Dele Alli opens the scoring for Tottenham as United are hammered 3-0
They say goodness comes to those who wait, however – with the kickoff delayed by thirty minutes due to traffic problems around North London, it was Mauricio Pochettino’s men who were revelling in the goodness that three points bring. Dele Alli, Toby Alderweireld and Erik Lamela scored three goals in six minutes as United were blown away by a Tottenham side still with hopes of clinching their first title since 1961. Manchester United were looking to close the gap on Manchester City in fourth in a final fight for the final Champions League place, but with six games to play and an inferior goal difference – it is looking unlikely Louis van Gaal will achieve that goal.
United played well in the first half and pressed Tottenham back. However, it was the Argentine Lamela who spurned a glorious chance, heading wide when it appeared easier to score past David De Gea. The visitors rarely threatened Hugo Loris in Tottenham’s goal, however – it was Anthony Martial who had United’s best, and only, chance of the game – when he brilliantly glided in from the left hand side past two Spurs defenders, only to smash the ball straight at the French goalkeeper with the game poised at 0-0. If it was tight for the first hour, as soon as Alli opened the scoring, United fell apart.
Lamela won the ball from a scrap, which fell to Harry Kane, who swept a good pass out to Christian Eriksen. The Dane was given far too much space by substitute Matteo Darmian – who replaced the impressive Timothy Fosu-Mensah, before crossing a beautiful ball into the on rushing Alli, who slotted past David De Gea. It got worse for the Italian and United, when the fullback gave a foul away for a late tackle on Kane. Lamela swung in a deep cross from the left hand side before Alderweireld headed home under a soft challenge from Marcus Rojo. A mere two minutes had elapsed before De Gea was once again picking the ball out of the net following a powerful Lamela strike.
United were well beaten by a much better side, despite a decent first half showing, and it is highly unlikely the club will finish in a Champions League spot this season.
Matteo Darmian tussles with Harry Kane in United’s 1-0 victory over Spurs at the start of the season
Manchester United travel to White Hart Lane this afternoon, looking to pick up all three points – something they haven’t done since 2011/12 when Wayne Rooney and Ashley Young, who netted a brace, scored to beat Spurs 3-1. Fast forward four years and both clubs have very different aspirations for the season’s finale. United are preparing for an FA Cup quarter final replay against West Ham, whilst also trying to keep the pressure on fourth placed Manchester City and try and creep in to the Champions League. The hosts, on the other hand, are chasing their first English Championship since 1960/61 and have a whole array of young talent on show that are making their mark in England’s top flight.
Spurs have not lost at home since their 1-0 defeat at the hands of league leaders Leicester City, whilst United are buoyant following victory in the previous two games, including a 1-0 victory over Manchester City. United have a successful record at White Hart Lane in the Premier League era, winning 12 out of 23 games and only losing 3 times. Manuel Pochettino has done a brilliant job since arriving from Southampton in the summer of 2014 and his high pressing game has many admirers in the game, which Sir Alex Ferguson alluded to in a recent interview.
Matteo Darmian challenges Harry Kane for the ball in the 1-0 victory over Spurs
Its been 76 days since the final game of last season. Manchester United played out a drab 0-0 draw with Hull City, which saw the home side relegated to the Championship – as final games go, this was quite possibly one of the most uneventful for United fans over the past two decades. Fast forward two and a half months and a lot has happened since then. Gone are the likes of Robin van Persie, Nani, Rafael and Angel Di Maria whilst Louis van Gaal has spent big on Memphis Depay, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Morgan Schneiderlin, Sergio Romero and Matteo Darmian – with the latter impressing in his debut.
United huffed and puffed their way to a 1-0 victory against a high pressing Spurs, who were a lot more energetic than their limp display back in March against United. The home side ran out 3-0 victors that day and although the result was the same yesterday, the performance was definitely that of an opening day fixture.
Harry Kane has been linked with a £40 million move from Spurs to United
When Trevor Francis signed for Nottingham Forest from Birmingham City for over £1 million (it was actually £1,180,000) it absolutely smashed the previous British transfer record, which stood for a solitary month. Francis became the first ever £1 million player to play on these shores. The forward, who scored twelve goals in fifty two games for England, went on to win two European Cups with Brian Clough – the only club team ever to win a continental trophy more times than their domestic league title.
1979 seems a far cry ago, but the same criticism, shock and cynicism still apply to the expensive football transfers of the day. At the time, Paulo Rossi held the world transfer record, when he moved to Juventus – but the valuation of Francis proved to be a telling moment in British football, considering David Mills became the first half million pound player the month previous.
Since then we’ve seen Bryan Robson, Paul Gascoinge, Andy Cole, Dennis Bergkamp, Seba Veron, Rio Ferdinand, Robinho and Gareth Bale break the British transfer record (a player be transferred into or from the English top flight) with astronomical fees being exchanged. Harry Kane, Tottenham Hotspur’s young and prolific goal scorer, has been linked with a £40million move to Manchester United – why after one brilliant season would United part with nearly half the money made from the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo for a player with bags of potential but limited first team action?
