Manchester United (Away)
FA Cup Fourth Round

Sunday 27th January 2008


Having enjoyed a run-breaking win on Tuesday against one of the top four teams, another comes up straight away with this FA Cup tie against United at Old Trafford.

To win this one straight off the back of the Arsenal victory will be a big ask, but if the team can put together another performance like Tuesday night's, then there is a possibility of a result.

United might not put out a full first team, but even so, there will be a tough side out to face Spurs.  Paul Scholes might make his comeback after being out for a long while, with some of the other fringe players featuring.

We might expect to see some of the following - Darren Fletcher, Owen Hargreaves, Danny Simpson, Tomasz Cusczak, John O'Shea and Nani, with Michael Carrick getting a starting place and some of the bigger names such as Rio Ferdinand and maybe even Ryan Giggs starting.

United have the depth of quality in their squad to field two decent sides in the Premier League, but the first choice eleven at Tottenham might make it a difficult day for a weakened United team.

Lots of effort, which comes from the increased fitness levels Juande Ramos has ensured, while the attacking options might give the unaccustomed back four of the home side some problems.  With the back four looking a much more solid unit now, having the midfield in front of them working hard up and back, the way through to Radek Cerny might be harder to discover than previously.

I am not sure that there will be another win for Spurs, but I believe that they might be able to bring it back to White hart Lane for another crack at the League champions with Spurs getting a draw ...

PREDICTION : -  Manchester United  1   Tottenham Hotspur   1

For more information on the opponents and their history, including full result history of matches between the two teams, click here.


MANCHESTER UNITED :  - Mikael Silvestre (knee); Ben Foster (knee)

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : -  Anthony Gardner (ankle); Gareth Bale (foot); Benoit Assou-Ekotto (knee); Darren Bent (knee);  Didier Zokora (international duty); Pascal Chimbonda (suspended)


BBC 1 - (live coverage)
Match of the Day 2  (BBC 2) - Sunday 22.35 - 23.35 (highlights)
For coverage in all parts of the world, check here and here

Radio :  
BBC LONDON 94.9FM (London area only), Digital Radio (London area only) &  Sky Channel 0152
 (live coverage)
BBC Radio Five Live (live coverage)  606/939 MW

If available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard in these countries on these stations ...
Australia (Melbourne) SEN  -  116 AM  Live Transmissions: TWI, Saturday. 12.45 & 1500 matches
Australia (Sydney)  Radio 2  -  1611AM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 12.45 Match
Singapore Media Corp Radio  -  93.8 FM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
South Africa  SABC (Radio 2000)  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
Uganda  Radio 1 (English) 90.0 FM, Radio 2 (Lugandan) 87.9 FM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
North America (USA, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean)  Sirius Satellite Radio  Live transmission: Saturday - 12.45, 15.00 (TWI) & 17.15 (BBC) Sunday - 14.00 & 16.05 (BBC) Mon, Tue, Wed - Various times (BBC)

Internet :   Live webcast  - subscribers only
BBC London -
click on link to "Listen to Tottenham Hotspur live commentary" on top right hand menu.




Manchester United   3   Tottenham Hotspur    1      (Half-time score : 1-1)

FA Cup Fourth Round
Venue : -  Old Trafford
Sunday 27th January 2008
Kick Off :  2.00 p.m.
Crowd :   75,369
Referee :  Peter Walton (Northamptonshire)
Weather :  -  Dry, chilly
Teams : - 
Manchester United :

  1 van der Sar

  2 Evra     (25 Simpson 90)
  6 Brown
  5 Ferdinand
22 O'Shea

11 Giggs
16 Carrick (18 Scholes 64)
  4 Hargreaves

10 Rooney
32 Tevez (  8 Anderson 81)

Unused subs: 
29 Kuszczak
17 Nani

Tottenham Hotspur :

