Dec 1, 2013, 8:54 AM EDT
Tottenham shook their goal-scoring struggles to twice take the lead, but they could not shake the visitors as a double by Wayne Rooney gave Manchester United a share of the spoils at White Hart Lane by a 2-2 scoreline.
Both sides began early working their right offensive flanks. Shinji Kagawa for United and Lennon for Spurs saw the most work in their respective midfields in the first 10 minutes.
The game’s first shot didn’t come until the 11th minute, when Lennon popped off a low effort comfortably saved by De Gea.
The opener for Spurs didn’t come from open play, but they’ll certainly take it. After a late challenge by Jonny Evans on Paulinho on the edge of the penalty area, Kyle Walker bagged the goal in the 18th minute as he cannoned a low free-kick below the United wall and past De Gea.
Just before, Everton goalkeeper and guest NBC commentator Tim Howard had urged De Gea to trust his wall and cover the far end of the goal, but his wall got it wrong as they all jumped above the low blast by Walker and it tucked in for a home lead.
It’s the first Premier League goal of the season for the defender, and his first for Spurs since April 2012 against Blackburn. It also ended a goal drought for Spurs of 298 minutes.
Spurs began to press harder after scoring, pinning the United attack further back and developing more chances. They had one on the break for Roberto Soldado in the 30th minute, but the struggling Spurs striker wasted the chance by firing well over.
In was a shocking turn of events, a counter-attack stunned Spurs and drew United level. Phil Jones worked down the right and put in a beautiful cross from the right side just over Rooney’s head. The ball took a bit of a fortunate bounce off Walker’s foot and fell right to Rooney, who took and finished.
Nothing changed at the halftime break for United, as they continued to press the right flank with Valencia and asking questions of out-of-position defender Jan Vertonghen.
The two sides played a bit of cat-and-mouse in the start of the second half, but Spurs got a piece of brilliant work from Sandro to give them the lead. The Brazilian, being a bit outshone in the match by his midfield partner and countryman Paulinho, would not be outdone with a wonder goal in the 55th minute.
Sandro cut through some space in the Manchester United midfield, and with the defense tracking back, he worked towards the box, surprisingly cut back, and teed himself up for a brilliant drive into the top corner for a 2-1 lead.
But it would not be for Spurs once again, as referee Mike Dean straight away down the other end gave a penalty as sweeper-keeper Hugo Lloris took down Danny Welbeck on the left edge of the box. It was a soft foul, but Lloris missed the ball and definitely caught Welbeck’s back foot with his hands.
Rooney drilled the penalty straight down the middle past a disheartened Lloris for his second equalizer of the match.
Spurs came inches from another lead as Kyle Walker continued to work the right wing, launching in a slicing cross in the 78th minute just barely out of reach of Andros Townsend, who was all alone in front of the United goal.
Both sides were asking questions of the opposition defense as the clock ticked into extra time, but there was no winner on the cards.
It’s a quality result for both sides, all things considered. United stay unbeated in seven games, and Tottenham kick some of their goalscoring woes to get back on track in front of goal.
United and Spurs remain in eighth and ninth respectively in the Premier League table with their points.
Tottenham Hotspur – Walker 18′; Sandro 54′
Manchester United – Rooney 32′, 57′ (pen)
Tottenham Hotspur – Lloris; Walker, Vertonghen, Chiriches, Dawson; Paulinho, Sandro; Lennon (Townsend, 65′), Dembele, Chadli (Sigurdsson, 85′); Soldado (Defoe, 72′).
Manchester United – De Gea; Evra, Vidic, Smalling, Evans; Jones, Cleverley; Welbeck (Hernandez, 73′), Kagawa (Young, 84′), Valencia (Nani, 84′); Rooney.
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