A ref in charge of his first ManUre game since being on the end of a verbal assault in the media by Alex Ferguson which saw the manager on the end of an five match F.A. ban, what are the chances he’d want back into Fergie’s good books.
I Tweeted the day before he’d dick Spurs to appease Fergie. Low and behold.
Needing a boost after two poor outings things started badly as Bale recovered from a physical injury only to be ruled out through illness and with van der Vaart still not fully fit it meant ‘Arry going 4-4-2 with that tactical genius move of Modric on the left. Thankfully Lennon was back in the starting line-up so at least some width.
The 4-4-2 didn’t work to begin with as Rooney and Welbeck both found space between the central pairing of Livermore and Sandro and the back two, Kaboul & King, crating a couple of chances for ManUre. But after that initial few dodgy minutes it started to click and for the rest of the half Spurs bossed the game as the pair showed that Parker was definitely not missed. Livermore wasn’t quite up to his Everton game standard but maybe this was a better opposition in Carrick and Scholes that he completely overshadowed.
But with the possession and the bossing there was just no real cutting edge and Modric was being wasted in his non-central role.
So just pas the half hour and Atkinson makes the boss happy. Lennon cuts in from the left, he was the main attacking danger in white all afternoon, and Saha’s shot is blocked on the line by Adebayor. The balls in the back of the net but of course the whistle has gone. Now unlike last time when Parker blocked Saha’s shot on the line against Stevenage Adebayor wasn’t offside but when the ball hit him it hit his arm after bouncing off his chest. Handball.
You know if a player scored the winner in the game with the very last kick of the ball and took his shirt off in celebration the ref would stand there shrug his shoulders and while showing a yellow card will say
letter of the law, I have to do it. Yet the letter of the law says handballs are given if the act is deliberate. This wasn’t. And you also know if the player doing it was in red and defending that goal a penalty wouldn’t have been given.
How many goals has Adebayor had incorrectly chalked off this season through inept, or otherwise, officiating? How many points has that cost Spurs. It certainly isn’t going to
even itself out.
So after being so dominant having a good gal disallowed it was no surprise that ManUre went ahead just before the break. As Walker got it all wrong marking Rooney at a corner leaving him free to nod in the opener.
Second half pretty much carried on as the first had gone. And there was the usual situation of a opposition player being booked early and not being targeted to get him sent off. This time Jones who was looking shaky and really should have been tested more. In fact they were all looking shaky in red. Rattled was the word I used at the time and they were. This half was for the season, reverse it here or you just feel things are gonna peter out.
But as with the first 45, no cutting edge. A series of set pieces wasted with floated deliveries, bar one Assou-Ekotto free-kick that was close. De Gea making a good save from Livermore’s deflected shot but nothing looked like really penetrating.
So again no surprise that just on the hour they knocked off again as ManUre took a throw, Modric caught napping marking Nani whose cross eventually found Young for him to hit a sweet finish. It was pretty much game over from there, still had the ball but with even less conviction behind it. Though they had a number up the field when the ball found it’s way to Young, less than 10 minutes later, for him to have a pretty much free shot on goal. It was another cracker for the England winger. That was it.
Defoe came on and got a consolation which led to his fanboys screaming that he should have been on sooner. But he wouldn’t have made any difference, scoring a late consolation is meaningless and no indication of what might have been. And we all know from his previous outings those goals come at a cost. Offsides and bugger all help to the team. Saha at least does some work, though Adebayor’s first touch is stinking the place up again, a world away from the Newcastle game.
As is the manager. That game he was full of life jumping about these last couple of the games he’s just sat there looking bored, twitching away, as he did after the Champions League exit last year when he started having a go at the fans. His mind elsewhere? Thinking about how he can play Scholes on the left for England?
Whatever it is it doesn’t look good. Need to give Stevenage a thrashing in the Cup replay midweek just to give the place a lift after two bad defeats. Two defeats that have seen what could have been a 16 point gap whittles down to just 4.
Tottenham Hotspur 1 – 3 Manchester United[vidoe class="center" width="480" height="293" alt="Tottenham Hotspur 1 - 3 Manchester United" title="Tottenham Hotspur 1 - 3 Manchester United - Premier League, March 4th, 2012"]http://videa.hu/flvplayer.swf?v=GCOgSHKxqhwEflxW[/video]