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Declan's "Last Five", 29.09.01

Here is Declan Mulcahy's "Last Five"

THE LAST FIVE SEASONS:
MANCHESTER UNITED (HOME)



P  W  D  L  F  A
5  2  1  2  9  8

Played in all five games, Tottenham: Carr, Manchester United: Giggs

All things considered Spurs have a reasonable record at home to Manchester United having won two and drawn one of the last three games. Teddy Sheringham has played for both teams. Traditionally this game produces good football and there have been some fine goals in these games. Following are the details of the last five games.

Saturday 19 May 2001
Tottenham Hotspur (1) 3
Korsten 17, 67, Ferdinand 75
Manchester United (1) 1
Scholes 22

Tottenham Hotspur (4-5-1):
N Sullivan; S Carr, G Doherty, A Gardner (C Perry 15), L Young; W Korsten, S Davies, S Clemence, O Leonhardsen, M Etherington (J Piercy 83); L Ferdinand (capt).
Substitutes not used: I Walker, S Freund, A Thelwell.

Manchester United (4-4-2):
R van der Gouw; D Irwin (B Djordjic 76), D May, R Johnsen, M Silvestre; P Neville, N Butt, P Scholes, R Giggs (capt); E Sheringham, A Cole.
Substitutes not used: A Goram, Q Fortune, M Stewart, R Wallwork.
Booked: D Irwin (36), N Butt (77).

Attendance: 36,072
Referee: A. D'Urso (Billericay)

Managers: Glenn Hoddle (Tottenham), Alex Ferguson (Manchester United)

This was the last game of the season. Manchester United had long since won the Premiership and it is true to say that they probably were not playing with the same urgency as they had earlier in the season. Ferguson was at the time involved in a public argument with the United board over his future and there was a possibility that this could have been his last game in charge. Both parties subsequently resolved their differences.

Spurs team was weakened by injuries while United omitted some senior players given that there was not a lot at stake. Spurs wore their new home kit.

The unlucky Anthony Gardner had to be replaced by Chris Perry after he was injured after only fifteen minutes. Soon afterwards Spurs opened the scoring. Clemence supplied Ferdinand who headed the ball to Etherington. He set up Ferdinand whose shot resulted in a corner. Davies took the corner on the left. It reached Van der Gouw who punched it straight to Korsten who was unmarked about 22 yards out. He lobbed the ball before hitting a volley which flew past the keeper into the net.

Manchester United equalised within five minutes. Philip Neville advanced down the right wing. He crossed to Sheringham who headed it down and setting up Scholes who did not miss. Then Sullivan had to dive to save from Giggs who shot from 20 yards out.

After 27 minutes Carr fed Korsten who was close to the right corner flag. He crossed a low ball into the goal mouth where Davies challenged Van der Gouw for a 50-50 ball. The goalkeeper got there first and Davies was injured in the challenge. He returned with his head heavily bandaged.

Just before half time Doherty fell over the ball from which Cole passed to Sherinham. He set up Scholes who shot straight at Sullivan. Early in the second half Sheringham was again the provider but Cole shot well wide.

Mid way through the second half Spurs regained the lead. Davies set up Korsten, who went round May, before unleashing a hard low shot which went straight to the net.

United had an opportunity when a long Scholes free kick found Neville who passed to Sheringham who shot well over. Then Korsten and Davies combined to set up Ferdinand who could not find the net.

In the 75th minute Davies went on a great run which started in Spurs half of the field. He ran all the way to the United penalty box and passed to Ferdinand before falling. This time Ferdinand did not make a mistake and drilled the ball home. Butt had a final long range effort for United which Sullivan dived to save. It was the first time that United had lost three games in a row since November 1998.

After the final whistle the team did a lap of honour including the injured Campbell wearing a suit.

