Manchester United (Away)
Premier League

Saturday 30th October 2010

Once more, Spurs take the trip North to Gold Trafford, but this time to find a club in a state of flux and some of the tarnish taken off the shiny silverware, which is coming from lower down the ladder than in previous years.

And the side that will face Tottenham will be a more fresher faced one, with Hargreaves, Rooney, Gigs and Valencia all missing and the new breed coming in to take their places, albeit perhaps temporarily.  But it won't be long before the likes of Bebe, Hernandez and Macheda make their names in the first team as regulars.

With Edwin van der Sar having had a bit of a mare against West Bromwich Albion last time out at OT, perhaps Spurs might be able to heap some pressure on him from set-pieces and from getting Bale and Lennon bombing up the line to put dangerous balls into the box.

In front of him, Alex Ferguson will put out a string side. with the likes of Evra, Ferdinand, Vidic and Gary Neville into the defence.  His most experienced line-up at the back will hope to counter the thrusts from the Tottenham midfield and they may take a leaf out of Everton's book form last week and man-mark Rafael van der Vaart, as his importance was minimised by Heitinga's tracking of his moves.  Wes Brown and John O'Shea are also available and there are youngsters Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling and the Da Silva twins, who can also fill in at the back.

In midfield, United have a variety of attacking options, with only Carrick able to play a holding role.  Scholes still likes to get forward, but is lacking the pace of yesteryear to get back from advanced positions and Nani and Ji-Sung Park will offer width in the absence of Giggs.  Darren Fletcher will be included in the middle of midfield, with the propensity to run and run and it could be him who is given the job of trailing VDV.  Darron Gibson is also available, with his ability to strike a fierce shot from range, as can Gabriel Obertan, but his step-overs and fancy flicks have been reserved for the League Cup in recent seasons.  Brazilian Anderson is still at the club, but has dropped a way down the order since having a row with the manager in pre-season and has played only two games.

With Rooney and Owen out, Dimitar Berbatov will no doubt start, perhaps alongside Hernandez, who has been making his own headlines with some good goal-scoring performances.  Not always the most eye-catching goals, but the Mexican youngster has developed the knack of getting in the scoring positions and with Spurs conceding regularly, you feel it might be a problem if the centre-halves fail to pick up his runs.  Other options include Federico Macheda, who is often used as an impact player form the bench, but has height and strength, combined with a good touch, which might compliment Berbatov's game too.

The options are available to United, whereas Spurs are still struggling at the back with a regular centre-half pairing.  Midfield is fairly well stocked and up front, Crouch will start and Pav will come on, playing the lone striker with Rafael van der Vaart just behind them. 

Spurs come into the game with Internazionale waiting on Tuesday, while United also have a Champions League game, but they are better placed than Spurs in their group at the moment, but both teams will be rested, with United only fielding a few first team regulars in their mid-week League Cup win over Wolverhampton Wanderers. 

There will be goals as there always are in this fixture and with Mark Clattenburg returning to this fixture at the same ground where he made one of the all time worst refereeing decisions, you can guess which way the game is going to go ...

PREDICTION : -    Manchester United    2      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 :  - Michael Owen (out - hamstring); Wayne Rooney (out - ankle); Owen Hargreaves (out - calf); Ryan Giggs (out - hamstring); Antonio Valencia (out - broken ankle); - (-); 

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : -  Jermain Defoe (out - ankle), Michael Dawson (out - knee & ankle), Jonathan Woodgate (out - groin), Jamie O'Hara (out - back);  Ledley King (out - groin); Giovani dos Santos (out - groin); - (-);


ESPN -  (live coverage)
Sky Sports 1 -  Football First  -  Saturday 20.25
Match of the Day  (BBC 1) - Saturday 22.30 - 23.50 (highlights)   [repeated at 07:40 Sunday]  Also available online.
Goals on Sunday (Sky Sports 1) - Sunday 11.00
Match of the Day 2  (BBC 2) - Sunday 22.35 - 23.35 (highlights)  Also available online.
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.