Manchester United and Spurs battle it out in the 0-0 draw in December
Manchester United begin a run of five games that, once concluded, will give a much clearer picture as to where Louis van Gaal’s men will finish come the end of May. United welcome Tottenham Hotspur, who are also chasing a top four finish, to Old Trafford this afternoon and are in desperate need of a win to keep on the tails of Arsenal, who won handsomely against West Ham United yesterday.
Today’s fixture marks a tricky run that includes a trip away to Liverpool, Manchester City at home and a trip away to league leaders Chelsea. A resurgent Aston Villa are also travel to Old Trafford over Easter.
Spurs have picked up wins in the previous two trips to Old Trafford, beating United 3-2 with an electric performance from Gareth Bale and last season 2-1 on New Years Day. The last win for United against Spurs came back in 2011/12, with a 3-0 victory in August. How United fans would love to see a repeat of that victory today.
Robin van Persie is denied by man of the match Hugo Lloris as both sides as the game ends 0-0
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For the third season in a row, Manchester United can’t nick a win at White Hart Lane. The unbeaten run at Tottenham Hotspur’s home ground remains in tact but Mauricio Pochettino’s men have become somewhat of a bogie team for the reds. Entertaining though it was, either team could have conceivably won or lost so it was only fitting that neither did.
With United’s first unchanged Premier League line-up since late 2012, Louis van Gaal finally had the opportunity to let his squad stand on its own twenty-two legs with a consistent run of play. In typical fashion, Valencia had to go off with a mild injury, but this was a major stepping stone for the club. Finally, stability is just around the corner.
He says, awaiting tragedy…
Wayne Rooney scores in the 2-2 draw against Spurs last season
The festive games keep on coming and if you’re fed up of listening to aunt Maple moan about the “loud music of today”, then lock her in a room*, lie back on the sofa and read our Spurs view from the oppo! Wayne Rooney is in superb scoring form having picked up a very impressive brace in the 3-1 victory over Newcastle United (not to mention that he is now captain of my dream team), whilst Juan Mata is really starting to show his true class following his move from Chelsea last January.
United and Spurs are 2nd and 3rd respectively in the Premier League form league and it will be a tight affair in North London today. United are likely to be without Angel Di Maria who picked up a pelvic injury on Christmas Eve, but the visitors welcome back Luke Shaw from an ankle injury.
*Obviously, don’t lock her in a room
Emmanuel Adebayor scores for Tottenham in the 2-1 victory over Manchester United
Guest Author: Doron
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Like it or not, luck has always played a part in football (as fans of yesterday’s visitors, Spurs, will remind us of more than most by uttering the name, “Roy Carroll”). It doesn’t necessarily dictate the course of a season-long campaign but it can influence moments, short spells and momentum; determining the ebbs and flows of clusters of fixtures. It’s also something that isn’t siding with United and David Moyes this season.
To write a piece about luck may seem like a strange choice – diversionary and/or naïve – acting as if that’s all that’s going wrong at United this season. Of course, that isn’t the case but there’s no doubting that Moyes isn’t getting the rub of the green in a few key areas and in some cases it’s directly impacting the outcome of some games.
Manchester United host Spurs at Old Trafford hoping to avenge the 3-2 defeat from last season
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Manchester United welcome Tottenham Hotspur to Old Trafford for today’s New Year clash. The reverse fixture at White Hart Lane produced an exciting 2-2 draw and usually clashes between the two are full of incident. Spurs achieved their first win at Old Trafford last season since 1989 with a 3-2 but had to survive a United onslaught in the second half. An Evans OG and goals from Dempsey and Bale were enough to see Spurs home.
Since the 2-2 draw on the 1st December both sides have experienced differing fortunes. United have started to find a consistency in recent weeks whilst Spurs have had to recover from heavy defeats to Manchester City and Liverpool that resulted in the dismissal of Andre Villas-Boas. Tim Sherwood has stepped in and appeared to steady the ship for Spurs whose most recent result was a comfortable 3-0 defeat of Stoke City.
United have continued injury concerns with Van Persie, Jones and Rafael serious doubts whilst Wayne Rooney faces a late call on his fitness. Spurs have added Paulinho to an extensive injury list after Charlie Adam’s assault/tackle at Stoke City.
We sat down with Tottenham fan, Bashir Falconer to run the rule over the North London side heading into today’s teatime clash.
Manchester United travel to under fire Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday
Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur meet for the 179th time on Sunday, as United look to heap more misery on under boss André Villas-Boas, following Spurs’ demolition against Manchester City last weekend. The North London club are currently 9th in the table and despite a good start to the season, Villas Boas finds himself on the back of two defeats and the third worst goal scoring record in the league.
Only Crystal Palace and Sunderland, who occupy the bottom two spots, have scored less goals this season. When you compare Spurs’ 9 to City’s 34 or Arsenal’s 24, he highlights just how much they’ve struggled up top this term. United will be hopeful to go one better than last season, when David De Gea’s weak punch resulted in a last minute equaliser.
David Moyes will be full of confidence following the excellent 5-0 away in Leverkusen this week and will be looking to close the gap at the top following a disappointing performance and result against Cardiff City last weekend. Both Robin van Persie and Nemanja Vidic are both expected to return to action following injuries that have kept them out of the last two fixtures.