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Tottenham 0-0 Manchester United
Stadium: White Hart Lane, England
Competition: English Premier League
Date: 13 December 2008
Kickoff: 17:30 GMT, 12:30 ET
Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United fought to a 0-0 stalemate at White Hart Lane. Soccerlens brought you the action live! Click below for the live-blog and feel free to leave comments below.
With the World Club Cup looming, Manchester United will want to leave for Japan on a high note. However, Manchester United will come into this match with some serious question-marks. They’ve had well-documented problems on the road, and their home form hasn’t been all that great lately. They gave up 3 goals to Blackburn in a Carling Cup match last week, they needed a last-gasp winner against Sunderland last weekend, and shockingly gave up 2 goals at home against Aalborg in midweek. Even worse, they’ll be without the suspended Wayne Rooney and Patrice Evra, and could be without injured Rio Ferdinand, Michael Carrick, and Dimitar Berbatov (who will almost certainly be booed every single time he touches the ball if he plays).
As for Tottenham, after a great start under Harry Redknapp, the Spurs have come back to earth a little bit, losing to Everton and Fulham but notching wins against struggling Blackburn and West Ham. Tottenham are still only 3 points from the drop zone, so any loss would hurt them considerably. Still, better times should be ahead, as the club seems to have more cash than Bill Gates these days, and are determined to spend big in January. However, their future shopping plans won’t help them now, and they could be without skipper Ledley King for this big clash with Manchester United.
Which side will prevail? Will Manchester United pick up a huge win away from Manchester? Will Tottenham claim another high-profile scalp? Join us and find out!
Tottenham Hotspur: Gomes, Corluka, Woodgate (c), Dawson, Assou-Ekotto, Bentley, Jenas, Zokora, Lennon, Modric, Pavlyuchenko
Subs: Cesar, Bale, Huddlestone, Bent, Gunter, Boateng, O’Hara.
Only one change from the side that beat West Ham on Monday. As expected, Ledley King will miss out and Dawson will come in and take his place. Campbell will not be allowed to play, per the terms of his loan agreement. This the third straight match that Darren Bent, Tottenham’s leading scorer, has started out on the bench.
Manchester United: Van der Sar, Rafael Da Silva, Ferdinand (c), Vidic, O’Shea, Park, Fletcher, Carrick, Ronaldo, Berbatov, Tevez.
Subs: Kuszczak, Neville, Anderson, Giggs, Nani, Scholes, Evans.
Only two changes from the side that beat Sunderland last weekend, both necessitated by supsensions. Tevez will get the start in place of Rooney, and O’Shea comes in for Evra. Former Spurs Berbatov and Carrick have been cleared to play, which should be interesting.
Thanks to everyone who followed along! See you next time!
90′ + 3 Corluka nearly makes it interesting as he tries to head it back to Gomes and he catches Gomes going the wrong way. Gomes falls on it, though, and that’s that.
90′ + 1 Three minutes will be added on. Corner goes towards United’s closer, Vidic, but Dawson goes up for it too, and just gets enough to head it away.
90′ Giggs gets fouled by Corluka close to the box, and this will be in Ronaldo’s range. Let’s see what they do here. Giggs takes it and Gomes makes a brilliant save to deny him.
88′ It’s probably out of Ronaldo’s range, so let’s see what United come up with. He goes for goal, and it takes a deflection out for a corner. Giggs’ corner is knocked out by Huddlestone.
87′ O’Hara makes a dangerous run, but gets tripped up on his own feet, and loses it. Back the other way as Ronaldo gets fouled by Dawson from about 40 yards out.
85′ Good corner from Spurs as Dawson nearly gets on the end of it. United knock it away and Spurs will have a throw. Ekotto sends into the box for Bent, but his header is wide.
84′ Rafael gives it away in his own half and Modric makes a great run towards goal. His shot is just deflected out by Ferdinand for a corner. It was close, even with that deflection.
83′ They finally send it into that 8-yard box, but Gomes does well and punches it away.
82′ O’Shea throws it to Park, and he is completely unmarked as he fires a great shot on goal. Gomes just gets a finger on it and United get another corner.
81′ Ronaldo sends it through to Berbatov, who gracefully turns and looks to fire on goal, but O’Hara tracks all the way back to take it away. Great play there.
80′ Ronaldo gets tackled by Dawson, and he lashes out with a kick as he gets up. He’s lucky he didn’t get booked for that one.
79′ Another corner for United and let’s see what they can do with this one. Giggs sends in a poor effort and Spurs tap it back to Gomes, who handles it easily. Again, why aren’t they swinging it into that 8 yard area?
78′ Modric tries to play Bent through, but he’s offside. Vidic and Ferdinand gambled there playing the offside trap high, as Bent would have been through if the ref hadn’t blown the whistle.
