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Premier League

Sunday 4th February 2007

Having lost out to Arsenal in extra time, it will be a tired side that takes to the field to face Man U.  The team will not have a great deal of confidence going into the game, having lost the League Cup semi-final, with our record against the top four teams not being the best either.

While some people think the team have gone backwards this season, it is not the last year that has seen our record against the Red Devils drop off.  It has happened for a few years now and ever since we were 3-0 up at half-time and ended up losing to them, our home record has not been good.  Before that we used to turn them over at the Lane fairly regularly.

With a star-studded squad and having added Henrik Larsson to it on loan, there is a galaxy of stars to choose from.  Some players might be given a rest against Tottenham and this is a yardstick we need to establish, where the top sides field a full-strength side against us.  Ronaldo is on fire, Rooney is fit and firing with goals from all angles, while the back line is tight and look miserly.

For Spurs, the pairing of Mido and Defoe will be the most likely starting one, unless Dimitar overcomes his groin strain.  The presence of Aaron Lennon will be crucial if Spurs are to get anything from the match and we can expect to see Anthony Gardner start alongside Dawson at the back after Rocha's uncomfortable introduction into the semi-final second leg.

The way table topping United play is what Tottenham should aspire to.  An attacking mentality that imposes their will on their opponents and a belief in what they are doing.  Spurs are gathering the players to do so, but getting that consistency and confidence is the key to their progress.  Until than, it will be a hard lesson to learn ...

PREDICTION : -  Tottenham Hotspur  1    Manchester United  3

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


TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : -  Ledley King (foot); Aaron Lennon (illness); Teemu Tainio (illness); Dimitar Berbatov (groin); Mido (suspended)



Sky Sports 1 - (live coverage)
Match of the Day 2  (BBC 2) - 22.00 (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.




Tottenham Hotspur   0    Manchester United   4      (Half-time score : 0-1)

Premier League
Venue : White Hart Lane  
Sunday 4th February 2007
Kick Off :  4.00 p.m.
Crowd :   36,146
Referee :  Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear)
Weather :  -  Clear, dry, chilly
Teams : - 
Tottenham Hotspur :

Robinson (c)

YP Lee

Zokora (Ghaly 56)

Defoe (Keane 56)

Unused subs

Manchester United :

Van der Sar


Ronaldo (Park 68)
Giggs (c) (O'Shea 80)

Rooney (Saha 64)

Unused subs

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of
Tottenham Hotspur

  Manchester United
Scorers : -  
Tottenham Hotspur


Manchester United

Ronaldo 45 (p)
Vidic 48
Scholes 54
Giggs 77

Cards : -  
Tottenham Hotspur  

Chimbonda (foul) 45 
Keane (foul) 70


Manchester United

Vidic (foul) 9
Rooney (foul) 37
Larsson (foul) 45


Match Report : -  
From the first minute of the first half when Scholes clattered through Aaron Lennon from behind to the last minute of the first half when Ronaldo tripped over those big red clown shoes he wears on his feet to "buy" a cheap penalty, referee Clattenberk continued his campaign of condemning Tottenham to gain nothing in matches he officiates between them and Manchester United.

While Paul Scholes suffered the taunts that he was the love child of former the former fat, ginger referee of a few years ago, now he must have something on Clattenberk, as four bad tackles later, the match official was still giving him verbal warnings, when many other players were getting yellows for their first offences.  That and three other penalty decisions he got wrong mark Clattenberk out in my opinion as one of the poorest referees in the Premiership.  There were times in the game when I was crying out for Uriah Rennie to be out there.  At least you don't know where you stand with him !!

The first half was fairly even with Berbatov's shot squirming through van der Sar's hands to go just wide at the Park Lane end, while Robinson saved Carrick's header and Ronaldo blasted the ball over the top.  The only other matters of consequence came courtesy of Clattenberk's indecision making.

When Gardner fell on top of Larsson, it looked like a penalty, but the ref took the whistle halfway to his lips, looked at the linesman and then waved play on.  The Man U players went berserk.  It was a case of him looking to level things up the next time someone took a tumble in the box and when Ronaldo did a slo-mo action replay of the penalty he "won" against Middlesbrough earlier in the season, Clattenberk bought it ... even with a clear view and with no help form the lineman this time.  The Portuguese plunger managed to raise himself from the turf to hit it past Robinson to give United the lead.  There was not much in it until then.  both sides had shots deflected away or wide of the mark, but soon after the break the match swung United's way.

