Tottenham Hotspur vs. Manchester United  1 - 3


Ferguson hails steely win over Spurs

5 March 2012 01:31

Sir Alex Ferguson said Manchester United's 3-1 win at Tottenham on Sunday proves they are ready for a tense run home in the Premier League.

United are two points behind leaders Manchester City thanks to Wayne Rooney's goal and a double from Ashley Young, with the top two set to meet in a showdown at Etihad Stadium on April 30.

"I think it's difficult to say because anything can happen. You can drop surprise points," Ferguson said.

"I think that'll happen, both teams will drop points, but the important thing is not dropping as many as your opponent."

"We're experienced, we won't get nervous, we're enjoying it and the battling performance we gave today against a very good team tells you that we're well up for it."

Ferguson admitted his side had been below-par for parts of the game, in part due to a strategy that did not pay dividends in the first half.

"I don't know how to explain it but we certainly carried it off well today," Ferguson said.

"It was a great performance by Tottenham in the first half – and maybe we got our tactics wrong in the first half – but in the second half we did improve and pushed up further. In the first half we tried to drop off and bring them onto us but it didn't work."

"We had a bit of luck scoring just before half-time with probably our first strike at goal – a nice finish from Wayne."

"The scoreline at half-time was a killer for Tottenham. They were probably sitting in the dressing-room wondering how they'd gone down 1-0 because they'd played ever so well."

Ferguson is optimistic about his side's push for a 20th top-flight title especially with several players returning from injury.

"We know exactly what we have to do," Ferguson said.

"The good thing is that I've got players back – Anderson's back now, (Tom) Cleverley's back next week, (Chris) Smalling will be fit for Thursday's game (against Athletic Bilbao), players are coming back, and with a full squad it gives us a better chance."

Spurs boss Harry Redknapp said he was disappointed to be a goal down at half-time, after dominating the first 45 minutes of play.

"I couldn't believe we came in 1-0 down," he said.

"It was everything we worked on during the week, Jake Livermore and Sandro were top class. Really there was only one team who should have been in front at half-time and we came in 1-0 down."

"I couldn't have asked more from the players. Sometimes you need the luck and we didn't get any today."

Despite two league defeats in succession to Arsenal and now Manchester United, Redknapp is confident Spurs can still secure a Champions League berth.

"We've been on an incredible run and just had a blip last weekend against Arsenal," he said.

"I want to finish third, I want to finish above Arsenal and Chelsea. That's what we're capable of doing and that's where I want us to be."

Redknapp dismissed the suggestion that speculation linking him with the vacant England job was distracting Tottenham, and contributing to their drop in form.

"It is not at all. We trained yesterday morning, I go to watch QPR play Everton because we play Everton next week. My focus is completely on getting results here and the players know that. I don't have days off, I'm here every day - my only focus is on Tottenham. It's had no effect," Redknapp said.

"Today you couldn't come here and say 'well the players haven't tried today', they've worked hard against one of the two best teams in the country and we just didn't get a break today, but I couldn't fault the effort."


Premier League: Tottenham 1 Manchester United 3

4 March 2012 19:24

Manchester United put an 11-point cushion between second and third with a 3-1 win at White Hart Lane on Sunday.

United still trail Manchester City by two points in the title race but manager Alex Ferguson will be buoyed by this win in north London.

An uneventful first half was dominated by a disallowed Spurs goal, Emmanuel Adebayor divisively judged to have handled before finishing, before Wayne Rooney headed home from a corner moments before the whistle.

Despite not being at the top of their game, United pushed clear after the interval, Ashley Young catching the eye first with a well-taken volley from a tough angle and then a delightful finish from outside the area to double his tally.

Jermain Defoe later secured a late consolation having capitalised upon a loose pass.

With shots scarce early, David de Gea made a key save near the 20-minute mark from Adebayor, having caused the chance himself with a poor clearance that was easily intercepted by Sandro.

The home side, starting to dominate, had the ball in the net in the 37th minute.

Lennon's enterprising run inside the area from the left wing forged a chance for Adebayor, who received the ball via Louis Saha's effort and bundled it into the net in a slightly scrambled manner, but referee Martin Atkinson disallowed it for hand ball.

Despite a period on the back foot, United edged in front just before half-time through a simple goal.

Young delivered an in-swinging corner from the left and Rooney's impressive off-the-ball movement coupled with the strength to hold off Kyle Walker allowed him to head home.

Spurs resumed probing after the break and came close when Jake Livermore's rasping shot took a thin deflection off Saha's leg to threaten De Gea, but the Spaniard reacted quickly to d block with his arm.

Tottenham kept coming and Benoit Assou-Ekotto was next to get sight of goal, whipping in a free kick from the right flank that swerved and dipped but just cleared the bar.

Yet, despite being under pressure, United stretched their lead a minute later.

Luka Modric's lazy marking let Nani through and the Portuguese played the ball across the area.

It broke to Young just past the far post who had a difficult angle but still found the net.

White Hart Lane was in shock and it only got worse for the north Londoners as Young picked the ball on the edge of the area.

The England winger pushed inside a little to get sight of the net and struck, placing his shot with delightful precision into the top-right corner.

