Tottenham secured their second successive win against Manchester United at Old Trafford with goals from Emmanuel Adebayor and Christian Eriksen. A thoroughly deserved win for Tim Sherwood’s team who move above United and into 6th place a point behind Everton.
Manchester United 1 Tottenham Hotspur 2
Scorers: Adebayor, Eriksen Welbeck
Team: Lloris; Walker, Chiriches, Dawson, Rose; Lennon, Capoue (Bentaleb), Dembele, Eriksen; Adebayor Chadli), Soldado (Kane) Subs: (unused) Friedel, Fryers, Fryers, Lamela
Tim Sherwood made three changes from the team which defeated Stoke last weekend. With the two first choice full backs available, Kyle Walker and Danny Rose returned with Etienne Capoue replacing the injured Paulinho. With Jermain Defoe injured, Harry Kane returned to the bench following his back injury.
As expected Wayne Rooney was available to start for United along with their young star, Adnan Januzaj. Michael Carrick was also included in the United midfield.United started the game at a quick pace forcing Tottenham to defend in depth. The home side looked to play the ball forward quickly in behind the Spurs defence and Hugo Lloris had to be quick to get out to the edge of the box to clear the ball with a diving punch after 30 seconds. United threatened with their tempo, delivering crosses and with players getting forward into the area. The ball fell to Smalling in the box but Lloris managed to get behind the ball and it squirmed out for a corner. In the first ten minutes Spurs held firm and then started to show they could be dangerous on the counter-attack.
After 13 minutes, Adebayor took the ball out of his own half and played it to Roberto Soldado who split the United defence wide open with a through ball to Aaron Lennon. He shot first time but it was blocked by the goalkeeper with his foot. Two minutes later another break enabled Lennon to cross towards Adebayor but it was cleared.
Having weathered the early United pressure, Spurs had greater control and their passing improved. Michael Dawson was getting himself into positions where he could get clearances in as United continued with the long ball forward.
After 30 minutes Adebayor shot past and then four minutes later he opened the scoring with a header from a cross by Christian Eriksen after another break which started with Walker to Soldado and then Eriksen on the right.
On 38 minutes a cross by Lennon was met by Soldado but the ball hit his shin and went past the post. Spurs were showing great effort and commitment as they ensured United couldn’t get back into the game. United had started well but as the half went on Spurs took control and were very comfortable.United again tried to start quickly but Spurs continued to play in a controlled and composed way – defending as required but looking dangerous on the break when the opportunity arose. An early high ball forward by United came to Welbeck but Lloris saved as the striker shot weakly. Another long ball forward was cleared by the goalkeeper and then Welbeck went down but Chiriches had pulled clear of making a challenge. After 66 minutes, Adebayor broke from his own half and played the ball to Soldado who found Lennon who cut into the area and his cross was headed home bravely by Eriksen.
A minute later, United pulled a goal back – a ball was played in for Welbeck who lifted the ball over Lloris. Chiriches was slow to react to the through ball, looking first to see if the goalkeeper was coming to gather.
This set United up for a grandstand finish as they poured forward but Spurs stood firm and looked dangerous on the counter. It was all action in the Spurs defence but Dawson and Chiriches stood rock solid and Lloris saved in a scramble in front of his goal. On the counter Spurs had a break by Chadli, a Dembele shot was blocked and Lennon worked his way into a scoring position after good play by Kane but the goalkeeper saved his effort.
In the final minutes as United pressed Lloris had to take decisive action. In the 87th minute he rushed to the edge of his box but Young lifted the ball over him and Dawson headed clear. On 89 minutes he saved low to his left from a shot by Rooney and from the corner saved low to his right. Lennon cleared off the line as Spurs held on. In added time Spurs controlled their passing and denied United the chance to equalise, Lloris heading clear when the ball was played through to the edge of his area.
A fantastic performance from every Spurs player who worked tirelessly for Spurs and their manager what a changed performance from their last visit to the city.
Two wins at Old Trafford in two seasons – well done Tottenham, it was thoroughly deserved.