Home » EPL, Latest » Match Report: Tottenham Hotspur 0 Manchester United 0

Manchester United’s march towards another Premier League title – and potentially an ‘Invincible’ season – continues to be founded on resilience rather than flair.

Yes, the real winners from this Premier League weekend were Arsenal and Manchester City, who have both moved to within two points of United but, in the circumstances, Sir Alex Ferguson will have been delighted to leave White Hart Lane having extended a 24 game unbeaten run over Tottenham Hotspur.

With Nemanja Vidic outstanding, United played the final 20 minutes with only 10 men after Rafael Da Silva was dismissed for a second booking when he tripped Benoît Assou-Ekotto.

Rafael had earlier been cautioned for a first-half challenge on Wilson Palacios and he reacted petulantly by kicking out in the direction of a pitch-side microphone as he made his way down towards the tunnel. Wayne Rooney was also cautioned in the aftermath of the incident for his obvious vocal dissent against referee Mike Dean.

It all followed the observation from Ferguson on Friday that, “the thing about Rafael is that he’s not making any rash decisions”.

Rafael will now be suspended for United’s next game against Birmingham on Saturday. Ferguson had showed Arsenal the respect of playing only Rooney up front in their recent meeting at Old Trafford, but settled on a more open 4-4-2 formation this afternoon as Dimitar Berbatov partnered the England forward in attack.

With Tottenham setting up in their usual 4-4-1-1 formation, it meant plenty of space and opportunity for the game’s attacking players.

This was most exploited by Luka Modric and Gareth Bale during a first-half which Tottenham shaded.

Modric was particularly outstanding in the opening minutes, feeding Alan Hutton down the right whose cross was volleyed narrowly wide by Peter Crouch.

Bale became increasingly influential as the first-half unfolded, twice getting past Rafael and providing one particularly inviting chance for Rafael Van der Vaart that was headed just wide.

Despite the Tottenham pressure, United – and particularly Vidic – had looked commanding defensively and they carried a much greater threat during the second-half.

Michael Carrick’s almost back-headed Ryan Giggs’ corner inside the far post, while Rooney then forced an excellent diving save from Heurelho Gomes after dribbling past Hutton. The sending-off ensured that the match concluded with a period of considerable Tottenham pressure, but United again showed the defensive excellence upon which league title are so often won.

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