Consent Preferences Spurs Odyssey Match Report - Spurs v Manchester United, 19.05.01
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Spurs v Manchester Utd, 19.05.01


Spurs scorers:-
Korsten, 17, 67
Ferdinand, 74

Man Utd scorer:-
Scholes, 22

Attendance:- 36,072

Referee:- Andy D'Urso

Spurs (4-5-1):- Sullivan; Carr, Doherty, Gardner (sub Perry, 15), Young; Korsten, Davies, Clemence, Leonhardsen, Etherington (sub Piercy, 83); Ferdinand (Capt)

Subs not used:- Walker; Thelwell; Freund

No bookings

Man Utd (4-4-2):- Van Der Gouw; Irwin (sub Djordjic, 76), May, Johnsen, Silvestre; P. Neville, Butt, Scholes, Giggs (Capt); Sheringham, Cole

Subs not used:- Goram (GK); Wallwork, Stewart, Fortune

Booked:- Irwin (foul on Etherington), Butt (foul on Davies)

It turned out to be a great party at the Lane today. The first half was played very much at testimonial pace, and a similar atmosphere, although the visiting fans were constantly chanting, and for much of the time were somewhat indecipherable to my ears. The home crowd built the noise to a crescendo magnificently as the second half progressed, and I swear that we had as much to do with the final result as the players as they were spurred on to achieve their fine result over a side that was not quite as weak as anticipated. Yes, the visitors were missing Stam, Brown, Gary Neville, Keane, Beckham and Yorke, but they still fielded a line-up that was formidable enough to make Spurs sweat on the result.

Spurs as usual, were missing plenty, and Glenn chose to play Les alone up front, supported chiefly by Davies and Korsten. Despite Korsten's two goals, I would give young Simon Davies the man of the match award, as he had (I think) his best performance to date, having a hand in each of the goals. Davies also had to play much of the first half with his head wrapped in elastoplast, looking like "wicked willy", after getting injured in a goalmouth clash with Van Der Gouw.

David May was the weakest link for Man Utd, and Les Ferdinand had a great day against him. May has not had much of a look-in for the visitors over the last two seasons, and I suspect has been playing too much reserve football. Stephen Carr tried to repeat his Beckham-style free kick, after May had fouled Les on the edge of the area, but he skied the kick wildly. Man Utd responded with a swift attack whereby Cole collected a long ball on the right, and crossed for Butt who fired wide from 25 yards.

With less than 15 minutes on the clock, the impressive Anthony Gardner had to surrender to what looked like an ankle injury, and Chris Perry took his place. Doherty switched to the left of centre, and looked a little unsettled for the rest of the game, having been part of an effective defence with young Gardner.

Although he gave the ball away too cheaply at times, I thought Clemence had one of his better games, making important defensive interceptions, and making some good long ball passes. One such pass led to the corner that gave Spurs the lead after 17 minutes. Clemence found Ferdinand, who nodded to Etherington on the left of the area. The ball was returned quickly, and Les's shot was blocked. Davies took the corner on the left in front of the South Stand, and it was punched out by Van Der Gouw to Korsten who was lurking 22 yards out, with no-one around him. Willem had time to clip the ball into the air for a glorious left foot dipping shot that went over the keeper and into the net. We have seen him score like this so often for the reserves, but there would be more to come!

United equalised within 5 minutes. Phillip Neville had quite an impressive game on the right wing, and this time his cross was headed down by Sheringham (getting regular boos) for Scholes to hit a right foot shot across Sullivan. Sullivan was soon to have to make a diving save to a Ryan Giggs 20 yard shot. Davies' injury occurred on 27 minutes. Carr sent Korsten through to the right corner flag, and the Dutchman sent a low driven ball inside the 6 yard box, where Davies challenged the goalkeeper in a 50-50 situation. The keeper blocked the shot, and Simon was off the pitch for a few minutes receiving treatment.

Just before half time, Gary Doherty lost the ball in embarrassing fashion as he stood on and fell off the ball. Cole swept a pass to Sheringham who gave Scholes a shooting chance, but he could only fire it at Neil Sullivan. After the interval, Teddy put Cole through, and he made one of his trademark misses as he skewed a relatively easy chance miles wide.

Gradually, the whole Spurs contingent built up the sound with "Glenn Hoddle's Blue and White Army", and the players responded in style. After 67 minutes Davies threaded a ball through to Korsten in a central position. Korsten side-stepped May and hit a super right foot shot low and hard into the net!

Scholes hit a long free kick into the box to Neville, and he set up Sheringham who showed that he too could sky opportunities. As ever, Sullivan was on top of everything, and I thought that Stephen Carr had a particularly good game, handling Giggs competently for most of the time. Korsten and Davies combined again to put Les through into a fine scoring position, but his cross shot was off target. It didn't matter though, as one minute later Simon Davies carried the ball from his own half on a magnificent determined run. As he fell on the edge of the area, Les picked up the tab, and he too hit the net with a low right foot shot that left van Der Gouw grasping the air.

Sullivan had to make a diving save from a long range Butt effort, but there were to be no more threats on goal. Mention should be made of young Djordjic who replaced Denis Irwin. Djordjic played in an attacking midfield role, and looks another good prospect for the future. I don't know his history, but believe him to have come through the Old Trafford ranks.

At the end, the team disappeared for a while, and then returned led by Club Captain Sol Campbell to a rapturous welcome, and adulation. There were no clues in his demeanour to the future, but he did look a lot happier and more relaxed than this time last year, when his team-mates left him alone to take the fans' applause. This time the squad remained as one, with the manager. I can only say that we tried our best to persuade Sol to sign on the dotted line. The days to come will tell us the outcome.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank all readers for their support and encouragement, and promise to be back next season. Have a great summer!

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