United score ‘usual’ Spurs win

October 31, 2010 Tags: , Matches 31 comments

Sir Alex Ferguson’s men beat Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford, with a thumping Nemanja Vidic header and a smartly taken – if loudly protested – Nani goal ensuring a fourth win on the bounce for the Reds. The win continues a run in which Spurs have never beaten United at Old Trafford during the Premier League era.

Spurs’ players protested vociferously about Nani’s goal, scored with six minutes to go, which referee Mark Clattenburg awarded following consultation with his assistant. But Heurelho Gomes committed a cardinal sin by failing to play to the whistle and Nani, coming from behind the Spurs ‘keeper, scored after the Brazilian threw the ball on the ground in expectation of a free kick.

Harry Redknapp called the decision “scandalous” but with United having been denied a penalty when the Portuguese winger fell in the box after Younes Kaboul’s shirt-pull, Nani’s quick-thinking brought an eventual reward. The ball, still being live, was there to be played deemed the officials.

“It was bizarre. No-one knew at the time what was wrong,” Ferguson told ESPN.

“One minute the goalkeeper had the ball in his hands and next it’s in his net. Nani looked back and looked at the referee and the referee said play on, so what can he do but put the ball in the net?

“You can look at the referee and look at the linesmen and blame them, but the goalkeeper should know better. He’s an experienced goalkeeper. I thought he made a mess of it.

“The referee played on because the goalkeeper took possession of the ball. He then went to take a free kick thinking it was a foul. He made an error.”

The goal provided a controversial end to the match but in truth United fully deserved the victory following an outstanding defensive display and controlled second half performance.

The visitors brought, arguably, its best team to Old Trafford in a generation but failed to create any significant chances after the break despite matching United during open play for much of the game. For all Tottenham’s attractive football it too often lacked an end product.

Yet, Spurs’ midfield offered much to admire, with Rafael van der Vaart always threatening until a 77th minute injury forced the Dutchman off.

United had the better of the opening exchanges though, with Park Ji-Sung’s outstanding low driving rebounding off Gomes’ right-hand post. The South Korean’s form has been little short of abysmal this season but this was better by far.

Anything the Korean could do, van der Vaart matched, with the Dutchman similarly hitting the woodwork with a long-range drive minutes later. But Gomes’ almost gifted United the opening goal, spilling Michael Carrick’s drive and recovering moments before Javier Hernandez could drive the ball home.

It mattered little though, with United taking the lead from a set piece, after Nani’s swinging free-kick was met by a Vidic’s outstanding header. The Serbian is always a threat but Spurs’ poor marking hardly helped the Londoners’ cause.

Not that the visitors were ever out of the game – Luka Modric brought an excellent save from van der Sar, volleying Jermaine Jenas’ floated corner and Gareth Bale ran 40 yards before driving wide with his unfavoured right foot.

United remained in control though, with Rio Ferdinand and Vidic excellent, ably supported by Rafael da Silva and Patrice Evra on the flanks. Darren Fletcher and Carrick played their part as the defensive screen too, making 11 interceptions in the match; 10 more than the Spurs’ midfield put together.

The came the bluster of the final minutes. Spurs claimed an injustice, surrounding the officials for a full five minutes after the final whistle, but with referee Clattenburg later explaining that he had awarded Gomes the advantage it is hard to see what grounds the visitors had.

“It was a little bit strange,” added Fletcher.

“The referee said the ball was still in play, so when the goalkeeper’s put it down Nani’s put the ball in the back of the net, it was quick thinking on his part.

“I felt it was a penalty anyway, so maybe a little bit of justice.”

Indeed it was. After all, Spurs gave it away. The ball, not the match that is. United deservedly won that.

Match Facts
United – 442 – Van der Sar; Da Silva (Brown 64), Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Nani, Carrick, Fletcher, Park; Berbatov (Scholes 64), Hernandez (Obertan 87).

Spurs – 4411 – Gomes; Hutton, Kaboul, Gallas, Assou-Ekotto; Lennon, Jenas (Palacios 66), Modric, Bale; Van der Vaart (Crouch 77); Keane (Pavlyuchenko 62).