For travelling fans who may wish to make use of some hostelries who are offering food/drink/accommodation,
please click here and see if there are any such facilities who have contacted MEHSTG in the area near to the ground.

Manchester United   2    Tottenham Hotspur   0      (Half-time score : 1-0)

Premier League
Venue :  -  Old Trafford
Saturday 30th October 2010
Kick Off :  5.30 p.m.
Crowd :   75,233
Referee :  Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear)
Manchester United kicked off and played towards the Scoreboard end in the first half.
Weather :  -  Wet
Teams : - 
Manchester United :

  1  van der Sar

  3  Evra
15  Vidic (c) 
  5  Ferdinand
21  Rafael   (
  6  Brown 64)

16  Carrick
24  Fletcher
13  Park
19  Nani 

  9  Berbatov   (18  Scholes 64)
14  Hernandez   (
26  Obertan 87)

Unused subs: 
29  Kuszczak
12  Smalling
33  Bebe

Tottenham Hotspur :

  1  Gomes

  2  Hutton
13  Gallas     
  4  Kaboul     
32  Assou-Ekotto

  7  Lennon
  8  Jenas  (12  Palacios 66)
14  Modric     
  3  Bale

11  van der Vaart  (15  Crouch 77)

10  Keane  (c) (  9  Pavlyuchenko 62)

Unused subs: 
23  Cudicini
19  Bassong
21  Kranjcar
30  Sandro

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of
Manchester United

  Tottenham Hotspur
Scorers : -  
Manchester United

Vidic 31
Nani 84

Tottenham Hotspur


Cards : -  
Manchester United




Tottenham Hotspur  

Gallas (foul) 17
Kaboul (foul) 30
Modric (dissent) 85  


Match Report : -  
A two goal defeat tells a tale of familiar defeat at Old Trafford for Spurs, but fails to tell the whole story behind a loss that seems to be the fate of any trip to Manchester United for Tottenham, with no prospect of nay change while there are referees like Clattenburg about.

For all the end result says, Spurs were almost equal to United for most of the first period and were holding their own in the second half until Clattenburg delivered the killer blow, that the home side seemed unable to land.  For the second successive game, the game has been spoiled for the viewing public, although I am sure the United fans were more than happy with the proceedings.

From the start, Spurs knocked the ball around well and looked comfortable in possession, although their final ball let them down in the long run.  United had some swift attacks and threatened the Tottenham goal, but no more than we did.

It was almost a repeat of the Inter Milan game, with United going close inside 90 seconds, as the ball was worked to Park, who was 20 yards out and he let fly with a right foot shot that beat Gomes, but bounced back into play off the foot of the post.  While not pushed back, Spurs had to defend and two Nani shots came in - one Gomes saved and the other was wide of the goal, before the ball was played up to Rafael van der Vaart and while the ball got stuck under his foot, he soon sorted it out and struck a shot that was out of van der Sar's reach.  Rafael was unlucky to see the ball hit the upright and come out.  VDV followed this with a drive the rose over the bar a couple of minutes later.

For once Spurs did not look over-awed by travelling to play United.  Perhaps seeing that they could tough it out with Inter has given them confidence.  But when they worked the ball wide through Lennon and Bale, the balls into the box lacked conviction and accuracy to pick out white shirts, making it easy for United to clear the ball from their danger zone.

Thirteen minutes in, Park was once more provided with a shooting opportunity from the right side of the box and he shaped to shoot, feinting inside Assou-Ekotto and curling a shot around the diving Gomes, but fortunately for Spurs around the post too.  Inside the following ten minutes, Rafael joined the attack and dragged a shot wide of the mark and Carrick had a dig from 25 yards, which Gomes saved, but had to fall on the ball as it came off him.

