When Manchester United hosted Tottenham Hotspurs in a Premier League match, I thought the match was going to be an interesting affair. According to ManUtd.com, the game ended with United being beaten by Tottenham 2-3, which broke a run of 26 matches without a victory at Old Trafford for the visitors.
Tottenham played solid throughout the first half breaking out to a two goal lead, but the real news of the first part of the game was the lackluster performance of Manchester United. The team could not get it together on attack with several missed passes, but the defense was just not tight. I was particularly surprised at how often the opposition was allowed to make runs from midfield often uncontested. Still, United boss Sir Alex Ferguson had an ace up his sleeve.
The second half saw Wayne Rooney come on as a substitute, and the forward wasted no time in making his presence felt with some deft passes and nice runs. Still Tottenham managed to gain a 2-3 advantage, but I thought the second half showed United had some grit. The last twenty minutes saw one Red Devil attack after another, but each time they were turned away by a stingy Hotspurs defense. The final surge saw Anders Lindegaard called up from his keeper position for a last second corner, but to no avail. Certainly Tottenham played well enough for a win, and Manchester United just did not have enough in the tank to grab a late goal.
I was disappointed that Sir Alex decided not to give a starting nod to the Rooney and Robin van Persie combination. Their performance in the second frame proved the duo can create havoc for defenses and take some pressure off the midfielders. However, with a Champions League match looming in the coming week and Rooney just coming off a Capital One Cup performance, I can understand why Sir Alex opted to rest Rooney for the second half. I would expect him to be involved in the opening of the Champions League game. I would also have liked to see Javier Hernandez come on for Rio Ferdinand a little sooner, as the extra firepower could have yielded a better result.
Basically, I think Manchester United paid for a bad first half with a loss in the match. Hey, it might not be fair, but that's football. Sir Alex will have to get the squad to recover fast, becomes the Champions League tie looms large along with a trip to Newcastle next weekend.
Jason Gallagher is a long-time Manchester United fan, following the performances of the Red Devils since the days of Eric Cantona and David Beckham.
- Sports & Recreation
- Manchester United
- Tottenham Hotspurs
- Wayne Rooney