reality that Manchester United are just as potent as they used to be has
taken a few knocks this season, but the recent run that they have put
together means that the Premiership title is still theirs for the
taking. The slip up against Derby County on Saturday means that
they are human like everyone else.
With an appalling record
at Old Trafford over the last fifteen years or so, Tottenham go there
with hope, but little else. Including a number of fit players, as
the injury curse has reared it's ugly head again. With many first
teamers out, there might be an unusual look to the side on
Wednesday. However, there are enough fit players who play
regularly to put up a decent showing against United.
It probably won't
resemble the 3-5 earlier this season, but the fixture has always been a
good one over the years.
Man U look likely to
recall Roy Keane and Laurent Blanc to the side and Diego Forlan might
get his first start for them. This will be tough for Tottenham, as
he will want to impress in place of the free-scoring van Nistelrooy.
However, Deano should be big enough to hold him off, but he is quick and
Ledley will need to provide cover if required.
Scholes might drop out
for Keane, which means there will also be a little less firepower from
midfield, but it can come from anywhere on the United side.
Realistically, the best
Spurs could hope for is a draw. With the game against Chelsea at
the weekend signalling our best chance to win something, Hoddle will not
be taking too many chances with the players who will be needed
then. Let's hope that any chances that do come along are taken by
the players who are out on the pitch !!
No joy at what is not a
happy hunting ground ...
- Manchester United 3 Tottenham 1
For more information on
the opponents and their history, including full result history of
matches between the two teams, click here.
|Manchester United 4
Tottenham 0 (Half time score: 2-0)
|FA PREMIER LEAGUE
|Wednesday 6th March 2002
|Venue : Old Trafford
|Kick Off : 8.00 p.m.
|Weather : - Windy
|Crowd : - 67,599
- Mr. M. Riley (Leeds)
Scorers : - Manchester United - Beckham
16, 63, van Nistelrooy (pen) 41, 76
Tottenham - None
(foul) 29, Scholes (foul) 43
(foul) 41, Poyet
(dissent) 41, Sherwood (foul) 65, Ziege (foul) 70
: Barthez; G. Neville (P. Neville 68), Blanc, Johnsen,
Silvestre; Beckham, Veron (Fortune 70), Scholes (Butt 70), Keane; Forlan,
Unused Subs : - Carroll, Giggs
Tottenham : Sullivan;
Richards, King, Thatcher; Taricco, Sherwood, Poyet (Perry 66),
Davies, Ziege (Etherington 85); Sheringham, Rebrov (Ferdinand 45)
Unused Subs : - Keller, Gardner
: Red shirts, white shorts, black socks
: White shirts, navy blue shorts,
Before we went to Man
U, I thought we might not come home with anything, but I felt gutted by
the injustice we had suffered.
I'm not saying we would
have won, but the dismissal and penalty just before half-time was just
plain unfair. The red card is perhaps more understandable, as
Treacle has a bit of previous, but the penalty that never was, actually
came to be. Van Nistelrooy stuck it away comfortably and I am not
surprised he has 30 goals for the club already, as he is a class act and
with penalties like this, they must be worth another 10 goals a season
to him. His second was very well taken though.
It had all started so
well ... Davies, Teddy and Poyet all had shots, but there was little
menace in their efforts. Still taking the game to United was a
refreshing attitude. It all fell apart when Man U had their first
meaningful attack, which saw Beckham cut in from the right to bury the
ball low into the corner of the net as Richards came across Sullivan's
line of sight. It was slightly harsh on Spurs, as both teams
struggled with the blustery conditions to play anything like some decent
Sullivan saved well
from Roy Keane and then came the penalty incident as Scholes broke
forward through the middle of the Spurs defence, but was pulled back by
Taricco. Adjudged the last man, although the ball was going into
an area policed by King, he was shown the red card and the penalty
At 0-2 and down to ten
men, Spurs were going to be up against it in the second half. Les
soon came on for Sergei, who had got little joy upfront, virtually on
his own. Within a minute, he had a chance when his volley hit the
top of the stand. A missed chance in more ways than one, as after
this the home side pressed forward looking for more goals.
One came when Forlan
broke down the left and left Richards in his wake. His low ball in
to van Nistelrooy was controlled and he rolled it square for Beckham to
hit a rising shot past Sullivan. The goal had opened Spurs up, and
despite a Sheringham effort that went wide, it was the Uruguayan on his
debut for United who set the tone for the rest of the game.
He had chance on
chance, but missed them all, making Les look clinical in
comparison. His profligacy was a godsend for Tottenham, as that,
and Sully's sound keeping, kept the score down to a respectable
level. The last breach of the defence came when van Nistelrooy
took an eternity to score past three defenders and the keeper, but it
was a cool and skillful piece of finishing, that left Spurs down and
Hoddle reckoned that
the sending off turned the game. I reckon that it was a hard one
to win and the decision made it even harder. No, not harder,
impossible. It appears that Mr. Riley is making it a habit to send
off Spurs players, after getting Teddy dismissed in the Ipswich game
before Christmas. Let's hope we have seen the last of him this
season. I know I'm glad to have seen the last of Manchester
|MEHSTG TOP MAN :
- NEIL SULLIVAN
|What chance do you stand at Old Trafford
? It's just like Anfield in the Eighties, with refs persuaded by
the threatening noise from the crowd. In this case the incessant
munching of prawn sandwiches obviously was driving Mr. Riley's assistant
mad, as that is the only reason that he could have awarded a penalty for
a tug outside the box. In fact, had it been a nautical tug, I
doubt if the official would have made a better decision, as even Fergie
saw it and Beckham added he was ready to take a free-kick when the ref
pointed to the spot. Probably just as well it was the penalty
then, as he would certainly have buried the dead ball he was hoping for.