Attendance – 75,223
Man of the Match – Vidic

Possession: United 48% – 52% Spurs
Attempts: 18 – 11
On target: 10 – 5
Corners: 1 – 4
Fouls: 12 – 10


Whizzle Blower - October 31, 2010 Reply

Who the hell wants to read crap like this? I’m no Spurs fan but clearly Gomes thought it was a free kick, that’s why he didn’t belt it up field. But he should have played to the whistle, sure. Clattenburg apparently didn’t see the handball at the time and when the linesman flagged he overruled, saying it was an advantage (but if there’s no advantage he’s meant to call play back, no?). The thing that bothers most right-thinking football fans is that once the ref ushered all the Spurs players away, he let Rio stay and shout at the linesman. Now that really does only happen at OT. The reality for Utd is that they will soon lose more of these games than they win. Perhaps this is why they’re so touchy these days. And losing £80m a season doesn’t help.

Ed - October 31, 2010 Reply

Whizzle Blower – Does of course help if you get your facts right. Clattenburg has said that he played an advantage. Gomes had possession and therefore the advantage, its not up to him to decide if it’s a foul or not. Horrendous error by the goalkeeper, everything else is within the laws of the game. Perfectly correct decision by Clattenburg despite the London media’s desperate attempt to paint Spurs as martyrs.

Josh - October 31, 2010 Reply

“The reality for Utd is that they will soon lose more of these games than they win”

How exactly have you come to that conclusion? I think people have made their minds up about United’s inevitable demise already, without actually watching them play.

Just to remind you that United were already winning – and were the better team – before the contentious goal yesterday.

RobDiablo - October 31, 2010 Reply

Kudos to Sir Alex for having the stones to play 4-4-2, and Kudos to the side for making it work. Some bizarro substitutions on Sir Alex’s part; Rafael was doing a fine job. Also, we had no strikers on the field at the end. Still, a win is a win.

Clattenberg could have saved himself a great deal of trouble by giving the penalty and showing Kaboul his second yellow card. I wonder who would have taken the penalty, and how they would have done?

monoet - October 31, 2010 Reply

keeping park makes sense…

Toogs - October 31, 2010 Reply

King, Dawson, Corluka out is our strong defence yeh? Defoe missing is our strongest outfit yeh? Learn about other clubs first teams before you make comments like that. Your defense wasn’t good, our strikers are just shocking, Fletcher and carricks interceptions all came from jenas being a shite passer of the ball, once again huddlestone was
Injured. We played better football than you in the game, but I’m no clueless arsenal supporter and I’m not guna sit here and say we deserved the win based on passing. Fac iswe haven’t got a kille r instinct
Without defer

Ed - October 31, 2010 Reply

Toogs – typical Spurs fan. I praise the side and you still turn it into an attack! Fast becoming the Scousers of the South. Shall we hold a minute’s silence for you?

mongoletsi - November 1, 2010 Reply

I like the way he finishes on an unintelligible rant.

“Scousers of the South” indeed :o)

baggio365 - October 31, 2010 Reply

yeah the rafael substitution was odd. he was doing a good job on bale and made himself useful going forward. maybe fergie just wanted to bring on some fresh legs, give bale has a reputation for finishing strongly, but who knows

and did macheda pick up an injury midweek? or is there another reason he wasnt in the squad

all up a good performance by us. but watch van der vaart and modric pull the strings in spurs midfield, does make you wonder…

KD - October 31, 2010 Reply

It was Park’s best game this season by a long way

Mariyiddo - October 31, 2010 Reply

Considering we had injuries I thought we played well yesterday. We were toothless up front and van der vaart was the only one of our players who ever looked like actually converting a chance. In all honesty even though we played just as well as Man United in some periods during the game, It all means nothing if we can’t score. The second goal ruined what was a entertaining match. I was more upset about how Nani celebrated than how he scored! Oh well, no point dwelling over something that can’t be undone. We’ve got some important matches coming up. Well done Man U and good luck for the rest of your season. COYS!!

RobDiablo - October 31, 2010 Reply

Bringing the game into disrepute. In my opinion, no one does it better than the FA and its officials. Mark Clattenburg, who, in his previous match, like so many other referees this year, could hardly wait to reduce Arsenal’s opponents to ten men*, refused to award United a clear cut penalty when Younes Kaboul fouled Nani in the penalty area. Everything that happened afterwards is pretty much a result of his dishonesty and/or lack of judgement.

