All the ones I’ve seen anyway. They’re all along the same line as “ManUre frustrated Spurs to hang on for the draw”. No doubt they, as their ‘keeper later stated, were more happy hanging on for the point than Spurs were.
Yes it’s Spurs that are left disappointed yet again. Another great chance to do a “Sky Big 4” team one there for the taking and much like the game against Chelsea a chance not taken.
Things hadn’t looked good in the lead up week as Jenas did his usual gobbing off in the media, which normally proceeds his disappearing act after being picked in the starting XI. Luckily ‘Arry didn’t go this route as Palacios was placed alongside Modric. He did though plump for Crouch up front. It did bring visions of possession being repeatedly given away with humps up the park.
This did happen a bit as Crouch mainly stuck to Vidic, who revels in such situations, rather than Ferdinand who can bottle it. At times it was frustrating to see the ball fly over the head of the real class act on the day, Modric.
Again while all the attention is focused on Bale and van der Vaart, along with a certain knackered show pony in the stands, Modric put on one hell of a display. The only way ManUre could get the ball off him was by foul means and even then his balance and skill is such he stayed on his feet and kept the ball with ease most times. Highlighted well in the second half when Vidic, I seem to recall, chased him down the pitch, hacking at him once, twice, thrice but never looked like ever dispossessing our little maestro. And that summed up ManUre on the day, while Spurs were all about class, they were all about clogging. But not a single whinge from Modders as he repeatedly picked up the ball in space he created and ran away from red shirts.
From the first kick of the game, ManUre taking the kickoff which was shortly followed by Bale nicking ball and sticking a cross in, it as all go. The first ten minutes saw some excellent end to end play. ManUre had chances as Dawson and Gallas seemed to back off their front pair, it seemed an odd tactic and at times Spurs backed off so much it was if they were hanging on to a lead in the last seconds.
Spurs should really have opened the scoring, Modric quick into things with a lovely turn to leave Fletcher in his wake – not the last time – ball out to Hutton and an excellent cross should have seen Crouch score. Hutton put in a few decent crosses but his link up play with Lennon was off all game. Balls either cut out by the first defender or behind the little scamperer. Lennon was also double teamed most of the time by Evra and Giggs that later’s only real contribution on his 600th league appearance was to foul the Spurs winger a number of times and handle the ball a couple of times. Giggs had that look about him all day, the look that says he should be sponsored by confused dot com.
Typical of his side on the day and should have resulted in a yellow on the totting up standard. Carrick and Vidic could do nothing but foul as the former was with Fletcher floundering. When Vidic wasn’t in Crouch’s back he was pulling van der Vaart over in the area, or kicking Modders. Rafael should have seen red with a lunge at Palacios, second time in a week he’s got away with it, he also got away with waving an imaginary card at the ref after he was caught by Palacios. That would have seen him go before he did. An accident said all the ManUre media fanboys but his reaction said more, it was exactly the same as after his earlier, running away with a guilty sheepish look. But then he’d held his hands up so it wasn’t a foul was it again totting up could be played here.
Rooney was booked for dissent during this and not long after was again shouting and waving his hand at the ref in an even worse display that should have seen him go. Some will say the sending off made a difference but ManUre were hanging on far before that, Anderson had come on in a defensive more for Nani nearly 15 minutes earlier and van der Saar had been time wasting from very early on in the second half.
Saying all that Gomes had to make the better saves than van der Saar, one though a sea of legs which the Brazilian could see was exceptional. There were plenty of balls into the box from Spurs, mainly from Bale, a few after a great outside of the left foot flick round Rafael by the Welshman. But their ‘keeper wasn’t tested enough as the shot was just off or the cross was. But Spurs back four, after their initial standoffishness, were barely troubled and picked up another clean sheet.
The sending off did change one thing. ‘Arry’s substitution, as he brought Defoe on for Palacios. Figuring they weren’t really attacking so a holding midfielder wasn’t required and with Wilson on a yellow it would take away one opportunity for the ref to “even things up” as is their want. No doubt if the second yellow hadn’t been shown either van der Vaart of Lennon would have been replaced. As would also have probably happened if Defoe had come on earlier, which in reality was called for, bit of pace up front.
One last chance by van der Vaart, after Hernandez’s mistake looked in a split second first a great shot then half way through crap then right at the end ooohhhh. As it looked to be on target as it left his foot, then seemed to be ballooning off target but curled at the end to just scuff wide. Would have been interesting to see what the ref would have given if the Mexican hadn’t time his challenge in the box on Lennon in the final few seconds of the game. What chance a penalty given against ManUre?
One last chance for the visitors but there’s Modric chasing down Hernandez and doing enough to put him off. All those that said he was too small and weak for this league…
Tottenham Hotspur 0 – 0 Manchester United