Like a lot of reds, I was fairly aprehensive about our trip to White Hart Lane yesterday, given that they were yet to lose a game and Jermaine Defoe is in great form. Whilst Spurs’ opposition teams before this weekend haven’t been world beaters necessarily, they have seen off Liverpool, and every one knows that this is the year they are going to win the league again. Spurs have looked good and the prospect of travelling to their yard on the back of our poor performance against Arsenal was a daunting one.
When we went a goal down with less than a minute played it seemed as though our worst fears had been confirmed. Dimitar Berbatov gave the ball away and the Rio-Vidic partnership couldn’t stop Crouch and Defoe. The finish was great and the worry was this was only the beginning for the in form striker, who can’t seem to stop scoring at the moment.
United responded brilliantly well, much to my surprise, with Paul Scholes having a shot down the other end almost immediately, quickly followed by another effort from Darren Fletcher. We kept the ball well and for probably the first time this season, really looked like we wanted it.
Ryan Giggs stepped up to take a freekick from outside the area and there probably weren’t too many predicting he would score. Freekicks have been Ronaldo’s job for the past few years and whilst Giggsy had come close on the few opportunities he had been given, there weren’t many screamers for us to comment on. This one was a screamer though, getting enough height to lift it over Peter Crouch’s head, but good enough placement to see it fire in to the top corner. A goal from Giggs in every Premiership season as our winger builds up his legendary status with every passing year.
You know it’s our day when Anderson is on the scoresheet, given that so many of us had to wonder whether that day would ever arrive. Scholes shot with power and it was rebounded straight in to the path of our Brazilian just outside the area. He swung at it perfectly and watched as it crept in to the bottom corner. Brilliant. This is a player who requested to play for the Reserves a couple of weeks ago after not getting much time in the first team. He put on an impressive display, scoring a goal then too, which obviously impressed the manager.
United continued to look like the better side and put in a performance we could finally be very proud of. When Scholesy got sent off for a second yellow you had to wonder whether we going to have to settle for a draw. I’d argue the second booking was harsh, given that both players were sliding in to each other with their feet raised. Difference is Scholes didn’t roll around crying about it.
Thankfully, we weren’t forced to pay for his clumsy tackling with Wayne Rooney coming alive. When we were a goal and man down at Fulham last season, thanks to another Scholes red card, the game was crying out for Rooney’s influence. Ferguson waited too long that day. Fortunately Wayne was already on the park this time and he probably made the difference between us winning and drawing. His great individual goal wrapped up the points for us and with five goals in five games, the people who questioned whether we had someone to replace Cristiano Ronado’s are starting to look fairly silly.
All in all, a very good performance from United and a vital three points. With City next weekend, we didn’t need to go in to with the desperation a bad result at White Hart Lane would have left us with. As it is, we’ve seen off two of the in form team, one away from home, and are starting to look good. There is still a long way to go and a victory at Spurs doesn’t solve all our problems, but given the only team above us in the league haven’t played anyone who will finish in the top ten this season, we’ve got to be fairly pleased with our start.
More of the same against City please.