Manchester United looked destined to record another comfortable win against Tottenham but Clint Dempsey grabbed a last minute equalizer in the driving snow of White Hart Lane. The result allowed Manchester City to cut United's lead at the top of the table to five points.
The match was in jeopardy before a ball was even kicked as heavy snow fell all throughout London. A late pitch assessment convinced the match referee that the game could go ahead. United never looked to be operating at their best but certainly were overpowering Tottenham for the majority of the match. It took time for United to find their feet but were able to take the lead after 25 minutes. Good build up play saw the ball come to Tom Cleverley on the wing who crossed in superbly for Robin van Persie. The Dutchman was left completely unmarked in the box and scored an easy headed goal. 1-0 up, United looked to be in total control and Tottenham hardly registered a chance before the halftime whistle came.
The second half began in the same way and although United had problems creating chances, they played defense superbly. Rooney, who started on the bench, came into the match in the 62nd minute and almost made an immediate impact when it appeared as if he was challenged in the box. The referee said no penalty however, and United went into a defensive shell for the remainder of the game.
United began to invite pressure from Tottenham and play defensively which was a dangerous game to begin with due to the firepower that Spurs have at their disposal. United's defense held on strong with Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic particularly putting in excellent shifts. The idea and philosophy to play defensively to preserve a one goal lead is always risky and Tottenham grabbed their equalizer late. United looked to be winners but in the 93rd minute, the ball fell kindly to Dempsey and the American scored a valuable goal for his side. United were deflated, not used to teams doing what the Red Devils usually do themselves and score a late goal. Tottenham have now taken four points off of United this season and will have to look at this game as two points dropped after City beat Fulham to reduce the gap to five points.
Man of the Match: Rio Ferdinand. The defender has been a part of almost every game this season but this one stood out as a great defensive display. Ferdinand used all of his experience and skill to keep Tottenham out for 93 minutes.
Tottenham: Hugo Lloris; Kyle Naughton (Benoit Assou-Ekotto), Michael Dawson, Kyle Walker, Steven Caulker; Aaron Lennon, Scott Parker (Tom Huddlestone), Gareth Bale, Mousa Dembele; Clint Dempsey, Jermain Defoe
Manchester United: David de Gea; Rafael, Patrice Evra, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic; Phil Jones, Michael Carrick, Danny Welbeck, Tom Cleverley (Antonio Valencia); Robin van Persie, Shinji Kagawa (Wayne Rooney)
Manchester United Next Match: Fulham (FA Cup) Home Saturday January 26
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