77′ Ronaldo tries to spring Park down the left, but it’s long and Gomes comes out to knock it away. United get it back and Ronaldo threads a nice pass to Park and he wins another corner. Giggs sends it in and Ronaldo can’t handle it. Carrick pounces on it and sends a low shot on goal that Gomes stops.
76′ Bentley sends in the corner and it’s short to Lennon. He tries to send it into the box, but it’s a terrible effort that goes over the line for a goal kick.
75′ Lennon creates more danger down the left, but Carrick comes out of nowhere for the tackle. Vidic then gives away the corner.
74′ O’Shea pushes Corluka down, but no call. He swings in a cross from deep down the left flank and he wins a corner. Giggs sends in the corner from the right and Ferdinand gets a free release at the near post. His header just goes over the bar, and Rio can’t believe it. Probably should have scored there.
72′ Giggs whips it in, and it’s better than any of Park’s efforts. Vidic tries to head it in, but it’s cleared by Spurs. United send it back in and Vidic gets another chance, and his header on goal forces Gomes to make a diving save.
71′ Clever ball through by Carrick, but Berbatov gets his feet crossed up and he can’t get to it. Park gets the ball deep down the left and he wins the corner from Zokora.
70′ Tevez has been a nonfactor today. Real disappointment for him, I’m sure.
69′ Giggs and Scholes will be coming in for United as Tevez and Fletcher will come off. That’s like, what, 1 million appearances combined between those two?
68′ Zokora with good defense on Ronaldo deep down the left flank, but Bentley’s foul gives it back to United.
66′ Long pass from Berbatov to Ronaldo, who does well to keep it in play. He tries to cross it from the left flank to the far post for Tevez, but it’s long and out for a goal kick.
65′ Modric tries to send it long to Bent, but Bent goes the wrong way.
63′ Bentley takes it from about 30 yards out, and Van der Sar makes a great save to concede the corner. That ball looked like it was going into the top-left corner, but Van der Sar just got there in time. On the corner, Spurs knock it around a bit, but Park eventually nods it towards Van der Sar.
62′ Lennon makes a dangerous run towards the box. Rafael tackles him from behind and gets booked for his troubles. I’ve been praising Rafael today, but he was clearly beaten there. O’Hara will come in for Jenas.
61′ Back the other way, and Modric tries a long-range shot that’s well off the mark. Looks like O’Hara is coming in for Spurs.
60′ Berbatov sends it to Park, who gets it on the edge of the box. He turns and fires on goal, but it’s straight into Gomes’ waiting arms.
59′ Ronaldo lifts a cross from the left wing towards Tevez and Berbatov in front of goal, but Corluka knocks it away.
57′ Ekotto concedes the corner and we’ll see what they can do here. He sends it low to Ferdinand, but it evades him in the box. Vidic can’t get to it either, and United waste another one.
56′ Park gets the ball and tries to key the counterattack, but he gets tripped up by Huddlestone, and he takes a card for the team.
54′ Corner falls to Ronaldo, who chests it down and puts it past Gomes. Ref calls Ronaldo for a hand-ball, though, and it won’t count! Tough decision against United as it looks like it barely brushed Ronaldo’s arm, if at all. At least it wasn’t as blatant as the one against Manchester City. Bent will come in for Pavlyuchenko.
53′ Nice run by Berbatov into the box and he looks like he’s going to shoot it, but Dawson comes out of nowhere to tackle him from behind. Clean play and it’s out for a corner. Now Berbatov and Zokora are mixing it up in the box.
52′ Bent is warming up and should be coming in soon. More good defense from Rafael as he tracks back and takes it away from Pavlyuchenko.
50′ Bentley sends it in from about 35 yards out and it’s straight into Van der Sar’s arms. He didn’t even move for that. Back the other way and Berbatov tees it up for Fletcher, whose effort is well over the crossbar.
49′ Rafael with more good defense on Lennon, but he gets called for a foul here. Good free kick chance for Bentley here.
48′ Rafael with another great defensive play to take it away from Lennon. Berbatov gives it away to Ekotto, which makes the crowd very happy.
47′ Ronaldo sends it to Berbatov, who slots it through to Tevez. Gomes comes off his line and gets to the ball first, otherwise that would have been a great shot Tevez.
46′ United kick off and we’re underway! Bentley whips in a cross from the right flank, but it’s easily cut out by Vidic.
46′ We get another commercial for the new Keanu Reeves vehicle “The Day the Earth Stood Still.” They’ve been advertising the hell out of that movie for a couple of months now. You know what that means. It’s going to suck.
46′ Carlos Queiroz is in the stands, enjoying the match. Maybe he’s talking to Ferguson about coming back. Let’s face it, it could happen. Especially if Portugal continues to struggle.
