Controversial Goal Finishes Off Spurs

Nemanja Vidic Celebrates Scoring 1st goal with team mate Michael Carrick Manchester United 2010/11 Manchester United V Tottenham Hotspur (2-0) 30/10/10 The Premier League Photo: Robin Parker Fotosports International Photo via Newscom
With both Chelsea and Arsenal scoring late winners and picking up all three points in their respective matches, it was vital that Man United did the same when they played Spurs in the late kick-off.

United took the lead through the captain Nemanja Vidic in the 31st minute but the game will be remembered for the second, which came just six minutes before fulltime.

Sir Alex Ferguson made three changes to the side that beat Stoke last weekend with Rafael Da Silva, Ji-Sung Park and Michael Carrick all coming into the side, replacing John O’Shea, Gary Neville and Paul Scholes.

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp hinted that Gareth Bale may be on the bench with their Champions League match against Inter Milan midweek in mind. Bale started along with Robbie Keane and Jermaine Jenas, who came in for Peter Crouch and Wilson Palacios. Other than that, it was the same team that drew with Everton the previous weekend.

The game got off to a bright start with both teams hitting the post early on. With two minutes on the clock Park’s low strike had Heurelho Gomes beaten but hit the post. Not long after Rafael Van Der Vaart turned on the edge of the United box and hit a fantastic left-footed effort, which would have been a brilliant goal but luckily for United, it hit the post.

After a frantic start the game died down a bit but was entertaining to watch with both sides creating opportunities. Park and Rafael both had chances fall wide of the post.

Both Aaron Lennon and Van Der Vaart were causing United a few problems but it was the home side that took the lead just after the half hour mark. Younes Kaboul brought down Javier Hernandez, an unmarked Vidic headed past Gomes from a well taken free-kick from Luis Nani.

With the scoreline only at 1-0 the second half saw Spurs pushing to score an equaliser. Bale had a quiet first half but not long into the second a great run by him saw his shot go just inches wide of the post. Substitute Roman Pavlyuchenko saw his long-range strike take a deflection and end up in the side netting.

United also had their chances with both Nani and Hernandez shooting straight at Gomes.

Just as it was looking like Tottenham could grab themselves an equaliser, Man United scored their second in dramatic fashion. Nani went down in the area looking for a penalty, as he went down he handled the ball. No penalty or no free-kick was awarded by referee Mark Clattenburg. Gomes assumed that a free-kick would be given, he picked up the ball, put it down and walked back. Nani tapped the ball into an empty net with a confused Gomes looking on.

That was followed by some confusion with it looking like the goal could be ruled out after the referee went to his assistant but the goal was given, much to the annoyance of the Spurs players who continued to remonstrate after the fulltime whistle.

Clattenberg should have awarded Spurs a free-kick for the handball but he didn’t, the players should play to the whistle, Gomes didn’t. Nani took advantage and United walked away with three vital points

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