SPURS HOST UNITED in the second fixture of the day.
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Tottenham 1-1 Manchester United
15.47 – Good afternoon. After the game was in danger of being cancelled due to heavy snowfall in North London, referee Chris Foy has decided we’re good to go after a late pitch inspection.
So here are the teams:
Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Dawson, Caulker, Naughton, Lennon, Parker, Dembele, Bale, Dempsey, Defoe. Subs: Friedel, Vertonghen, Huddlestone, Sigurdsson, Livermore, Townsend, Assou-Ekotto.
Manchester Utd: De Gea, Da Silva, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Jones, Carrick, Cleverley, Kagawa, Welbeck, van Persie. Subs: Lindegaard, Valencia, Anderson, Rooney, Giggs, Smalling, Hernandez.
Three changes for the home side as the injured Sandro is replaced by Scott Parker, who makes his first Premier League start of the season. Clint Dempsey comes in for Emmanuel Adabayor as the Togo striker is at the African Cup of Nations, while Steven Caulker is picked ahead of Jan Vertonghen.
For United, Ashley Young is injured so Phil Jones is included in the midfield. Wayner Rooney is on the bench.
15.53 – Alex Ferguson chats to the match officials earlier on.
Credit: Adam Davy/EMPICS Sport
I think it’s worth trying, starting. The referee has every right to start. It’s a long journey. We don’t want a back log. Both of us are in cups. It’s always a good football match and very competitive.” – Alex Ferguson talking to Sky Sports reporter Geoff Shreeves
16.00 – Pitch is looking well considering the circumstances but snow is still coming down. Spurs to kick off.
16.06 – Nemanja Vidic catches Jermain Defoe and Spurs win themselves a free-kick. It’s headed clear but lofted back into the box. When the ball falls to Demspey, he strikes first time on the volley – but finds Vidic in the way.
16.10 – Aaron Lennon flicks the ball through the legs of Patrice Evra and is brought down by the Frenchman. A Kyle Walker delivery comes through to Phil Jones and the back post and he bursts forward on the attack before being fouled. No chances of note to report after ten minutes.
16.13 – Scotty Parker attempts a through-ball but receives it back off the leg of Rio Ferdinand. He tries his luck from 20 yards but is wide of the mark.
Down the other end, Robin van Persie latches onto a cross with his head. It’s easily saved by Hugo Lloris, however.
16.16 – Some space opens up through the middle and Lennon takes advantage. His low drive is pushed away by David De Gea. The Spaniard saves Defoe’s follow-up shot but he is ruled offside anyway.
16.21 – Former Spurs man Michael Carrick is the first man into Foy’s book thanks to a tackle on Dempsey.
16.25 – GOAL! Tottenham 0-1 Manchester United (Robin van Persie)
The visitors are ahead and you’ve guessed the scorer. Shinji Kagawa flicks to Carrick, who works the ball to Welbeck. He switches play to the right where Cleverley collects before accurately crossing and Van Persie heads past Lloris at the back post.
16.34 – Dembele goes down under a challenge from Kagawa but is unhappy when a free-kick isn’t awarded.
16.39 – How important has he been this season…
16.42 – Oof, Spurs go close through Gareth Bale. Rafael heads only as far the 18-yard line, where the Welshman lets fly with his right foot. It takes a nick off Jones on the way through the crowd of bodies and De Gea has to react swiftly to keep it out with his legs.
16.47 – Half-time: Tottenham 0-1 Manchester United
Evra takes Lennon’s legs from under him again and is booked for his troubles. Danny Welbeck is full of running as usual and wins United a corner down the other end. It goes behind for a second, then out for a throw before Dempsey breaks to ease the pressure.
Spurs earn a corner of their own, which is wasted by Kyle Walker. The whistle then goes to signal the halfway point.
16.51 – Just AVB keeping warm with a blanket…
16.52 – And here’s the game’s only goal so far:
YouTube credit: GoalsGoalsFutbol
16.55 – The Ireland captain is training with his former club for two weeks.
17.04 – And we’re back.
17.07 – Gareth Bale shoots just over from an acute angle.
17.08 – Super save from De Gea to keep out Dembele after Dempsey had skipped by a number of challenges. Spurs looked certain to score there.
17.21 – Spurs have been on top during the first 15 minutes of this second half and have come closing to finding a leveller a couple of times. Their latest chances sees Bale whip a ball into a dangerous area but his teem-mates can’t take advantage of the ball.
Wayne Rooney has just come on for Kagawa and in his first involvement goes down in the penalty box after Steven Caulker sticks a leg out. Chris Foy waves away appeals from the striker.
17.26 – Another chance for Tottenham and Dempsey crashes a shot into the sidenetting. United get away down the right through Da Silva and Welbeck stretches to reach the cross but can’t make sufficient contact.
Benoit Assou-Ekotto is on for Kyle Naughton.
17.32 – Michael Dawson makes a vital clearance to keep Van Persie at bay when Cleverley forces his way through the middle. That’s Cleverley’s last involvement as he has been substituted for Antonio Valencia.
Quarter of an hour on the clock.
17.38 – Big moment in the game. Lennon races forward and threads through Defoe, who pulls the trigger. Rio Ferdinand throws his body in front of the ball and blocks what would likely have been a goal.
Yellow cards for Rafael and Rooney in the last few minutes and Tom Huddlestone has been introduced in place of Scott Parker.
17.44 – Next to have a pop is ball and again Ferdinand is in the way to re-direct it off target as De Gea watches the ball whiz just outside his post. Backs against the wall for United with three minutes plus add-ons left.
17.49 – GOAL! Tottenham 1-1 Manchester United (Clint Dempsey)
Spurs have found an equaliser! After a series of blocks, Assou-Ekotto crosses and De Gea can only punch as far as Lennon. The winger recycles the ball by picking out Dempsey and the American international strokes home. Surely that has earned the home side a point.
17.52 – Full-time: Tottenham 1-1 Manchester United
18.01 – For the second week in a row, United ride their luck in the second half. The difference this time, however, is that Spurs were able to capitalise with a late equaliser. You can’t deny they earned a point from the game but Alex Ferguson will be kicking himself that his side didn’t wrap up the result having taken the lead.
The gap at the top is now down to five points after Manchester City’s win yesterday. Spurs sit four points behind Chelsea in fourth place.
That’s about it from me. I’ll leave you with the equalising goal:
YouTube credit: MultiFootballHigh