Very even half as both teams had good spells of possession and chances to score. Neither side has really established a consistent attack, and look very evenly matched thus far. The second half should be interesting, as it’s clear that this match could turn on one breakdown or one moment of brilliance.
45′ + 3 There’s the whistle, and we’re at halftime!
45′ + 2 Dawson fouls Berbatov and the crowd reacts appropriately. Rafael loses it but Ferdinand grabs it back to keep the pressure on. Berbatov gets it in the box and he sends it back to Ferdinand. He tries a long-range shot, but Gomes stops it. Say what you will about Gomes (and I have), but you need to do better than that to beat him.
45′ + 1 Three minutes will be added on. Good chance for United as O’Shea threads it to the box for Ronaldo. He and Carrick get mixed up, though, and Spurs knock it away. Tevez then takes a shot and it’s out for a goal kick.
45′ O’Shea lifts another great cross from the left wing and it just evades Berbatov once again.
43′ O’Shea lifts a great cross towards the center of the box, and Berbatov is unmarked in front of goal. Luckily for Spurs, it’s just over his head, otherwise that would have been a great chance for him.
41′ Great chance for Spurs as Modric sends a cross into the box for Pavlyuchenko, but United knock it away. Huddlestone pounces on the loose ball and hits Pavlyuchenko square in the gut. He’s down for a little bit as he clearly got the wind knocked out of him. That might have saved a goal for United.
40′ Ronaldo wins a corner. They take it short and United knock it around. Ronaldo with a great cross to Berbatov that Gomes just gets a paw on. Berbatov was waiting to pounce on that if Gomes had whiffed on it.
39′ Great chance for Modric as Jenas sends a great cross into the center of the box and Modric gets a clean header on it. It’s just over the bar, though.
38′ Lennon runs right at Rafael, but the 18-year old makes a good tackle and knocks it out for a throw-in. Very good defensive game for Rafael so far, who hasn’t done much offensively. I would have thought it would be the other way around.
37′ Modric tries to send it long to Pavlyuchenko, but they have some miscommunication as Modric sends it long, but Pavlyuchenko stopped running and it’s easily taken by United.
36′ Free kick for Spurs as Rafael fouled Ekotto. Bentley sends it in from about 40 yards away. He goes for the far post, but Van der Sar easily takes it. Back the other way as Tevez takes on Ekotto and evades Corluka as well. He tries to go for the goal, but his shot is well off target.
34′ Berbatov tries to play it through to Tevez, but Dawson gets to it first. Gomes came out for it too, and he and Tevez nearly collide.
33′ Park makes a good move and splits the defense. He threads it in to Berbatov, but it’s just out of his reach.
32′ Let’s see what Park can do here. It’s out to Ronaldo, who is unmarked. He passes it in to Vidic, who turns and fires on goal, but he can’t get enough on it and Spurs knock it out. It bounces to Fletcher, and his long-range effort gets blocked. Finally, United knock it out for a Tottenham goal kick.
31′ Carrick with the long-range shot and Dawson knocks it out for a corner.
30′ Giveaway from O’Shea results in a chance for Lennon as he makes a great run into the box. He shoots on target and Van der Sar makes a great diving save. It bounces to Pavlyuchenko, but he has no angle to shoot, and he knocks it over the bar for a goal kick.
29′ Ronaldo tries a long-range shot, and it takes a deflection. Gomes keeps it from going out and Ronaldo is clutching his wrist. Hopefully, he doesn’t take himself out of the game like he did last week.
28′ Ferdinand with a dangerous header back to Van der Sar. Luckily for Ferdinand, he got enough on it, otherwise Pavlyuchenko would have pounced on it.
26′ Long pass from Carrick to Ronaldo, who gets it down the left wing. His cross into the box is cleared by the Tottenham defense.
25′ Tevez goes down and he’s limping a little now. That could be trouble for United. They have no other strikers on their bench.
23′ Modric with a good run towards the United goal and he sends it in to Pavlyuchenko. Vidic is there to poke it away, though.
22′ Poor giveaway by Berbatov that brings another cheer from the crowd.
21′ Very even match so far. Both sides have had good spells of possession and the pace is excellent.
19′ Carrick sends it into the Berbatov, who tries to lay it back to Tevez. He can’t quite control it, and he loses it to Ekotto. Tevez then lunges at Ekotto and is called for the foul.
18′ Rafael with some good defending tracking back to stop the Spurs break.
17′ Sloppy giveaway by O’Shea is canceled out by a giveaway from Huddlestone. Berbatov gets it on the edge of the box, but Huddlestone hits him with a hard tackle, much to the delight of this crowd.
16′ O’Shea tees Berbatov up from the left wing, but Berbatov’s header is weak and easily taken by Gomes. This place would have gotten quieter than a morgue if Berbatov had scored there.
