Time for Tottenham to Improve Home Record against Manchester United
United were caught cold in the first half at Old Trafford but will not let that happen again. It’s time, however, for Spurs to improve their home record against United. The last win was in a meaningless last game of the season in May, 2001 so a home win is long overdue and there’s no better time to do it than now, with United top of the Premier League.
Manchester United will be wary of the threat posed by Gareth Bale and will ensure they restrict the opportunities for him to run at their slightly vulnerable defence. Equally, Spurs are well aware of the danger of Robin van Persie whose goals are keeping United atop the League. van Persie is doing for United what he did for Arsenal in past seasons, his goals are covering up the cracks. Wayne Rooney has returned from injury, as he usually does prior to a game against Tottenham, and Spurs know the threat that he poses.
Tottenham will have to get used to life without Sandro so the fit again Scott Parker will start his first League game of the season. Clint Dempsey will return in place of Emmanuel Adebayor, absent at the Africa Cup Of Nation. Otherwise, the Tottenham team will be along the usual lines with William Gallas again fit for selection. Will Andre Villas-Boas select Gallas who did such a good job when marking his former team-mate at Old Trafford?
Time to Improve
Spurs go into their match against Manchester United knowing that they haven’t won a home game in any competition against United since 2001, a total of 11 matches. In the Premier League era Spurs have a very poor record against the traditional top ‘four’ teams of United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool. In recent years they have managed to bring an end to some shocking sequences against the other three but United have proved to be a continuing stumbling block.
Tottenham’s Home League record against Manchester United (inc. PL)
P 75 W 25 D 25 L 25 For 121 Ag 102
Home Record in Premier League:
P 20 W 3 D 5 L 12 For 22 Ag 35
Last Season’s Match
March, 2012 PL Lost 1 – 3 Defoe
Last season’s win for United levelled the overall statistics out at 25 each with United, in the process, scoring their 100th League goal at White Hart Lane as Spurs’ horrendous record against Manchester United continued. Tottenham were looking to show a positive reaction to the previous week’s defeat to Arsenal but having dominated United for much of the match, gave away three goals with poor defensive work. The first from Rooney was just before half-time, with two goals in nine minutes from Young, midway through the second half. Jermain Defoe scored a late consolation.
Tottenham’s horrendous home record in Premier League games against United in recent years has done much to improve the visitor’s overall record against Spurs, with only three home wins and twelve defeats. This has turned what was a highlight of the season from the late 1950s through to the early 1980s into a routine defeat for Tottenham who often appeared to have accepted the situation long before full-time.
The Last Tottenham Win
May, 2001 PL Won 3 – 1 Korsten (2), Ferdnand
It was the final game of the season, United were already Champions while Spurs under Glenn Hoddle managed to finish the season with a win. Spurs went ahead after seventeen minutes when Willem Korsten scored with a dipping shot from twenty yards after the ball fell to him from a corner. United were level after five minutes, Paul Scholes, but two second half goals from Korsten and Les Ferdinand brought Spurs’ season to a successful conclusion. United were under strength as were Spurs due to injuries – but after nine games in charge, Glenn Hoddle’s team finished the season in tenth position.
Team: Sullivan; Carr, Doherty, Gardner (Perry), Young; Korsten, Davies, Clemence, Leonhardsen, Etherington (Piercy); Ferdinand
It Was Looking So Good!!
The following September when United returned to White Hart Lane by half-time it was looking as if Spurs were going to have a memorable result. By the end it was unforgettable but for all the wrong reasons.
Sept. 2001 PL Lost 3 – 5 Richards, Ferdinand, Ziege
Dean Richards making his Tottenham debut put Spurs ahead after fifteen minutes, heading in from a corner. It got even better when Ferdinand increased the lead ten minutes later. On half-time, Christian Ziege headed home following a flowing Spurs movement. Perfect, or so it seemed. The one thing Spurs didn’t want to do was concede an early second half goal – they did, within the opening minute. Suddenly, there were doubts and United completed the turnaround by scoring on another four occasions.
Jan. 2011 PL Draw 0 – 0
Spurs were disappointed to take only a point from the game against United who were top of the Premier League but such is the progress that Spurs have made in recent seasons, that United were satisfied with the point and were content to use up time in any way they could.
Sept. 2009 PL Lost 1 – 3 Defoe
Spurs had had the perfect start to the season under Harry Redknapp, four wins from the first four Premier League matches. They also had the best start to this game, going ahead inside a minute through Defoe. From then on United used all their vast European experience to bully Spurs out of the game and moaning constantly in the ear of the referee, even over decisions that went their way. They drew level after twenty five minutes when Ryan Giggs scored from a free-kick for a foul by Palacios who was booked. He then was in danger of receiving a second card which United did their utmost to cause and was substituted at half-time. Before the interval, however, United took the lead and although Scholes was sent off, Rooney added a third as he once again terrorised the Tottenham defenders.
Dec. 2008 PL Draw 0 – 0
Heurelho Gomes produced a number of important saves to ensure Spurs took a point from this game.
Feb. 2008 PL Draw 1 – 1 Berbatov
Spurs were foiled once again by United, the team who never know when they’re beaten. Berbatov gave Spurs the lead midway through the first half and Spurs looked like taking the three points, even though there had been a few close calls in the final minutes. In the fourth minute of added time, United won a corner and Tevez got in front of Dawson to earn them a point and once again deny Spurs.
Memorable Matches (from a Spurs’ viewpoint)
Jan. 1996 PL Won 4 – 1 Sheringham, Campbell, Armstrong (2)
A great way to start a new year – live on television and convincingly defeating the League leaders and eventual Champions. It was probably one of the best results during Gerry Francis’ managerial reign.
Teddy Sheringham scored the first and although United equalised, Sol Campbell scored before half-time and then two goals from Chris Armstrong sealed Spurs victory. Both teams had injury problems but Spurs overcame them much better although United’s keeper Schmeichel was injured in the warm up and had to be taken off at half-time.
May, 1987 1st Div. Won 4 – 0 Thomas, M. (2), Allen, C. (p), Allen, P.
David Pleat’s team, in their final home game of the season, ahead of the FA Cup Final, had an emphatic win over United. Spurs finished the season in third while United were eleventh.
Oct. 1965 1st Div. Won 5 – 1 Johnson, Clayton, Gilzean, Greaves, Robertson
This game is remembered for the score line, for the fact that all five Tottenham forwards scored and for an outstanding goal by Jimmy Greaves. He picked the ball up inside the United half, ran at the defence, going past a number of defenders before rounding the keeper to tap the ball into an empty net – a classic Greaves goal! The other goals came from Jimmy Robertson, Alan Gilzean, Eddie Clayton and Neil Johnson making only his third appearance.
In true Tottenham style, amazingly and unfortunately for Spurs, the return game in December also ended 5-1 to the home team.