Two minutes after the restart, Robinson palms one shot over from Vidic and then the resulting corner was headed goalwards by Carrick and Robbo tipped this one over the top too.  Another corner and this one was headed in by Vidic unchallenged.  Then Ronaldo shows what he does best and roasted Lee on the wing, his low cross into the six yard box found Scholes, who had the time to tread on the ball, then poke it over the line.

Jol's tactic to stop the rot was to take off Zokora and Defoe and bring on Keane and Ghaly ... not that there was much option on the bench.  It failed to work, as Spurs continued to get over-run in midfield and Rooney curled an effort wide of the post.  Just before the hour, Berba jinked around Ferdinand tight on the line and was brought down, but Clattenberk said no penalty ... not that he would know one if it hit him in the face.  But then Huddlestone's pass through to Berbatov almost got Spurs off the mark, but his shot was beaten out by van der Sar.  The Bulgarian looked the most likely to score for Spurs and forced the United keeper to another tip over when he rose above Ferdinand to get a good header on the ball.

With a quarter of an hour to go it was all over.  Ghaly lost possession in midfield, Saha released Giggs through the middle and his free run on goal ended with a finish past an unprotected Robinson for 0-4.

Spurs had tow last chances.  Keane was released by Huddlestone and his shot was kept out by van der Sar, but Robbie caught him as he came out and he had to leave the field with a broken nose.  John O'Shea had to go in goal as the three subs had already been used, but Spurs failed to make him work harder than one punch from a corner, two shots wide of the mark and Keano had the best chance of cutting the deficit, when put through by Tommy, but his one-on-one finishing is dreadful and O'Shea rushed out of his box to block him.

Too often Spurs got caught out with too many players pushing forward, leaving the defence exposed and we lacked a ball-winner in midfield to staunch the flow towards the Tottenham goal.

While I didn't expect Spurs to win this game, it was all a bit too easy for United and marks another stage in our development.  We need to start winning games to get to the forty point mark, which we achieved just after Christmas last year.  The league finish for Europe is out of the question, but the improvemnt between now and the end of the season should mark out how we intend to play next season.




Reaction : -



After today’s game again Man U, I found this.  You may already know about it but I found the first paragraph interesting reading.

Keep it up
All the best


Cheat is too strong a word.

So, let's just call him a diver.

No, actually, let's call him a cheat, as, in my view, it happens too often to be coincidence.





Other scores this weekend :
Aston Villa 1 West Ham United 0 Saturday
Blackburn Rovers 2 Sheffield United 1 Saturday
Charlton Athletic 0 Chelsea 1 Saturday
Fulham 2 Newcastle United 1 Saturday
Liverpool 0 Everton 0 Saturday
Manchester City 0 Reading 2 Saturday
Middlesbrough 1 Arsenal 1 Saturday
Watford 0 Bolton Wanderers 1 Saturday
Wigan Athletic 1 Portsmouth 0 Saturday



League Table
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Manchester United 26 20 3 3 61 18 63 +43
2 Chelsea 26 17 6 3 45 19 57 +26
3 Liverpool 25 15 5 6 39 17 50 +22
4 Arsenal 25 13 7 5 46 21 46 +25
5 Bolton Wanderers 26 13 5 8 30 27 44 +3
6 Reading 26 12 4 10 39 34 40 +5
7 Portsmouth 25 10 8 8 35 25 38 +10
8 Everton 25 9 9 7 31 23 36 +8
9 Blackburn Rovers 26 10 4 12 30 37 34 -7
10 Newcastle United 26 9 6 11 32 35 33 -3
11 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 25 9 6 10 29 36 33 -7
12 Middlesbrough 26 8 8 10 30 30 32 0
13 Aston Villa 26 7 11 8 28 31 32 -3
14 Fulham 26 7 11 8 28 39 32 -11
15 Manchester City 25 8 6 11 19 30 30 -11
16 Sheffield United 25 7 6 12 22 35 27 -13
17 Wigan Athletic 25 7 4 14 26 41 25 -15
18 West Ham United 26 5 5 16 18 41 20 -23
19 Charlton Athletic 26 5 5 16 20 45 20 -25
20 Watford 25 2 9 14 14 37 15 -23



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