Spurs fans will feel hard done by, of course, but had Clattenburg been doing his job, their side would have been reduced to ten men and United given a very good opportunity to double their lead. Whether or not the penalty had been converted, a ten-man Spurs side, having lost their most influential player through injury, hardly seemed likely to get a result. Look on the bright side: having avoided a deserved sending off, Younes Kaboul is available for your next match.

*Boyata deserved his red card.

SKW - October 31, 2010 Reply

Thought Park played great and more than backed my supposition that we keep him. A mostly dull game, but UTD never really looked like losing. Nani looked a player at times, too (can’t say I liked his goal, though).

Most troubling aspect was Berbatov. He’s back to looking anonymous and out of sink, throwing his arms up, passing to no one, not getting near the goal. Seems his good start to the season was just a “blip.” Old Berba is back.

Red isn't dead - October 31, 2010 Reply

Whizzle Blower you sound more angry than coherent. Didn’t Tottenham players surround the referee and linesman after Huddlestone’s effort at Craven Cottage? Don’t all teams when there’s a controversial decision? This isn’t a United, or an Old Trafford thing.

I feel sorry for Spurs – you need to be playing these games with most of your big players on the pitch – and with both first choice centre backs out – you’re handicapped before a ball has been kicked.

Great win for United, Nani was terrific again. It begs the question – when Valencia is fit again, will he come back on the right with Nani shunted on the left? There’s little doubt right midfield is Nani’s best position. He’s winning games for us there.

odbpowell - October 31, 2010 Reply

Love it, one moment everyone’s cussing Park, the next they’re singing his praises! As I said in last week’s post, we need to keep him as he’s a great little player, not just because of his versatility and work rate.

Rafael was brilliant. If he can iron out the odd reckless challenge and needless bookings then he has the RB slot nailed down. Only thing against him is his height makes him easy to target.

Carrick, too, was much better and more incisive with his passing. Good for his confidence.

Will Berba stop having a moan and throwing his arms about every time someone doesn’t pass him the ball? Jesus, fair enough if you yourself have a faultless game, but not if you play as badly as he did yesterday.

RobDiablo - October 31, 2010 Reply

Unregistered User said:
Love it, one moment everyone’s cussing Park, the next they’re singing his praises! As I said in last week’s post, we need to keep him as he’s a great little player, not just because of his versatility and work rate.

Will Berba stop having a moan and throwing his arms about every time someone doesn’t pass him the ball? Jesus, fair enough if you yourself have a faultless game, but not if you play as badly as he did yesterday.

Park did have his best game of the season – so far, but if you watched the match, you should have noticed that almost none of his contribution came from the left wing – a position where I and several other of his erstwhile detractors hate to see him play. He should be used in a three-man midfield, and should be kept while Gibson and Anderson are sold ASAP.

The willingness of some supporters to overlook Nani’s behavior on the pitch coupled with the alacrity with which they condemn Berbatov’s astounds me. Nani averages three injuries and subsequent recoveries a match, is constantly complaining to the officials about every decision that goes against him – be it a tackle he mistimed, a ball that goes out off him, etc., and, yesterday, he had a hissy-fit to rival Dogbreath’s epileptic seizure after being booted in the chest by Evans last year. Add in Nani’s classless celebration after scoring a controversial goal, and I’d say his behavior is both shocking and in serious need of correction. I, too, would like to see Dimitar’s body language and patience with his teammates improve, but I’ll take his behavior over Nani’s. Also, I didn’t notice that Berbatov played badly yesterday; why would you say that?

captainhormone - October 31, 2010 Reply

why? because he was shit……overrated player, big time bottler is berbatov…not what we need!!!

nani can keep diving if it makes him the player he can be…rather him dive than be victim of a dive ,,,fuck em all

RobDiablo - October 31, 2010 Reply

You do realize that your answer is the slightly more wordy equivalent of “because”, don’t you? What did Bertatov do or fail to do yesterday? And don’t say score, as that holds true for all but two players in yesterday’s match.

