Manchester United 2 - 3 Tottenham Hotspur: AVB’s Spurs stun United
Andre Villas-Boas was ecstatic after his Tottenham side earned their first away win against Manchester United since 1989.
Manchester United - Nani 51; Kagawa 53
Tottenham Hotspur - Vertonghen 2; Bale 32; Dempsey 52
Villas-Boas achieved what Spurs’ previous ten managers couldn’t as his side took a 2-0 lead in a stunning first-half display and held on for a 3-2 win at Old Trafford.
Jan Vertonghen and Gareth Bale set them on their way before three goals in as many minutes left the game in the balance. Nani cut the deficit but Clint Dempsey immediately made it 3-1, only for Shinji Kagawa to hit back once more.
Tottenham held on despite a tide of pressure from United and a relieved Villas-Boas said afterwards: “We were tremendous today, the players put in the effort and intensity to get a result.
“The first half was totally different from the second but we can be proud of each other. It was an electric first 15 minutes of the second half but you can see from the desire to hold on to such a historic result that we can count on each other to do big things.”
The Portuguese saluted his side after illness had left them with some significant doubts over their line-up.
He said: “Gareth [Bale] was unable to train this week with the flu and [Gylfi] Sigurdsson has been ill the last two days, so the team are exhausted from the effort they put in. You have to give compliments to everybody on a special night like this but it doesn’t stop here, we have so many important games to play. We go to [Panathinaikos] and we need a result to give us a strong position in the [Europa League] group, then we have Aston Villa two days after. It is important to continue from this.”
Dempsey added: “It’s awesome, it’s always so difficult and it’s the first time in so long so we’re excited about it.
“It was a rollercoaster, we did well in the first half to go 2-0 up. Then they scored, we answered quickly, they responded again and in the second half it was like chasing shadows. But we showed a lot of character, we ground out a result and we got three points.”
There were only two minutes on the clock when Vertonghen strode between Nani and Michael Carrick, drove into the United box and found the corner of Anders Lindegaard’s net.
The Belgian’s shot did take a significant deflection off Jonny Evans, but Vertonghen deserved his slice of good fortune
Bale made it two when he sped past Ferdinand and into the box before beating Anders Lindegaard rather too easily.
There was a burst of three goals in four minutes soon after the break. Substitute Wayne Rooney provided the assist for Nani’s close-range effort.
Robin Van Persie could claim the credit for United’s second as he threaded a precise pass through the Tottenham defence that allowed Kagawa to beat Spurs goalkeeper Brad Friedel.
Crucially, though, Tottenham struck their third goal in between United’s brace, Bale once again exposing poor defending as he surged forward, and when Lindegaard was unable to hold the Welshman’s low shot, Dempsey was on hand to slot home.
Villas-Boas’ opposite number Sir Alex Ferguson said: “It was quite a game. The first half we never started, didn’t get into the game.
“From there we were just playing against the wind. The second half we played fantastic, just trying to get something from the game, and I think we were very unlucky.
“I think the attitude changed, that was the important thing. Wayne [Rooney]’s ability does help but the attitude of the players was excellent everywhere on the pitch.”
United had a host of penalty appeals turned down, with both their goalscorers going down under challenges in the area and handball shouts against both Sandro and William Gallas.
“There were quite a few,” said Ferguson. “I think the one in the first half was a clear penalty kick, but maybe Nani made a meal of it and he didn’t need to do that. He was clearly pulled back. The ones in the second half, I’m not so sure.”
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
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