Manchester United see off in-form Spurs with a 3-1 victory.
Tottenham Hotspurs have become a burden to the big-boys at the end of this season as they’ve trampled both Arsenal and Chelsea on their mission for that illusive fourth spot, and today Spurs were up against Manchester United at Old Trafford, a difficult game for both and one which guaranteed a big result.
A Draw for this game was trading as high as 7/2, with Tottenham coming along at 7/1. Manchester United were clear favorites but Spurs had form on their side and United were missing star striker Rooney through injury.
United started the better of the two teams and looked to have shaken off poor performances in their last two games. Berbatov squandered a good chance early on when spinning to smash a shot in the box, only to see it blocked by a committed Tottenham defense. Nani, Valencia and Giggs looked threatening behind and alongside the lone striker and just before halftime Berbatov came close again – breaking away from his defender to latch onto a cross on the edge of the box, he took his shot early and sent it sprawling over the ball.
Tottenham weren’t very active in the first half and seemed content to settle in their own half, their ambitions on stopping Manchester United scoring rather than finding a goal of their own.
After a fruitless first half Berbatov continued to threaten in the second. Latching onto a neat cross he headed down into the path of Fletcher, gifting the Scottish midfielder with a great chance, but he couldn’t connect and the ball harmlessly rolled wide. Tottenham showed they weren’t going to be pegged back though and seconds later Palacios was up in the Manchester United half battling with the defenders, scrapping his way past, before unleashing a decent shot into the outstretched arms of Van der Sar.
With fifty-six minutes gone Berbatov burst into the box and slipped a neat pass to Evra who was immediately brought down by Assou Ekotto. The ref pointed straight to the spot and Ryan Giggs, who was 11/1 to score first at halftime, converted to put the Red Devils 1-0 in front.
Tottenham fought back though and with twenty minutes to go Ledley King hung in the air to catch a floated cross and head it into the far corner of the goal, a reasonably quick and very impressive response from Spurs who opened the game up for a tantalizing finale.
Tottenham got their game together and began to play some good football, the odds of them winning drifted out to 8/1, but as the game moved into the final ten minutes Manchester United took the lead again. Macheda slipped Nani through and when one-on-one with Gomes, the Portuguese winger cooly chipped the ‘keeper to send the stadium into a rapture.
Manchester United extended that lead minutes later when Giggs converted his second penalty of the night after Dawson brought down Nani in the box. At 3-1 Manchester United looked comfortable and assured of the three points as they saw this game out, but once again they had left it very late.