric. He wanders into the box, skipping past Fletcher with ease but after a bit of a scramble inside a packed box United manage to get it clear.
WHAT A CHANCE FOR SPURS! The danger comes down the right. Modric does brilliantly to feed Hutton who races forward. The full-back then sends in a superb cross for Crouch at the near post but he puts it wide from close range!
Up steps Van der Vaart who shoots, the ball beats the wall but is straight at Van der Sar who doesn't have to move and claims comfortably.
Palacios surges forward before being fouled by Carrick right on the edge of the United box. Spurs have a free-kick in a very, very dangerous area...
Early corner for the home side which Van der Vaart takes. However, the referee has seen something he doesn't like in the box, has a word with Crouch and Carrick and the kick will be retaken. However, after all that, it comes to nothing.
Back to Wayne Veysey for some more analysis: "Tottenham have beaten Inter, won at Arsenal. But beating an unbeaten Man United in a game of huge significance and consequence would probably top both those achievements. If they don't, it is the nature of Redknapp's cavaliers that they will not die wondering."
Great chance for Rooney! What a start to this game! Berbatov slides a precise ball through to his strike partner in the box and he takes a touch before smashing a shot across goal but wide of Gomes' post!
Here we go! Manchester United kick-off and we are underway at White Hart Lane! Carrick gives the ball away immediately and Bale seizes on his mistake, races down the left before crossing but the ball flies straight into Van der Sar's grateful grasp!
Goal.com's Wayne Veysey is at White Hart Lane this afternoon and here are his thoughts on the game: "Welcome from a very mild but increasingly sodden and damp White Hart Lane. A real sense of anticipation here as Spurs host the league leaders at a time of the season when they are usually so far off the title pace that they need a telescope to see the table-toppers. Not now, not in the brave new era of 'Arry's 'Otspurs. The players from both sides are currently finishing off their warm-ups. No major injury issues for either side, who have both picked strong starting elevens. Ferguson very rarely goes 4-4-2 on the really big occasion - which this qualifies as - so can we expect Wayne Rooney to start off in a wide position? Very possibly. Spurs will certainly line up in the 4-4-1-1 formation that is becoming increasingly the norm at White Hart Lane these days. Crouch is given the nod over Defoe, which is something of a surprise as Redknapp goes for height and hold-up play over pace and movement. Dawson and Gallas have just been locked in deep conversation. Hopefully there will be plenty of talking points later."
So some quick team news before kick-off. Peter Crouch leads the line for Spurs with Jermain Defoe having to make do with a place on the bench. The visitors, meanwhile, recall Edwin van der Sar, Nemanja Vidic and Wayne Rooney.
Man Utd: Van der Sar; Rafael Da Silva, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Nani, Carrick, Fletcher, Giggs; Berbatov, Rooney. Subs: Kuszczak, Owen, Anderson, Smalling, Hernandez, Scholes, Evans.
Tottenham: Gomes; Hutton, Dawson, Gallas, Assou-Ekotto; Lennon, Palacios, Modric, Bale, Van der Vaart; Crouch. Subs: Cudicini, Jenas, Pavlyuchenko, Defoe, Bassong, Kranjcar, Corluka.
Hello and welcome to Goal.com as we bring you live coverage of Tottenham Hotspur versus Manchester United! We should be in for a cracker at White Hart Lane this afternoon with a buoyant Spurs really fancying their chances of inflicting Manchester United’s first Premier League defeat of the season. However, the Red Devils seem to enjoy their visits to the Lane and will be hoping to keep their unbeaten record intact and in doing so knock neighbours Manchester City off the top of the league.
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