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Manchester United (Scholes 35′, Berbatov 36′) 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur (Pavlyuchenko 5′)
Stadium: Old Trafford, England
Competition: F.A. Cup, Fourth Round
Date: 24 January 2009
Kickoff: 17:15 GMT, 12:15 ET
Manchester United eliminated Tottenham, 2-1, in their Fourth Round F.A. Cup matchup. Soccerlens brought you the action live! Click below for the liveblog and feel free to leave comments below!
Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur both had difficult victories during the Carling Cup Semi-Finals in midweek, and as a result, they’ll be without many of their top-choice players when they meet in their Fourth Round F.A. Cup tie. United, which held off a late Derby County surge to book passage in the Carling Cup Final in March, lost Rafael for a month as a result of a torn hamstring, and saw Nani, Anderson, Gary Neville, and Jonny Evans pick up knocks to add to their lengthening injury list, which already includes Rio Ferdinand, Wayne Rooney, and Patrice Evra. We can probably expect to see Darren Fletcher fill in at right-back, we might see more of James Chester in central defense, and we could see the the long-awaited debut of Zoran Tosic on the wing.
Meanwhile, Spurs, who nearly blew a 4-1 advantage and needed extra-time goals from Roman Pavlyuchenko and Jermaine Defoe in order to get past stubborn Burnley, have ruled out goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes, Jonathan Woodgate, Michael Dawson, and Aaron Lennon, and will wait and see on Verdan Corluka, Jermaine Jenas, Pavlyuchenko, Ledley King, and want-away striker Darren Bent. Harry Redknapp has had success at Old Trafford, and famously upset United during last-year’s F.A. Cup Quarter-Finals. However, he’s already sounding like someone who has written off the F.A. Cup, preferring to focus on defending the Carling Cup and staving off relegation.
Regardless of who plays and who does not, we should see a spirited affair between two loaded squads. Which of these two injury-depleted teams will survive? Tune in and find out!
Manchester United: Foster, O’Shea, Neville (c), Vidic, Fabio, Welbeck, Carrick, Scholes, Ronaldo, Berbatov, Tevez.
Subs: Kuszczak, Giggs, Tosic, Fletcher, Possebon, Chester, Eckersley.
Interesting team for United. Fabio will get his first start of the season in place of his twin brother, Rafael (although I’m sure they been secretly switching between the two of them for the last few months). Evans will miss out and he’ll be replaced by Vidic. The midfield situation bears watching as Welbeck should start on the wing in place of Nani, Scholes comes in for Anderson, Carrick returns for Gibson, and Ronaldo replaces Giggs. Former Spur Berbatov will start up front with Tevez.
Tottenham Hotspur: Alnwick, Gunter, Corluka, Dawson (c), Assou-Ekotto, Bentley, Huddlestone, Zokora, Bale, Modric, Pavlyuchenko.
Subs: Gomes, Gilberto, Giovani, Taarabt, Defoe, Rocha, Dervite.
Only three changes to the side that lost to Burnley in midweek. Corluka will come in for Woodgate at center-back, Bale will start for O’Hara on the left wing, and Pavlyuchenko will start up front in place of Defoe. Dawson looks fit to play after all, and Corluka has seemingly recovered from the slight knock he took in midweek. No room for Bent on the bench, which should only add to the speculation surrounding him.
90′ + 4 Zokora plays it over-the-top to Defoe, who is behind the defense. He’s on-sides, but can’t control it. Taarabt tries to get around Tosic, and they’re both throwing their hands pretty wildly, but no call from the refs. Desperate last offensive from Spurs and they’re demanding a hand-ball on Scholes on a blocked cross into the box, but no call on that, either. There’s the whistle and we’re done! United advance and Spurs are out of the F.A. Cup! Thanks to everyone who followed along! I’ll see you next time!
90′ + 3 Tevez gets booked for throwing an arm out and impeding Zokora. Free kick goes into the box and United clear it away.
90′ + 2 Put me out of my misery, please! This second half has been a snoozer.
90′ Four added minutes.
89′ Tosic with a nice move to send it to Berbatov. He chests it down and lays if off to Tevez, but he can’t get his shot off.
88′ Taarabt tries to send it through to Pavlyuchenko, however the two have miscommunication and Taarbat sends it behind him.
86′ Welbeck is hurt after a collision with Dawson, and he’s limping noticeably. Fletcher will come in to replace him.
85′ Good run from Ekotto down the left and he threads in a cross that Giovanni gets his head on but can’t get it on target. It’s out for a goal-kick.
