Manchester United 3 – Welbeck (61), Anderson (76), Rooney (87)
Tottenham’s record of not winning at Old Trafford since 1989 stretched another year last night as defending champions Manchester United overcome a lacklustre Spurs side 3-0.
The main headline before kick-off was the news that Luka Modric was going to be playing no part in the game after manager Harry Redknapp claimed the Croatian’s head ‘wasn’t right’ amidst renewed specualtion of a third bid from Chelsea for the 25-year-old.
Spurs made only one change from the 5-0 win against Hearts last week as new signing Brad Friedel was bought in at the expense of Gomes to make his competitive debut.
And the American was called into action early on as Tom Cleverley broke found some space 20-yards out only to see his low drive tipped round the post by the 40-year-old after just 7 minutes.
However, the attacking potency from United dried up after that as Spurs began to get a foot-hold on the game with Rafael Van der Vaart testing David De Gea with a number of speculative efforts.
A dipping Michael Dawson header found the roof of the net while Friedel denied former team-mate Ashley Young either side of half-time before the first real opportunity came to fruition.
Aaron Lennon, renowned for often giving Patrice Evra a torrid time during these fixtures, skipped past the French international but failed to spot an un-marked Van der Vaart in the box, opting to instead attempt a drilled ball across to Gareth Bale but his assist was well-blocked by Jonny Evans.
Spurs were made to pay for their wasted opportunity minutes later as Cleverley, appearingly running into a dead-end, whipped in an inch perfect ball for Danny Welbeck, who rose above Younes Kaboul and Dawson to nod home the opener after 61 minutes.
And it could have been more before United doubled their lead in the 78th minute, Spurs having Friedel to thank, but the former Aston Villa stopper could have done little to stop Anderson’s effort, finishing off a wonderful move between the Brazilian and Welbeck.
Jermain Defoe a chance to half the deficit following De Gea’s spill from a routine high ball, only for the England international to see his effort rebound off the post.
Wayne Rooney had a chance to make it three, scooping over from three-yeards out, before capping off an impressive performance from the former Everton striker, heading home to Friedel’s far post after Ryan Giggs’ hollywood ball across the box.
After the game, Redknapp told Sky Sports News that he was “Disappointed,” following the defeat.
“There was a chance to get something out of the game. 70 minutes or whenever they scored there was nothing in it.
“We opened up a bit and suddenly we sort of went out of the game badly.
“There was nothing in the game was there until they scored their first goal?
“We had just as much possession. We kept the ball and we were bang in it.
“I felt at half-time we could certainly get a point out of the game.
“We started the second half well enough. We knocked the ball around well and kept it well.
“The goal came when I felt we were in good shape. The goal turned the game.”