12 Cerny

  3 YP Lee  (44 Gunter 59)
20 Dawson    
22 Huddlestone
24 O'Hara

25 Lennon  (17 Boateng 72)
  6 Tainio  (18 Defoe 81)
  8 Jenas
15 Malbranque

  9 Berbatov
10 Keane (c)

Unused subs: 
  1 Robinson
  5 Kaboul

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of
Manchester United

Tottenham Hotspur
Scorers : -  
Manchester United

Tevez 38
Ronaldo (p) 69
Ronaldo 88

Tottenham Hotspur

Keane 24

Cards : -  
Manchester United

Evra (foul) 45   


Tottenham Hotspur 


Dawson (handball) 68

Match Report : -  
What was an even encounter turned on a long ball and a handball, that saw United go ahead from the spot and saw Michael Dawson take the long walk to the dressing room.  However, even then, Spurs still attacked and could have got an equaliser rather than concede another to end the game defeated 1-3, but not without giving the Champions some difficult moments on their own ground.

In fact, had Tottenham taken their opportunities, then the game might have been very different.

With Ramos making an interesting selection, with Chimbonda suspended and Ledley rested after Tuesday, Jamie O'Hara lined up at left back, with Lee switching wings to the right.  Teemu Taino retained his place in midfield to add some bite in that area against the United midfielders.

The game was very open right from the start and became an end-to-end cup tie.  Lee nicked the ball off Rooney's toe, then Jenas got in on the right, but pulled the ball back behind all the Spurs players in the box.  When Giggs got into a similar position, he picked out Wayne Rooney, who struck the ball first time at the near post into the side netting.

Spurs were working hard to shut United down and when Ronaldo got possession, O'Hara was helped out by Steed Malbranque to deny him space and time on the ball.  From Tottenham's first corner, Lennon's ball was met by Berbatov's head and Rooney was on the far post to head the ball away from the line in the 14th minute.  Five minutes later Cerny was in action with a falling save to take Rooney's low shot.

With 23 minutes on the clock, Tottenham went ahead.  A fine move starting with Cerny throwing the ball out to O'Hara ended with Dawson drilling a pass out to Lennon on the right wing.  The little winger took on Evra and pulled the ball across the six yard box, cutting out van der Sar, leaving Robbie Keane the simple task of getting a touch on the ball to guide it into the net from two yards out to make it 1-0.  It was a well crafted goal and was a bit of a surprise, although the attacking style of play is the best way for Spurs to approach games these days.

Lennon's pace had United struggling and a break away in the 32nd minute took hi to the edge of the home team's area, but he opted to shoot instead of looking to put Dimitar in and the chance was easily thwarted by van der Sar.  Then the play moved to the other end and a corner for United saw Cerny having to reach over Tevez's shoulders to beat the ball away as it looked like the goal might be under threat.

Cerny enhanced his reputation in the 37th minute with a regulation tip over the bar from a rising Giggs shot and when the corner was cleared, it was worked back from the right and a high ball into the area was mis-headed by Dawson, with the ball falling to Giggs, who held off Lee, allowing the ball to drop for Tevez to sweep in from the left side of the area from about 10 yards out.  The ball flew across Cerny and the error by Dawson allowed United to get back into the game when they hadn't seriously threatened the Tottenham goal.

When Tevez blazed a shot from 25 yards over the top, it looked as though United were getting a grip on the match, but in added time, Jenas made a great run on the blind side and was clean through on van der Sar, who managed to get a hand on the midfielder's low shot across him to keep it out.

The half time talk was about the way the team had denied United the opportunity to play, but also the expansive way the side had been playing to attack the Red Devils on the break.  That was proved just after the interval when Lennon's trick left Evra on the floor and with players at the far post to pick out, Aaron mis-hit his cross, but it nearly went in; just landing on the roof of the net.