84′ Tosic shows some stepovers of his own (looks like he’s been learning from the best) and he tries to send in a cross into the box for Tevez, but it’s cleared away.
83′ Vidic gives away a needless corner against Defoe. I haven’t seen Vidic play this badly in a while. Taarabt sends it in, but it’s cleared away by United.
80′ Tevez gets it on the edge of the box, and he hesitates against Corluka. He ultimately loses possession to Alnwick.
78′ Free kick deflects off Tevez and Berbatov sends out to Scholes. His shot is blocked and it’s out to Carrick. He shoots from long-range and it’s way off target.
77′ Eckersley gets fouled by Taarabt and United will have a free kick from deep down the right flank.
74′ Poor long pass from Neville that’s meant for Welbeck and it’s out for a Spurs throw-in.
73′ Tosic loses it to Giovanni, and the United debutante gets called for a foul after he tries to get the ball back. Welcome to the big time, kid.
72′ Here comes Defoe. He’ll come in for Bentley. Meanwhile, we’ll see the United debut of Tosic as he’s on for Ronaldo.
71′ Great pass from Tevez to Ronaldo on the long-ball from Foster. He can’t control it, otherwise he might have had a goal. Defoe is coming in for Spurs.
69′ Berbatov tries to play it through to Scholes, but its behind him.
68′ Bale will come off for Spurs and will be replaced by Taarabat.
67′ Ronaldo with a quick shot on goal that Alnwick is able to save.
65′ Gunter is open down the right wing, but his pass back to Bentley is poor, and he can’t get enough power on his shot to bother Foster.
63′ Huddlestone with some good defense to cut out Scholes’ return pass to Tevez, which would have put the Argentine through to goal.
62′ It was an exciting first half, but the pace has really slowed down to a snail’s crawl. Neither side seems to be attacking with much conviction. I think both sides would be okay if this were the final result.
61′ Free kick goes into the box towards Pavlyuchenko, but United clear it away from danger.
60′ Poor first touch from Vidic and he gives it away to Giovanni. Vidic then commits the hard foul on Giovanni to keep him from getting past him, and Vidic is booked.
57′ Neville with a poor clearance from the Dawson’s cross. It goes to Bentley, who fires a good shot from long-range that is just wide of the near post.
56′ Not a lot of urgency from Spurs here. The commentators think they could biding their time until the 80th minute so it’s less time for United to come back. Or maybe they wouldn’t mind going out of the F.A. Cup so they can concentrate on other things…
55′ O’Shea and Ronaldo play the nice one-two-three, but the fourth pass is behind O’Shea and Spurs take over.
53′ Fabio is down on the pitch, and he looks like he’s in pain. Will be join his brother on the sidelines? We’ll see, but it’s a shame if so. He’s played very well today. Richard Eckersley gets up and he’ll be coming in for Fabio.
52′ Tevez lays it off to Welbeck down the right wing, but his cross is a poor one and it’s out for a goal-kick. Growing pains…
49′ Ronaldo gets the long pass from Foster and he sends it to Berbatov, who makes his run down the center. He lays it back to the left for Ronaldo, and he tries to slip a cross to Scholes right in front of goal, but it’s out for a corner. Short corner to Tevez, but he gets closed off and United have to reset their offense.
47′ Long cross from the right wing from Bentley to the far post where Bale beats O’Shea easily. He gets a free look at the goal, but his shot is off target. Not a good showing from O’Shea there.
46′ Spurs kick off and we’re underway!
46′ Giovanni Dos Santos (yes, he still plays for Tottenham) comes on for Modric. Not sure if Modric is hurt or if Harry is just trying to send a message. Could be either one, especially since Modric did nothing in the first half.
Very entertaining match so far, especially for two teams that were missing as many key players as these two were. Spurs shocked everyone by taking an early lead, but United came back and really turned this match in their favor. We’ll see if the lead holds or Spurs can mount a comeback. And remember, Harry Redknapp knows a little bit about winning late at Old Trafford…
45′ + 2 United kick it around some more, and it looks like they’ll be content to take the 2-1 lead into the half. There’s the whistle and we’re at halftime!
45′ + 1 Two minutes will be added on.
45′ United kick it around and it looks like they’re going to play keep-away for a while. Neville decides to go for the cross into the box, and it’s cleared away.
44′ Modric gets past Welbeck and takes on Neville. He sends a cross back towards Pavlyuchenko, but it’s cleared away.
42′ Bentley tries his luck from long-range, but it’s over the crossbar. Back the other way as Berbatov slots a good pass through to Carrick. Unfortunately for Carrick, he was facing the wrong way, otherwise, he could have had a chance.
