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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Manchester United Vs. Tottenham Hotspurs Match Result Report

The sprint finish for the title is well and truly on as United cranked up the pressure on Chelsea, the Reds moving two points clear at the summit of the Barclays Premier League – naturally, not without drama – in a game that went from frustrating to fraught before a Nani-inspired grandstand finish.

Ryan Giggs put United in front from the spot in the second half, but Tottenham equalised through Ledley King and arguably looked like being the team to win it. However, the victory was secured by some brilliance from Nani. The Portuguese winger scored with an audacious chipped finish with nine minutes left, before earning a second penalty for Giggs to convert to ensure a 3-1 win.

That there would be drama and frayed nerves should not have come as a surprise in a topsy-turvy season which took arguably its wildest twist last weekend.

United were seconds away from being out of the title race altogether at Eastlands when the derby was headed for a draw. In the third minute of injury time a Paul Scholes-of-old late dart into the box and header into the bottom corner clinched three points. That dramatic win was capped by Tottenham’s defeat of Chelsea later that day. Game on in the title race.

Tottenham posed a serious risk after their wins over the Blues and Arsenal. As difficult as this fixture already was, it was made more difficult when Wayne Rooney was ruled out with a groin problem. Sir Alex intimated on Friday that he had “one or two doubts”, but Rooney’s availability was only publicly brought to light when he was pictured watching the Under-18s at Carrington on Saturday morning.

His absence was confirmed when the teams were announced, so too was news that Rio Ferdinand was missing again. But Owen Hargreaves’ return on the bench, and the prospect of his first action in 19 months, came as a very welcome boost. The Reds lined up with Paul Scholes and Darren Fletcher in central midfield, Antonio Valencia and Nani on the flanks and Ryan Giggs operating just behind Dimitar Berbatov up front.

However, it was an uncharacteristically quiet start, Tottenham making much of the early running and controlling play. That was perhaps down to Spurs’ confidence, maybe the importance of getting a result weighed on the United players’ minds, or perhaps it was because of Rooney’s absence – noticeable in the stands as much as on the pitch – but something was needed to bring United out of their shell. The truth of it was that, by the midway point in the first half, neither side had had a shot on target.

United's best opening came after 29 minutes. Nani slipped a pass to Evra who crossed for Giggs, but the ball never reached the Welshman. Berbatov was quickest to react, but his goal-bound strike was blocked by King. Seconds later, Valencia raced clear on goal, shrugged off the attentions of Gareth Bale and forced an excellent low save from Heurelho Gomes, although Berbatov was screaming for a squared pass. Two minutes later Evra volleyed over from 12 yards; United’s tails were up – the men in red just needed to make it count.

Spurs, despite their early possession, were far from potent in the final third. Their best chance of the first half was a Bale free-kick, after Nani’s foul on David Bentley earned him a booking, but it didn’t trouble Edwin van der Sar. It was United who threatened to score more than the Lilywhites. Berbatov saw a volley five minutes before half time rise over the bar. The half which had started so timidly from the home side, ended far more positively – albeit without the goal United craved to settle everyone’s nerves.

The Reds were first out after the break and urged on by the Stretford End. From a short corner seven minutes in, Berbatov headed agonisingly wide – with Fletcher narrowly missing out on turning the ball over the line. Then Nani hit the side-netting after a neat turn and shot inside the area. United were in the ascendancy and the breakthrough finally came after 58 minutes. Berbatov did well to escape the attentions of Benoit Assou-Ekotto. He brilliantly backheeled the ball to Evra but the Spurs defender fouled the Frenchman and a penalty was correctly awarded. Without Rooney, Giggs took spot-kick duties and coolly slotted the ball past Gomes. It wasn’t without cost – Berbatov injured his groin in the build-up, Evra had already been sick on the pitch, and Valencia was forced off - replaced by Michael Carrick – after clashing with King. Most importantly, United were in front.

The Reds were hardly settling on the lead, but Tottenham hadn’t given up hope either. And their attitude was rewared on 70 minutes. From Bale’s corner, King rose above Carrick and headed into the far corner beyond Rafael on the post. With 20 minutes remaining, the question now was: what did United have left in the locker?

Sir Alex brought on Federico Macheda with ten minutes to go, hoping the Italian teenager could reprise his heroics of last season against Aston Villa. And while he didn’t provide the finish, Macheda’s neat ball set up Nani for the crucial second goal. It was Nani's finish that really caught the eye. His dinked finish over Gomes was sublime and worthy of winning any football match. It was similar to that of Lionel Messi against Arsenal in the Champions League, but arguably a more high-pressure situation with nine minutes left and United's season on the line.

United, and Nani, were not finished there. The Portuguese picked up the ball on the halfway line and charged at the Tottenham defence. After twisting Michael Dawson’s inside-out, he drew a foul from Wilson Palacios to earn a second penalty of the game. Giggs went to Gomes’ left this time, but his spot-kick was equally as unstoppable. The Stretford End bounced, singing ‘we shall not be moved’. United are back on top of the league. Chelsea - who take on Stoke on Sunday - the ball is in your court...

Manchester United Vs. Tottenham Hotspurs Highlights Video Clips

Manchester United [3 - 1] Tottenham Hotspurs
58' [1 - 0] R. Giggs (pen.)
70' [1 - 1] L. King
81' [2 - 1] Nani
86' [3 - 1] R. Giggs (pen.)


Monday, April 19, 2010

Manchester City Vs. Manchester United Highlights Video Clips

Manchester City [0 - 1] Manchester United
90' [0 - 1] P. Scholes

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Saturday, April 3, 2010

Manchester United Vs. Chelsea Highlights Video Clips

Manchester United [1 - 2] Chelsea
20' [0 - 1] J. Cole
79' [0 - 2] D. Drogba
81' [1 - 2] F. Macheda