Sm-Ash and Grab at White Hart Lane

Ashley Young put in a man of the match performance as Manchester United took 3 points away from White Hart Lane this afternoon with a 3-1 victory to remain within 2 points of leader’s City.

Tottenham maintained a lot of possession throughout the first half before Wayne Rooney headed United in front on the stroke of half time with what was the visitor’s first real threat of Brad Friedel’s goal at the time.

Emmanuel Adebayor had earlier had a goal disallowed for a handball when Louis Saha’s shot hit the Togolese who was standing on the goal line. Saha’s shot was heading in. The ex-Manchester United player has now had both Adebayor and Scott Parker (versus Stevenage) prevent him from scoring for his new club in his last three games, whilst he was fortunate Thomas Vermaelen didn’t get the credit for last week’s opener at Arsenal.

Wayne Rooney’s opening goal came a couple yards out when he connected with Ashley Young’s corner that the Spurs defence defended poorly. Kyle Walker the player failing to get in front of Rooney in what was a very basic move.

David de Gea made a wonderful reaction save to prevent Jake Livermore’s deflected attempt going in 6 minutes into the second half. The Spaniard had a good game between the sticks as he continued to show the same form he’s shown over the past couple of weeks; making a total of 5 saves during the game.

Further poor defending from Tottenham lead to United’s second on the hour. A throw-in from Phil Jones squeezed through two defenders to find Nani in the penalty area. The Portuguese winger’s cut back from the byline deflected before finding Ashley Young at the back post who acrobatically volleyed home.

9 minutes later, Ashley Young was given too much time outside the penalty area to collect Patrice Evra’s pass, turn and curl a shot into the top corner from 20 yards, giving Friedel no chance. Young’s only previous Premier League goals prior to today were a brace back in August during the 8-2 demolition of Arsenal.

Jermain Defoe scored a late consolation with a 20 yard effort that caught de Gea unsighted; with Rio Ferdinand seemingly blocking the Spaniard’s sight.

Defensively, Jonny Evans was a rock in the centre, partnering Rio Ferdinand, making 14 total clearances, winning all 3 tackle attempts and both aerial duels. The Northern Irish defender did collect his fifth Premier League yellow card of the season late on.

Wayne Rooney scored his 18th Premier League goal of the season in this game, and another in a big game. He now has 3 versus Arsenal, 3 versus Chelsea, 2 versus Manchester City, 2 versus Tottenham and 2 versus Liverpool in competitive games this season.

Today’s result means Manchester United have now picked up 33 points from a possible 42 away from home this season and the tally of 64 points through 27 games is the most for any side in second position at this stage throughout Premier League history.

Manchester United host Athletic Club on Thursday in the Europa League before hosting West Brom on Sunday in the league. Sir Alex Ferguson’s side do not have a single remaining Saturday Premier League fixture this season.

Stats provided by Opta Sports