Saturday 23 October, 1999
Tottenham Hotspur (2) 3
Iversen 37, Scholes (o.g.) 40, Carr 71
Manchester United (1) 1
Giggs 23

Tottenham Hotspur (4-5-1):
I Walker; S Carr, L Young (R Vega 76min), S Campbell (capt), M Taricco; R Fox (J Piercy 87), O Leonhardsen, S Freund, T Sherwood, D Ginola; S Iversen.
Substitutes not used: E Baardsen, J Edinburgh, J Dominguez.
Booked: R Fox, T Sherwood, S Freund.

Manchester United (4-4-2):
M Bosnich; D Irwin (J Greening 82), J Stam, M Silvestre, P Neville; D Beckham (O G Solskjaer 68), R Keane (capt), P Scholes, R Giggs; D Yorke, A Cole.
Substitutes not used: R van der Gouw, H Berg, D Higginbotham.
Booked: D Beckham, R Keane.

Attendance: 36,072
Referee: Jeff Winter (Stockton-on-Tees).

Managers: George Graham (Tottenham), Alex Ferguson (Manchester United)

Incredibly this was the first time that Manchester United had lost a game in six seasons of the Premiership after taking the lead. This was a fine team performance by Spurs for whom Ruel Fox played his first game of the season.

Spurs made a good start. After two minutes Iversen dispossessed Silvestre. He sent the ball to Fox on the right wing. Fox crossed to Leonhardsen who brought a save from Bosnich.

For the next 20 minutes United had more of the possession without making it count. Giggs in particular saw a lot of the ball. However Spurs did a good job tackling and defending. United went ahead after 23 minutes when Fox conceded a free kick. The ball was played to Cole outside the area. He slid the ball through the Spurs defence where it was picked up by Giggs who had gone around Campbell. He made no mistake in finding the net.

United continued to have more of the possession however Spurs equalised after 37 minutes. Leonhardsen took a corner which Sherwood headed on towards the back post. Iversen dived to head it on. Bosnich got to the ball and may have helped it over the line. However Iversen followed up to make sure the ball was in the net. Ferguson later claimed that Iversen had handled the ball.

Three minutes later Spurs took the lead from another unexpected situation. Following another corner Ginola crossed for the unlucky Scholes to head the ball into his own net.

United responded strongly in the second half but the Spurs defence was resolute restricting United to long range shots. Then Spurs had an opportunity when Bosnich had to dive full length to save from Fox. Walker too had to make a diving save from Cole after an error from Freund. Then Cole shot over. A Giggs cross was punched by Walker directly to Beckham but Campbell headed his shot away.

Spurs increased their lead after seventy minutes with a brilliant goal by Carr. He received the ball and advanced down the right wing. Instead of providing the usual cross he unleashed a shot which rocketed past two defenders and Bosnich before hitting the net at high speed. It was a memorable goal.

United never gave up and Spurs had to defend well. However at the final whistle Spurs had earned an outstanding 3-1 win and their first win over United for four seasons. The victory moved Spurs into fifth position.

Saturday 12 December 1998
Tottenham Hotspur (0) 2
Campbell 70, 90.
Manchester United (2) 2
Solskjaer 11, 18.

Tottenham Hotspur (4-4-2):
I Walker; S Carr, S Campbell (capt), L Young, A Sinton; R Fox (R Allen 82), D Anderton, A Nielsen, D Ginola; L Ferdinand, C Armstrong.
Subs not used: E Baardsen, C Calderwood, J Dominguez, S Clemence.
Booked: A Sinton, L Ferdinand.

Manchester United (4-4-2):
P Schmeichel; G Neville, R Johnsen, J Stam, P Neville; D Beckham, N Butt, R Keane, R Giggs (J Blomqvist 86); E Sheringham (A Cole 74), O G Solskjaer (H Berg 46)
Subs not used: R Van Der Gouw, J Cruyff.
Booked: N Butt, E Sheringham, G. Neville, P. Neville, D Beckham, R Johnsen.
Sent off: G. Neville (39, Second Bookable Offence).