Eight minutes into the half, a foul from behind on Keane by Brown gave Tottenham a 25 yard free-kick, which Jamie O'Hara stepped up to bend around the wall, but not enough to convince van der Sar that it was going to hit the target.  One minute later, Spurs should have been ahead again.  A throw-in was flicked on Gilzean-like by Berbatov.  The ball dropped and was hooked on by Keane over the defence, leaving Jermaine Jenas the opportunity to run past them and clear once more, he failed to hit the target, as he got his shot all wrong and side-footed well wide, when he could have even passed sideways to give a chance to a supporting team-mate.

Just before the hour came up, Ronaldo finally got some joy against O'Hara and worked a shooting chance, but he hit the side netting.  Lee picked up a knock and Gunter came on to replace him and did not look out of place in the line-up, with Paul Scholes coming on for the disappointing Michael Carrick.  Scholes immediately got involved with a set-up for Tevez to shoot over and then Scholes did the same himself.

67 minutes saw the incident that turned the match.  An innocuous incident saw United get a free-kick on the edge of their own box as Robbie Keane was adjudged to have fouled Wes Brown.  Interesting as many similar incidents with Keane being the victim had gone unpunished by ref Walton.  van der Sar raced past the intended taker and hoofed the ball straight down the middle of the pitch, landing it in the Spurs penalty area.  Dawson got under it and Rooney took it down with one touch.  Trying to get back to prevent a goal, the falling Dawson knocked the ball away with his arm and conceded a penalty and got a red card for his troubles.

Ronaldo converted and the game was virtually over.  Tottenham sacrificed Aaron Lennon with Boateng coming on, taking the side into a 4-3-2 formation.  It seemed to work as Kevin got away on the right corner of the penalty box and fired a shot on goal, but it went high into the Stretford End.  Ramos still was going for the game, when he took Tainio off and brought on Jermain Defoe, but it looked as though his touch was not at it's best today and too often the ball got away from him.

With a 3-3-3 formation with Berbatov, Keane and Defoe leading the side up front.  And it very nearly paid off.

The ball was worked on the left to Malbranque and he played a neat ball into the area.  It missed the first man and with Berbatov coming in at the far post, Wes Brown just managed to get in a foot, which diverted the ball towards his own goal.  Four inches was the difference between 2-2 and 1-2 and the ball struck the upright and bounced out.

Four minutes later, the lack of luck Tottenham generally enjoy (?) at Old Trafford came back to visit us.  Ronaldo switched to the left and he ran at Gunter, cut inside and his shot flicked off the underside of Steed's leg and took the ball down and under the diving body of Radek Cerny to squeeze in to make it 3-0.

The score-line flattered United a little bit, with the final goal a couple of minutes before the end and a huge slice of luck assisting them.  Had we kept eleven men on the pitch, it might have been an interesting final twenty minutes.

Jenas' misses might also have made a difference, with the ball bouncing back off the post another piece of misfortune.  With United the visitors to the Lane next week, the nature of the game changes, as there are three points up for grabs.

Will it end the same ?  And will there be any new faces in the side come Saturday ?  Perhaps Ramos will spring yet another surprise and finally allay our United hoodoo.





Reaction : -



Read Wyart Lane's take on the FA Cup tie at the Times Online by clicking here.




Other FA Cup Fourth Round scores this weekend :
Arsenal 3 Newcastle United 0 Saturday
Barnet 0 Bristol Rovers 1 Saturday
Coventry City 2 Millwall 1 Saturday
Derby County 1 Preston North End 4 Saturday
Liverpool 5 Havant & Waterlooville 2 Saturday
Mansfield Town 0 Middlesbrough 2 Saturday
Peterborough United 0 West Bromwich Albion 3 Saturday
Oldham Athletic 0 Huddersfield Town 1 Saturday
Portsmouth 2 Plymouth Argyle 1 Saturday
Southampton 2 Bury 0 Saturday
Watford 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 4 Saturday
Wigan Athletic 1 Chelsea 2 Saturday
Sheffield United 2 Manchester City 1 Sunday
Hereford United 1 Cardiff City 2 Sunday
Other Premier League scores this weekend :
Aston Villa 1 Blackburn Rovers 1 Saturday


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