Carling Cup Review: Man United 2-0 Tottenham

Last night Man United took on Tottenham Hotspur in the Carling Cup at Old Trafford. This was a repeat of the last Carling Cup final, who could go through to the semi-finals?


Man United lined up with a fairly experienced defence but we had no other choice- everyone else is injured. Tomasz Kuszczak was in goal; Ben Amos was on the bench, which meant that there was no Ben Foster. Luis Nani was also not in the 18-man squad, does that mean he is on his way out at January?
So, we had Kuszczak in goal, Gary Neville, Wes Brown, Nemanja Vidic and Ritchie de Laet made up the defence. We had Ji-Sung Park, Anderson, Darron Gibson and Gabriel Obertan in the midfield with Danny Welbeck and Dimitar Berbatov upfront.

Tottenham started with Heurelho Gomes in goal. Their defence was made up of Alan Hutton, Sebastien Bassong, Michael Dawson and Gareth Bale. In midfield was David Bentley, Wilson Palacios, Jermaine Jenas and Aaron Lennon. Upfront for Spurs was in-form Jermain Defoe and Robbie Keane returned for Spurs.
Man United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was in the stands last night to complete his touchline ban.

Less than a minute into the game, Anderson picked up the ball in midfield and unleashed a shot, which went wide of the post. A few minutes later, Man United had another shot go just wide this time it was Gibson.

Tottenham’s first shot came in the sixth minute and it was no surprise that it came from Defoe. The shot was straight at Kuszczak who comfortably saved it. Tottenham were starting to gain a momentum, especially when Lennon was on the ball running at Neville.

In the 16th minute, against the run of play, Man United scored. The referee played an advantage after a foul, Gibson picked up the ball outside the penalty area and his strike went straight past Gomes.

The Man United fans were getting ready for the possibility of facing Leeds in the FA Cup so we heard the chant “We all hate Leeds scum”. The main chant aimed at Spurs last night was “Thursday nights, Channel Five”. In other words it labelled Spurs as the Europa Cup team not the Champions League team.

20 minutes into the game, De Laet made a well-timed block on Defoe’s shot. Minutes later Tottenham had a free-kick, which went straight out of play. At that point there was a yellow balloon on the pitch, nowhere near United’s goal. Jenas did pop it, much to the amusement of the fans.

On the half hour mark, Vidic made a well-timed sliding challenge on Keane who was put in on goal by Defoe. With seven minutes left of the first half, Gibson bagged himself a second goal. Welbeck laid the ball off to Gibson and in a similar position to the first goal he smashed in a second.

United went into halftime 2-0 up and the youngsters who were criticized last week by some of the press were winning against a fairly strong Tottenham side.

Tottenham made a substitution straight away bringing Tom Huddlestone on and Palacios off.
The second half was forgettable, it was routine for Man United. Maybe if Tottenham had scored a goal then it would have livened up a bit. Even if they had scored, I think that United would have been capable of going down the other end and scoring a third or fourth.

The first chance in the second half came in the 56th minute, Bale set up Bentley who shot but Kuszczak managed to palm it away. 61 minutes in and Sir Alex had managed to get his orders down to the touchline. Michael Carrick came on for Obertan and Federico Macheda came on for Berbatov. United immediately changed formation, we went from a 4-4-2 to a 4-3-2-1 with Welbeck and Park supporting Macheda upfront.

64 minutes in and former Liverpool striker Peter Crouch came on for Keane to a chorus of boos. Minutes later, Anderson had a shot deflected wide and Bentley scuffed another free kick.
77 minutes in and the referee probably made one of his only mistakes of the game. De Laet was yellow carded for a ‘foul’ on Lennon, it looked more like a dive from Lennon. From the resulting free kick, Kuszczak came off his line to punch the ball, he got Brown instead and he ended up with a cut on the side of his head.

With nine minutes to go, United made their final substitution; Zoran Tosic came on for Anderson. Man United should have been three minutes up before the fulltime whistle went. There was a lot of possession around Tottenham’s box, Macheda finally shot but that rolled wide.

Overall I think we deserved to win it, apart from the first 20 minutes, Tottenham didn’t look that impressive. United’s youngsters are looking good and expect to see much more of them.

Man United are now in the semi-finals of the Carling Cup. Aston Villa also went through last night after a 4-2 win over Portsmouth. Tonight Blackburn take on Chelsea and Man City take on Arsenal.

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