14′ I wonder why Park didn’t send his corners higher and into the center of the box to try and force Gomes to come out? That’s been his weakness, after all.
13′ Bentley sends it into the box, and Vidic heads it out for a corner. Quick corner and Bentley sends in a cross to the far post from the left wing. Van der Sar ventures out and grabs it confidently. Maybe that was money well spent after all…
12′ Rafael fouls Modric and Spurs will have a free kick in their attacking half.
11′ Sure enough, Huddlestone will come in for Woodgate. It looks like Spurs will move Zokora to center-back and put Huddlestone in midfield.
10′ There’s a delay as Woodgate is down after a challenge with Tevez. He’s down and he looks like he might be done.
9′ Bentley taps the ball up in the air and volleys it on target from 30 yards out and he forces Van der Sar to make a diving save. That was a great strike and an even better save.
8′ Dangerous cross from Bentley on the right wing into the box for Pavlyuchenko. He takes a fall in the box, but no call from the ref. Pavlyuchenko went down a little easily there.
6′ Good passing from United around the Spurs box leads to a poor cross from Rafael. It’s out for a goal kick. Pavlyuchenko gets called for another foul, this time in the attacking half on Ferdinand.
5′ Ronaldo can’t handle Park’s low delivery, and Spurs finally get a touch on the ball. They try to attack, but Pavlyuchenko is called for the foul on Fletcher.
4′ Park gets in Ronaldo’s way and takes it away before Ronaldo can shoot. Park takes the shot, and it’s deflected out for a corner. Park’s corner is knocked out by Woodgate for another corner.
3′ That’s one thing about the boos. At least we’ll know whenever Berbatov gets the ball.
2′ Carrick gives it away, but Rafael is there with a great tackle to win it back.
1′ Spurs kick off and we’re under way! Mike Dean is our ref. Berbatov’s first touch earns him a chorus of boos. United quickly get a corner. Park will take it and he sends it low to the near post for Berbatov. Woodgate knocks it out for a throw.
0′ It’s raining at White Hart Lane. We’ll see how this affects the quality of play.
0′ Van der Sar’s contract extension was a bit of an eyebrow-raiser. He’s still a good goalkeeper, but he’s nowhere near as good as he used to be. He’s made a lot of uncharacteristic mistakes this year, and he’s been missing more and more time due to injuries and rest. Not sure what this accomplishes, other than piss off Kuszczak and Foster. Then again, if Ferguson was convinced that neither of those two were ready to be the starter, then this was a brilliant move.
0′ And it’s over as Liverpool drop more points at home. How do you feel if you’re Keane right now? Your manager basically just said that he didn’t have enough faith in you to send you in to a tie game, despite the fact that you’ve been one of the top strikers in the Premiership over the last few seasons and you cost 20 million pounds? How are you supposed to come back from that?
0′ Good knowing you, Paul Ince. Hope you’ve got your resume handy. He better hope the owners weren’t watching the 3-0 beatdown that Wigan just gave Blackburn.
0′ By the way, Liverpool have used all their subs, and Robbie Keane was not among them. That certainly doesn’t bode well for him…
0′ Liverpool are currently deadlocked 2-2 with Hull with the match going into the 87th minute. Great chance for United to pick up some much needed points before heading off to Japan.
0′ We should be finding out a lot about both of these teams. Tottenham can really get back into the race for a European spot if they beat United, and United can really show their title credentials if they pick up a tough 3 points away from home.
0′ Hello everyone! Welcome to Soccerlens’ live coverage of the big clash between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United! I’m Victor and I’ll be your live-blogger today.
Well, it was a great defensive struggle and both sides earned the point. Spurs had the better chances in the first half, but United came back and really controlled the second half, nearly stealing the win several times, including at the very end on Giggs’ free kick. Some may look at this as more dropped points for United, but with the way Tottenham defended, I don’t know of too many squads that would have been able to score, let alone take all three points. As for Spurs, this draw won’t give them much breathing room from the relegation zone, but it’s still a good result. If these teams meet up in the Carling Cup Final, then we should be in for a treat.
Man of the Match:
Edwin Van der Sar and Heurelho Gomes
Both goalkeepers were brilliant today and really earned their respective clean sheets. Van der Sar made a number of great saves and confidently commanded the penalty area while Gomes finally came up big in a big-game for Tottenham, playing mistake-free football for the entire match and saving the point for his team. Berbatov and Ronaldo couldn’t seem to get out of second gear, and Pavlyuchenko and Modric also had problems up front. However, Bentley continued to play well for Tottenham, as did Zokora, Dawson, and Corluka. As for United, Ferdinand and Vidic played well, as did Carrick. Rafael had his moments on defense, but his offensive play was uneven, and he was exposed a few times on defense. He’ll get better, though, and he clearly has a bright future with United.