40′ United fans are making fun of City. Presumably for losing to Nottingham Forest in the last round of the F.A. Cup, but let’s face it, they could be making fun of them for any number of things. Kaka staying at Milan, Robinho going AWOL, shelling out all that money for De Jong when they could have waited until the end of the season and gotten him at a fraction of the price, Craig Bellamy. Take your pick.
39′ Carrick with a dangerous pass across the edge of his own box to Scholes. Luckily for him, no one in a white shirt was paying attention.
36′ GOAL! Well things have certainly changed, haven’t they? Great long pass from Carrick to Berbatov, who times his run perfectly once again, and he takes advantage of the center-backs playing high up the pitch, and easily beats Alnwick. The two ex-Spurs combine to hurt their old club…
35′ GOAL! Tevez makes a move to get around Huddlestone, who throws an elbow, but doesn’t get called. He takes on Ekotto and it’s out for a corner. The corner goes out to Scholes, who fires a shot that deflects off Huddlestone and it’s past Alnwick for the goal! They’re giving it to Scholes, but I have a feeling that might get changed to an own-goal.
32′ Welbeck tries some more fancy moves, but Ekotto stays on him and wins the goal-kick. Somewhere, Nani is watching and is getting VERY nervous. We haven’t even seen Tosic yet.
31′ Pavlyuchenko goes down VERY easily at the edge of the box, but the ref is not fooled.
30′ The ball looks like it may have hit Dawson’s arm, but no call from the refs. Modric gets fouled at the center line. Wow, I forgot Modric was even playing.
28′ Welbeck’s showing all of his tricks as he tips it over Ekotto’s head and then tries to go around him to regain possession. Ekotto isn’t fooled, though, and knocks it away.
27′ Bentley’s free kick from about 30 yards is cleared by United, but Tottenham get it back. Huddlestone sends a long cross towards the far post from the left edge of the box, but Foster makes the nice interception
26′ Free kick to Tottenham in a dangerous area as Fabio is called for a foul on Bentley.
25′ Nifty move from Welbeck to lift a cross past Ekotto, who seemed to have him closed down. O’Shea gets it and tries to send a long cross to Ronaldo, but it’s long.
24′ O’Shea with dangerous cross that Corluka just taps out for a corner. Poor corner that fails to clear the first defender, but United keep possession.
23′ Great bit of skill from Berbatov as he taps Fabio’s cross right to Tevez. He tries one from the edge of the box, and it’s out for a corner. Carrick whips in the corner, but Dawson clears it away. I have to say, Fabio and Welbeck have been very good so far. It’s almost unfair how United keep getting these guys.
22′ Ronaldo tries his luck from long-range and it’s just over the crossbar. They’re knocking on the door.
20′ Welbeck makes a nice move into the box after getting the pass back from Berbatov. He looks like he’s free, but his shot just gets deflected out for a corner. On the corner it’s knocked out to Scholes, who tries his luck from outside the box. It’s well over the crossbar for a goal-kick.
19′ Almost a miscue from Foster as Huddlestone gets deep down the left wing and heads it to the center of the box. Foster comes way off his line, even though he had three or four guys blocking his path. Luckily for him, Vidic is there to clear it away.
18′ Tevez has two chances as his first shot is blocked, but he gets it back and fires a hard shot from the edge of the box that beats Alnwick easily and hits the crossbar. That was close.
17′ United go on the attack as Fabio cuts out the pass and leads his teammates forward. Berbatov sends it right to Tevez, who tries to cross it to Ronaldo, but it’s too hard and Gunter clears it.
16′ Free kick to Bentley, as Fabio is called for the foul. Huddlestone tries to feed it to Pavlyuchenko again, but United knock it away.
15′ Ekotto is down on the pitch, right as United are about to break. It looks like Welbeck caught him on the foot, so it’s probably fair that the ref stopped play. No foul call on Welbeck, though.
13′ O’Shea sends a cross from the right wing towards Ronaldo. He heads it down to Tevez, who tries to roundhouse kick the ball, but he misses. Ball goes out to Scholes, who tries to feed it to Berbatov, but Alnwick is out to collect it.
12′ Welbeck makes some nifty moves along with right wing as he gets past a couple of defenders and tries to slide it through to Tevez. Its too much for him to handle, though.
11′ Scholes with a nice long pass to Berbatov, who times his run perfectly. Ekotto does well to close him off, so Berbatov has to shoot across the goal, and he pulls his effort just wide.