Fazal - October 31, 2010 Reply

Finally this team beginning to click into gear!Our midfield is still poor compared to the top teams. Even against Spurs they look weaker-Bale,Van der Vaart,Modric and Lennon compared to Nani,Fletcher,Carrick and Park.Spurs have come a long way; we have remained stagnant. Loved it when Scholes came on and passed the ball around.Park was excellent,electric and full of running-he hasn’t played like that in ages. Even Carrick seem to be bothered-though asking him to run forward with the ball is still too much to ask!
Problem was our midfield was too far behind the attack. Berbatov was unwilling to track back and Chicharito’s game is to stretch the opponents defence so huge gaps apprered at times. We need a midfieder willing to run forward with the ball and feed the attack quickly.
Solid defence performance all round. Van der Sar as reliable as ever. Let’s hope Fergie’s pride doesnt get in the way of geeting a top midfielder in Jan cause this is exactly what we need-a playmaker!!
Nani is becoming a Ronaldo in every sense of the word. Definite penalty though…poor refree and even poorer lineman!!

bman - October 31, 2010 Reply

Berbatov didn’t do all that much, he just didn’t have an impact on the game. hernandez’ impact wasn’t much more significant either though. Taking Berba off and putting Scholes on was the right decision; it wasn’t defensive or offensive, it was just replacing a player who wasn’t affecting the game with one who would.

I think a real midfield enforced might be even more important to us than an outright playmaker. When our “wide” players tuck in so often like Nani and Park did yesterday, they’re performing the attacking midfielder role anyway. Nani doesn’t usually stay wide like Valencia does, even when he plays on the right.

I think Schweinsteiger would be perfect for us: he’s a bit like Fletcher in that he’s a well-rounded midfielder, only better. The two of them combined would give us a brilliant central midfield: both able to break up the opponents’ play, both able to go forward and distribute too.

bman - October 31, 2010 Reply

I was also very surprised Anderson wasn’t even on the bench yesterday.

uncleknobheadforfucksake - November 1, 2010 Reply

nani diving potentially wins us pens, good for us

berbatov moaning at someone out of embarrassment that one of his shit flicks hasn’t come off yet again, not good for us

RobDiablo - November 1, 2010 Reply

bman said:
Berbatov didn’t do all that much, he just didn’t have an impact on the game.

I think a big part of that was due to his spending a lot of time on the left flank. If United could field a real left winger, he might have been able to spend more time in the box and doing the things a striker should be doing. Park had his best game of the season yesterday, but it might have come at the cost of pushing Berbatov out of position.

uncleknobheadforfucksake - November 1, 2010 Reply

I knew this would happen after the liverpool hattrick, he thinks he’s made it, his works done, get him out

bman - November 1, 2010 Reply

uncleknobheadforfucksake said:
I knew this would happen after the liverpool hattrick, he thinks he’s made it, his works done, get him out

I don’t get that impression at all. If anything Berbatov’s problem is the opposite of overconfidence.

herbie simms - November 1, 2010 Reply

Its Liverpool v Chelsea next, and although I would hope Chelsea wins just to send Liverpool back down into the relagation zone, I will be looking for a Liverpool win so United can close the gap on Chelsea. We should be able to hammer Wolves at OT, but I’m sure Wolves will pack their defence, hoping for a draw.

RobDiablo - November 1, 2010 Reply

I will definitely be hoping for draw, but a Liverpool win would be acceptable. Wouldn’t it be amusing if they beat City to that coveted forth CL spot?

As for our match against Wolverhampton, I worry that Sir Alex will be tempted to put out a side resembling the one that beat Wolves in the Carling Cup.

odbpowell - November 1, 2010 Reply

I thought Berbatov was good, just not good enough to justify his stupid hissy fits when he doesn’t get the ball exactly when and where he wants it.

If we was Maradona, I could excuse it, but right now he’s not playing like that. He’s doing OK, but not spectacularly.

I’m not an anti-Berba type by the way.

herbie simms - November 1, 2010 Reply

Looking at Man City, I believe they will struggle to make that 4th spot. They don’t play all that well, more of a physical team, like to bully opponents in order to win matches. They now have a problem with Tevez that they would need to sort out.

sidney - November 1, 2010 Reply

Herb, City will be out of title contention by Christmas. They’ve lost 3 already FFS poor show

herbie simms - November 1, 2010 Reply

And the manager will be fired!

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