I had the suspicion that this might prove to be one big game too far, after the amazing displays that saw us beat Arsenal and Chelsea last week. And so it proved, but while we can have no real complaints about the result or the way it came to be, there was certainly a period in this game when we were sniffing the possibility of another famous win.
Weâ€™ve had some rough decisions at Old Trafford in the past, but we couldnâ€™t really argue with the two penalties that were given in this game. For the first Benoit Assou-Ekotto rashly dived in to bring down Patrice Evra; for the second, makeshift full back Wilson Palacios was clumsy in impeding Nani with four minutes left.
In between these two goals, converted by Ryan Giggs, was a headed equaliser by Ledley King, and a goal of real quality by Nani. That moment alone was fit to settle any game. The Spurs performance was a long way below the level that was achieved and maintained against Chelsea last week â€“ a performance that sets a new benchmark for this team.
This week the midfield just didnâ€™t function. Gareth Bale was unable to affect matters from left back as he has been doing from left midfield, and we were just too careless in possession, which is usually fatal at Old Trafford. Consequently, little service of note found its way to the front two. We were still pretty solid apart from those moments of carelessness, and Gomes certainly wasnâ€™t being overworked.
I guess youâ€™d say that overall Manchester United displayed the kind of stuff that wins titles. For Spurs, it was a setback certainly, but after great recent wins weâ€™re still in the driving seat for fourth place. If we win our games, weâ€™ll qualify for the Champions League play-off. Itâ€™s as simple as that.
Star man: Ledley King â€“ the man is a sensation really. Heâ€™s got no knees but heâ€™s still the best defender out there. Witness his brilliant block to thwart Dimitar Berbatov in the first half. Scored the goal too.
Worst performer: David Bentley or Benoit Assou-Ekotto â€“ the former, slow in thought and action; the latter, played out of position, but made rash decisions.
Best moment: Ledley Kingâ€™s equaliser and the period that followed it, until United scored their second. Up to that point we were fancying a possible win.
Tactics: Wilson Palacios returned after suspension, which saw Modric go to the left in front of Bale. Assou-Ekotto switched to right back â€“ never a comforting thought!
Opposition fans: They seemed pretty happy with the way it turned out.
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