9′ The Tottenham fans in attendance are booing Berbatov every time he touches the ball. Well, that should be helpful for me. Man, those guys really hold a grudge, huh?
8′ Tottenham have really controlled possession thus far as United look a bit lethargic.
7′ Great move from Fabio as he makes a nifty move to get past Gunter and he slides it to Tevez. He can’t handle it, though, and it’s out for a goal kick.
5′ GOAL! Great cross from Huddlestone and Pavlyuchenko gets great position on Vidic and heads it past a helpless Foster. Wow, you don’t see Vidic get beaten like that too often.
4′ Ronaldo with a full head of steam towards the box, but Zokora makes a good tackle to take it away.
3′ Bentley wins a corner as Fabio deflects his cross out past the end-line. Bale (not Bentley) sends in the corner from the right to the far post. It eventually goes to Gunter, whose weak effort is easily handled by Foster.
2′ It’ll be interesting to see how Welbeck plays on the wing. He could be a Walcott-esque weapon for United out there.
1′ United kick off and we’re underway! Peter Walton is our ref.
0′ Women’s Professional Soccer is coming to Fox Soccer Channel. I’m not going to watch, but feel free to give me more commercials with Heather Mitts. I could watch those all day.
0′ Also interesting to see Foster start again. That’s two straight for him now as he seems to be edging ahead of Kuszczak. Then again, maybe that doesn’t mean anything…
0′ Why start O’Shea at right-back and Neville at center-back? I thought the whole reason why Neville became a right-back was because he was too short to play centrally. We’ll see if Pavlyuchenko takes advantage of that.
0′ That’s it for most of the early matches. Villa are going to a replay, Chelsea are through, and Pompey are out. Looks like we’ll have a new champion.
0′ The closing minutes of the Villa/Doncaster match have been pretty exciting. They’re still deadlocked at 0-0, but Doncaster had Friedel beaten on a free kick that hit the post! Villa have missed a number of good chances, which explains why they’re in this situation to begin with.
0′ Still waiting for the lineups. I guess Sir Alex and Harry are trying to scrounge up enough bodies to field a team. No truth to the rumors that they’ve decided to play this one according to Futsal rules…
0′ So far, I have to say that the most intriguing transfer this month has been Jimmy Bullard going to Hull. It seems a little strange, given his wage demands, that the team that would swoop him up would be Hull. Plus, Fulham have been one of the most improved sides in the Premiership this season. Now, Bullard goes to a team that could get relegated. Not exactly an upgrade, in my humble opinion.
0′ Oh well, scratch that. Ballack just put Chelsea ahead, 2-1. And the Stamford Bridge crowd gave a rousing ovation to Drogba, who just came on for Malouda. I guess they missed him after all.
0′ There have been some interesting matches so far today. Chelsea are currently locked in a 1-1 draw with Ipswich. If that result holds, then you can be sure that Scolari’s hot seat will get a whole lot hotter. Portsmouth looks like they’re going out, which isn’t surprising given their current form. And Sunderland are deadlocked in a 0-0 draw with Blackburn in a match that that is probably every bit as boring as the scoreline suggests.
0′ Welcome to Soccerlens’ live coverage of the F.A. Cup tie between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur! I’m Victor, and I’ll be your liveblogger today.
It was a tale of two halves as the second half was every bit as boring and dull as the first half was fun and exciting. Either way, neither side can complain too much about the result. United deserved to win and Spurs looked content to get out of the match without any additional injuries. United’s makeshift defense looked shaky, and Vidic showed that he isn’t immune to having bad games. However, with Ferdinand and Brown looking to come back, they should be fine. Spurs will be concerned at Modric’s and Bentley’s erratic play, but Pavlyuchenko looks like he’s in great form, and he and Defoe should be able to drive opposing defenses batty. United will hope that Fabio isn’t hurt badly, because he really did a good job, as did Welbeck, who also took a knock and had to be subbed out. We’ll see how this match affects both teams as league play resumes next week. Nevertheless, it was a decent showing from both squads as they did their best with their depleted squads.
Man of the Match:
Fabio da Silva
Scary thought for United’s foes: Fabio hadn’t played all year and he looked damn good before he had to leave with an injury. If he and Rafael get a chance to be United’s bookends on defense, then they could be wrecking havoc for years to come. Fabio, like his brother, was strong going forward. However, he also showed good defensive instincts in the back. Welbeck also played well on the wing during the first half, but he was mostly anonymous in the second half. Scholes was steady, as usual, in the midfield, and Carrick had a solid game against his old club. As for Spurs, Huddlestone was their key man and he really controlled the second half of the match.
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