Kaboul should have done better from a corner, won by Bale, who robbed Ferdinand as he tried to let the ball go out and then Gomes was in action again, diving to stop Fletcher's drive from the edge of the area.  That preceded a shot from the rising star at United, Hernandez, which kept rising over Gomes' goal.  But just after half an hour, Kaboul was booked for a free kick given away on the right hand side of the pitch and when it was flighted into the box, Vidic was allowed a free run on the cross and with only Assou-Ekotto jumping for the ball, but that with his arm, the header roared past Gomes to give United the opening goal. It was a soft goal to concede from a set-piece and one that Spurs are going to have to cut out.

Tottenham did hit back with Modric pulling out a diving save from van der Sar as he hit a fierce drive from the edge of the area and when Jenas wriggled into the box, he tried to curl one around a defender in front of him, but put it well wide.  Just before the break, United had the last chance of the half with a good move that freed Park on the left and he played in Berbatov, who brought a low block from Gomes at his near post.

Half-time brought no substitutions, but a load of fireworks and dancing girls promoting some new United sponsorship in a typically over the top fashion. 

A fairly tentative opening quarter of an hour in the second half saw Gareth Bale burst into life with a run form halfway, which took the ball out to the right and United probably thought the danger had disappeared, but Gareth hit a right foot shot that went a yard wide of van der Sar's post.  Harry almost immediately brought on Pavlyuchenko for the ineffective Keane and the laconic Russian almost stunned the home side, with two shots - one that thudded into the side-netting when he made a yard for himself turning away from Vidic and the second deflecting off the centre half with the goalkeeper left flat-footed.

Gomes was still being kept on his toes, when making saves from Hernandez and a Nani free-kick, before the Portuguese winger struck another shot wide of the goal.  With about 18 minutes left, Assou-Ekotto passed to VDV in the box and a smart turn brought a shot that had van der Sar diving to make a good save at the foot of his near post.  However, a few minutes later, our Dutch midfielder's part in this match (and most probably Tuesday's game against Inter) ended with him limping off the pitch with a hand on his hamstring.

But that was soon to be the least of our concerns, as TCC (as he shall now be known) handed United the three points on a plate.  At 0-1 there is always hope of getting a late equaliser, even though Tottenham's second half performance had been less than their first half showing.  But at 0-2 with six minutes to go, it was game, set and match as they say in handball.  And it was as blatant a handball as you could wish to see when Nani went down in the box, hoping for a penalty decision, which he did not get, but was given an even freer kick at goal when Gomes put the ball down for a free-kick to Spurs, only for TCC to wave play on.  Nani obliged by putting the ball into an empty net and ran off only to have to wait until the Spurs player, then TCC and then being joined by Rio Ferdinand to discuss what the outcome should be.

The Tottenham players had walked away from the linesman, obviously thinking he was going to tell the ref what he told them, but they were then furious when TCC ran away pointing to the centre circle.  Maybe Gomes should have been more aware of whether the whistle had sounded, but maybe TCC should have been more aware of the laws of the game.

The rest of the game was played out by United holding onto possession and Nani firing another shot that hit the top of the bar, but it wouldn't have made a lot of difference if had gone in.

Once more, the result at Old Trafford is massively influenced by a refereeing error.

Will anything ever change ?

Not as long as referees wear black.

Stanford Rivers


Fan Reaction : -



I would like to send my congratulations to those faceless bureaucrats who once more decided to put the visually and common sensibly inept Mark Clattenburg firstly back on the Premier League referees list and then for handing him this game which he has royally screwed up in the past.

While it is debatable as to whether the second goal in this match may have been crucial in the final out come, it has proved to clarify one thing.  And that is that Clattenburg does not, and I repeat NOT possess many of the requirements to be a professional referee.  You see refs who do the job for a lot less pay than him on pitches on a Saturday morning who don't have the benefit of linesmen or radio communication who do a better job of enforcing the rules of the game and applying them with common sense.

So let's look at the incident in question. 