Attendance: 36,079
Referee: U Rennie (Sheffield)

Managers: George Graham (Tottenham), Alex Ferguson (Manchester United)

Manchester United scored two early goals both through Solskjaer but Spurs responded well in the second half. Sol Campbell scored two goals with the equaliser coming in the last minute to provide a fine climax to a good game.

Armstrong had an opportunity in the fourth minute after a defensive lapse by United bot shot wide.

Sinton played at left back and was a weak link. Beckham took advantage and thus had a hand in the two United goals. United took the lead after eleven minutes. Beckham crossed to Solskjaer whose shot was saved by Walker. However the ball rebounded to Solskjaer who made no mistake the second time.

Six minutes later United had a two goal lead with the second goal being similar to the first. Again Beckham crossed and this time Solskjaer put away the first opportunity. Ironically Solskjaer had declined an offer to join Spurs earlier in the season preferring to sit on the substitutes' bench at Old Trafford.

Tottenham were awarded a free kick. Anderton unleashed a fine shot which hit the bar. Tackles started becoming harder and the referee had to intervene. Former Spurs' player Sheringham was booked for arguing. Gary Neville was also booked

Armstrong had a fairly simple chance at the far post after 28 minutes but was found wanting.

After thirty eight minutes Gary Neville brought down Ginola and was sent off for a second bookable offence reducing United to ten men. After the interval Ferguson adopted a more defensive formation replacing Solskjaer with Berg.

The advantage of the extra man told and Spurs had more possession in the second half. There was some niggling play in the second half which resulted in a number of bookings. In total United had six players booked and one sent off.

Following an incident from which Johnsen was booked for a foul on Ginola, Spurs won a free kick. Anderton flighted the ball into the penalty area and Campbell jumped highest to head the ball home after seventy minutes.

The goal inspired Spurs who continued to apply pressure. Carr crossed for Nielsen who headed straight at Schmeichel. Then Ginola had a good run but his shot was weak.

The clock was ticking down and still Spurs were behind. In injury time Carr was fouled on the right wing. Up stepped Anderton with another fine free kick which Cambelll powered home. The stadium erupted and Spurs had gained a last minute draw.

Sunday, August 10th, 1997
Tottenham Hotspur (0) 0
Manchester United (0) 2
Butt 82, Vega 83 og.

Tottenham Hotspur (4-4-2):
I Walker; S Carr, R Vega, S Campbell, J Edinburgh; A Nielsen, D Howells (capt), S Clemence (A Sinton 73), D Ginola; L Ferdinand, S Iversen.
Subs Not Used: E Baardsen, J Scales, C Calderwood, N Fenn
Booked: R Vega, J Edinburgh

Manchester United (4-4-2):
P Schmeichel; D Irwin, R Johnsen, G Pallister, P Neville; P Scholes (D Beckham 65), N Butt, R Keane (capt), R Giggs; E Sheringham, J Cruyff.
Subs Not Used: R Van der Gouw, G Neville, B McClair, K Poborsky
Booked: P Scholes, J Cruyff

Attendance : 26,359.
Referee : Mr G Poll (Tring).

Managers: Gerry Francis (Tottenham), Alex Ferguson (Manchester United)

Teddy Sheringham had joined Manchester United in somewhat controversial circumstances during the close season. The fates decreed that Sheringham would make his debut for United in the opening match of the season at White Hart Lane. Needless to say Sheringham got a fairly hostile reception. After an hour Sheringham was the centre of attention when United were awarded a penalty. However he hit the post and put the rebound over the bar despite the fact that he should not have played the ball a second time without another player touching it. The miss was not fatal since United won the game with two late goals. Three Spurs players were making their debuts, David Ginola, Les Ferdinand and young Stephen Clemence. Sheringham was United's only new player. Attendance was restricted to 26,359 due to the reconstruction of the Members' Stand on the north side of the ground.