There was, however, a late consolation for spurs. With 86 minutes gone, the United defence seemed to switch off and substitute Giggs' poor pass allowed fellow replacement Defoe to run on and dispatch an uncomplicated finish past De Gea.


Premier League preview: Tottenham v Manchester United

2 March 2012 20:58

Manchester United can all but end Tottenham's slim English Premier League title chances when the two sides meet on Sunday.

Sir Alex Ferguson's men travel to White Hart Lane to take on a Tottenham team undoubtedly hurting after a 5-2 thrashing at the hands of north London rivals Arsenal last time out.

The loss left Harry Redknapp's team eight points adrift of second-placed United, who still trail rivals Manchester City.

Tottenham have not beaten United since May 2001, and Ferguson believes if his team wins they will are a strong chance to clinch a 20th league title.

"It's going to be a massive game," he told Inside United. "If we can survive that one, then we'll have a big, big chance of winning the league."

With Manchester City hosting Bolton a day earlier, a loss at Tottenham would see Ferguson's team slip five points adrift in the title race.

Favouring United is the absence of Tottenham midfielder Scott Parker, who was sent off against Arsenal, while injuries could rule out Rafael van der Vaart and Kyle Walker.

Redknapp will need striker Emmanuel Adebayor to continue his good form, with the United defence likely to be without Chris Smalling.

Ferguson's men have had their injury troubles throughout the campaign, and Smalling is in doubt for the trip to Tottenham after a sickening collision with Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar in England's 3-2 loss to the Netherlands in their international friendly at Wembley on Wednesday.

Rio Ferdinand, Jonny Evans and Phil Jones are fit, but Smalling was predicted to start at right-back to deal with the threat of Gareth Bale.

Wayne Rooney is recovering from a throat infection, while Tom Cleverley and Antonio Valencia could also miss.

Even in the absence of Rooney, United have found a way to win - highlighted by their gritty 2-1 victory at Norwich City on Saturday, when veterans Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs were on the scoresheet.

Tottenham have won 10 of their 13 home league matches this season, but their title chances will be all but over if Manchester United record a win on Sunday.


Ferguson hangs hopes on Spurs clash

29 February 2012 03:51

Sir Alex Ferguson has billed Manchester United's clash against Tottenham at the weekend as 'massive' for his side.

United travel to White Hart Lane on Sunday having picked up 13 points from their last five games, which included trips to Arsenal and Chelsea as well as a clash with Liverpool at Old Trafford.

Speaking to Inside United, Ferguson said: "It's going to be a massive game (at Spurs). If we can survive that one, then we'll have a big chance of winning the league."

The United manager also revealed he would be content to face Manchester City in April with his side still trailing the league leaders by two points.

"I would take it (being two points behind City going into the game at the Etihad Stadium). I would rather go there on level points."

"But if we could go there within striking distance of being top of the league, I'd take it."

Ferguson lamented the number of injuries to his players during recent weeks and highlighted the need to rest both Chris Smalling and Phil Jones in order to have them fresh for the remainder of the season.

"I should have more players available than I've had in the last few weeks because we've had a terrible spell of injuries," he said.

"But we've done the right thing in the treatment of Chris Smalling and Phil Jones, we've given them a break."

"They are young players and they had been carrying little strains for weeks."

"Then all of a sudden it hits them, and we had to take stock, to get them back. We've given them a fair break and they're fresh now."


Adebayor desires Spurs response

28 February 2012 19:12

Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor has called on his team-mates to return to winning ways when they host Manchester United at the weekend.

Adebayor helped to put his side 2-0 up against old side Arsenal, before Arsene Wenger's men scored five unanswered goals to romp their local rivals at the Emirates Stadium.

The Togolese forward said he believes it is crucial that Spurs respond if they are to stay in contention for the Premier League title.

"If you want to be champions these games against the likes of Manchester United are the kind of games we have to be winning," Adebayor told Spurs TV Online.

"The Arsenal game has been a tough one, the defeat is very heavy, but we have to carry on. We have to keep focused. We have to show character in front of our fans and manage to win that game."

The Arsenal loss ended an impressive run of results for Spurs, but Adebayor conceded that the best team won and has now switched his attentions to beating Sir Alex Ferguson's side.

He added: "After my penalty I thought game was over, but they showed good character, played some good football and came back so congratulations to Arsenal."

"Unfortunately we didn't manage to beat them but the season is long, we just have to keep focused and keep going."

"After losing 5-2 to Arsenal we can't ask for a bigger challenge than playing Manchester United, but we are looking forward to it. It will be a tough game but I think we are ready for it."

"We just have to show personality and character and bounce back as quickly as possible."

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +64 89
2 38 +56 89
3 38 +25 70
4 38 +25 69
5 38 +5 65
6 38 +19 64
7 38 +10 56
8 38 +7 52
9 38 -3 52
10 38 -7 47
11 38 -7 47
12 38 -14 47
13 38 -1 45
14 38 -17 45
15 38 -20 43
16 38 -16 38
17 38 -23 37
18 38 -31 36
19 38 -30 31
20 38 -42 25