Nani goes down under challenge from Kaboul.  Was it a penalty ?  Linesman didn't flag.  Referee didn't give it.  So, no penalty and you can only assume that MC thought it was a "coming together" of players.  From TV replays it showed that Kaboul had tugged Nani's shirt, but enough to make him fall so dramatically ?  Tough call.

Anyway, not given, he failed to yellow card Nani for a dive or point to the spot.

What happened then was that Nani reached out to pull the ball back towards him with his hand.  A deliberate handball and a bookable offence under the laws of the game. 

Clattenburg neither indicated whether he saw it or not and Gomes, amid the fracas that was going on, put the ball down for a free-kick to get on with it.  It was only at this point, with the ball some distance from Gomes, that Clattenburg waved play on.  And Nani did and scored.

And it wa sonly after the ball went in that the linesman flagged.

I don't think anyone blames Nani.  It all lies with Clattenburg.

While he may come out with some explanation about playing to the whistle and playing advantage to keep the game flowing (or he might not come out and say it, as he is above all that), he could quite easily have taken the game back to the handball and awarded Spurs a free-kick to defuse the situation.  Nani could not have argued he didn't handball it and no advantage accrued to Spurs, thus resolving a potentially explosive situation (especially, as they said on EPSN, if it had happened at the other end .. .then Old Red Nose would have had a very different view of proceedings).

Clattenburg might know the letter of the law, but he has a long way to go before he truly grasps the spirit of them.

The Ghost of Arthur Ellis

Like it !!  TCC.  That's just about right for him.

But why is everyone so surprised that he didn't see the handball when he couldn't see the ball SO FAR over the line last time he was at one of our games there ?? 

Benny the Ball


Another prime example of a referee only too arrogant in his dealings with players to step back, take a deep breath and apply a little common sense (although why an ex-England captain is now allowed the privileges only previously afforded the current armband wearer is beyond me).

It makes you long for the days of Roger Milford, Uriah Rennie et al. 

And I never thought I would say that !!

Stan Chun




Other scores this weekend :
Arsenal 1 West Ham United 0 Saturday
Blackburn Rovers 1 Chelsea 2 Saturday
Everton 1 Stoke City 0 Saturday
Fulham 2 Wigan Athletic 0 Saturday
Wolverhampton Wanderers 2 Manchester City 1 Saturday
Newcastle United 5 Sunderland 1 Sunday
Aston Villa 0 Birmingham City 0 Sunday
Bolton Wanderers 0 Liverpool 1 Sunday
Blackpool 2 West Bromwich Albion 1 Monday




League Table
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Chelsea 10 8 1 1 27 3 25 +24
2 Arsenal 10 6 2 2 22 10 20 +12
3 Manchester United 10 5 5 0 24 14 20 +10
4 Manchester City 10 5 2 3 13 10 17 +3
5 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 10 4 3 3 12 11 15 +1
6 West Bromwich Albion 10 4 3 3 14 17 15 -3
7 Newcastle United 10 4 2 4 19 14 14 +5
8 Everton 10 3 4 3 10 8 13 +2
9 Blackpool 10 4 1 5 15 21 13 -6
10 Fulham 10 2 6 2 12 11 12 +1
11 Bolton Wanderers 10 2 6 2 13 14 12 -1
12 Sunderland 10 2 6 2 9 12 12 -3
13 Liverpool 10 3 3 4 10 14 12 -4
14 Aston Villa 10 3 3 4 9 13 12 -4
15 Birmingham City 10 2 5 3 10 12 11 -2
16 Stoke City 10 3 1 6 10 14 10 -4
17 Wigan Athletic 10 2 4 4 7 18 10 -11
18 Blackburn Rovers 10 2 3 5 9 12 9 -3
19 Wolverhampton Wanderers 10 2 3 5 10 16 9 -6
20 West Ham United 10 1 3 6 7 18 6 -11


Position before the match :  5th
Position after the match :  5th
Position after the weekend :  5th


Back to homepage