As it was the first game of the season both sides took time to settle. United's attack was not effective while Spurs kept getting caught in United's offside trap. Vega was booked for a heavy tackle on his old team mate Sheringham. The first half ended scoreless.

It was a hot day and Spurs seemed to fade in the second half. After an hour United were awarded a penalty in somewhat fortutitous circumstances. Edinburgh won the ball from Cruyff in the Spurs penalty area. He slipped and as he fell handled the ball which was really accidental. However the referee gave a penalty and there was some justice when Sheringham missed.

In the 65th minute Ferguson brought on David Beckham and he was to turn the game. After 82 minutes he chipped the ball to Sheringham whose shot was blocked. The ball fell for Butt who appeared to be offside. However the referee did not stop play and Butt scored.

A minute later Beckham crossed again. It was met by Vega, who in true Vega style, tried to divert it wide but ended up deflectinging the ball off his knee into his own net.

Thereafter Manchester United controlled the game for the remaining minutes. Overall Spurs did not play badly and Clemence had an encouraging debut.

Sunday 12 January 1997
Tottenham Hotspur (1) 1
Allen 44
Manchester United (1) 2
Solskjaer 23, Beckham 76

Tottenham Hotspur (3-4-1-2):
I Walker; R Vega (D Austin 69), C Calderwood, S Campbell; S Carr (R Fox 82), D Howells (capt), C Wilson, J Edinburgh; A Sinton; R Allen, S Iversen.
Substitutes not used : E Baardsen, S Nethercott, R Rosenthal.
Booked : C Calderwood, J Edinburgh, S Iversen, R Vega, R Allen.

Manchester United (3-5-1-1):
P Schmeichel; D May, R Johnsen (C Casper 78), G Pallister; G Neville, D Beckham, R Keane, P Scholes (K Poborsky 69), R Giggs; E Cantona; O G Solskjaer (A Cole 88)
Substitutes not used : R Van der Gouw, B McClair.
Booked : P Scholes, R Keane.

Attendance: 33,026
Referee: M. Bodenham (Cornwall)

Managers: Gerry Francis (Tottenham), Alex Ferguson (Manchester United)

The previous weekend Manchester United had eliminated Spurs 2-0 in the third round of the FA Cup at Old Trafford. This weekend the game was at White Hart Lane but unfortunately United won again. Ramon Vega made his debut for Spurs and Iversen returned having missed the game at Old Trafford.

Spurs did play well and their confidence grew as the first half progressed. Iversen beat Pallister and unleashed a volley which rebounded off the crossbar. It fell to Sinton who hit an equally fierce shot which again hit the bar which was still vibrating from the first shot.

United began to raise their game and took the lead after 23 minutes. Keane fed Solskjaer who in turn set up Cantona. Cantona returned the ball to Solskjaer who steered the ball beyond Walker.

Spurs refused to be cowed and took the game to United. They were rewarded just before half time. Howells won a corner which Sinton took. The debutant Vega rose above everyone else and headed it on to Rory Allen who managed to head it past Schmeichel. The goal produced a typical Schmeichel outburst of anger with his defenders. This was the first goal United had conceded in six games.

The second half was even with play ebbing from end to end. Half way through the second half there was an unseemly incident. Vega fouled Cantona and should have been immediately booked but the referee did not do so. Unfortunately he then allowed Cantona to browbeat him into booking Vega almost a minute later.

After 69 minutes Ferguson made a tactically astute substitution replacing Scholes with Podborsky. Seven minutes later he played a part in United's winning goal. Podborsky dispossessed Howells and fed the ball to Johnson. He moved the ball to Beckham. The Spurs defence should have confronted Beckahm but instead retreated until Beckham was near enough to have a go. He unleashed a 70 mph shot from 25 yards which Walker had no chance of saving.

Fox had a late opportunity for Spurs but put the ball over the bar. Spurs were unlucky to lose a game which produced a spirited display.

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