Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 December 2014

Manchester Utd 1 - 2 Tottenham: Shock home defeat at Old Trafford for Moyes' men

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01:  Danny Welbeck of Manchester United performs an overhead kick during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on January 1, 2014 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Danny Welbeck of Manchester United performs an overhead kick during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur
Manchester United's Chris Smalling has a shot on goal during the Barclays Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester
Manchester United's Chris Smalling has a shot on goal during the Barclays Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester
Tottenham Hotspur's Emmanuel Adebayor scores his team's opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester
Tottenahm Hotspur's Kyle Walker (left) and Manchester United's Adnan Januzaj (right) battle for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01: Manchester United Manager David Moyes looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on January 1, 2014 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01: Danny Welbeck of Manchester United competes with Michael Dawson of Tottenham Hotspur during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on January 1, 2014 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01: Emmanuel Adebayor of Tottenham Hotspur battles for the ball with Jonny Evans and Wayne Rooney of Manchester United during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on January 1, 2014 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01: Wayne Rooney of Manchester United tangles with Mousa Dembele of Tottenham Hotspur during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on January 1, 2014 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01: Emmanuel Adebayor of Tottenham Hotspur battles for the ball with Wayne Rooney of Manchester United during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on January 1, 2014 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01: Adnan Januzaj of Manchester United battles for the ball with Vlad Chiriches of Tottenham Hotspur during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on January 1, 2014 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01: Manchester United Manager David Moyes reacts during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on January 1, 2014 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01: Wayne Rooney of Manchester United speaks to team-mate Adnan Januzaj after conceding the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on January 1, 2014 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01: Manchester United Manager David Moyes looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on January 1, 2014 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01: Emmanuel Adebayor of Tottenham Hotspur scores the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on January 1, 2014 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01: Wayne Rooney of Manchester United and his team-mates react after conceding the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on January 1, 2014 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01: Emmanuel Adebayor of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on January 1, 2014 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01: Emmanuel Adebayor of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on January 1, 2014 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01: Emmanuel Adebayor of Tottenham Hotspur scores the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on January 1, 2014 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01: Tom Cleverley of Manchester United competes with Mousa Dembele of Tottenham Hotspur during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on January 1, 2014 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01: Kyle Walker of Tottenham Hotspur challenges Michael Carrick of Manchester United during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on January 1, 2014 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01: Ex- Manchester United Manager Sir Alex Ferguson looks on prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on January 1, 2014 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01: Chris Smalling of Manchester United competes with Danny Rose of Tottenham Hotspur during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on January 1, 2014 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01: Jonny Evans of Manchester United competes with Etienne Capoue of Tottenham Hotspur during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on January 1, 2014 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01: Rio Ferdinand of Manchester United warms up prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on January 1, 2014 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Liverpool's Luis Suarez celebrates his goal during the Barclays Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool
Chelsea's Ashley Cole (left) and Southampton's Jay Rodriguez during the Barclays Premier League match at St Mary's Southampton
SWANSEA, WALES - JANUARY 01: Roland Lamah (L) of Swansea City watches Fernandinho (R) of Manchester City during the Barclays Premier League match between Swansea City and Manchester City at the Liberty Stadium on January 1, 2014 in Swansea, Wales. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Chelsea's Andre Schurrle (left) and Southampton's Steven Davis during the Barclays Premier League match at St Mary's Southampton
Chelsea's Ashley Cole and Southampton's Steven Davis (right) during the Barclays Premier League match at St Mary's Southampton
Liverpool's Luis Suarez celebrates his goal during the Barclays Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01: Luis Suarez of Liverpool scores their second goal from a free kick during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Hull City at Anfield on January 1, 2014 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01: Luis Suarez of Liverpool scores their second goal from a free kick during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Hull City at Anfield on January 1, 2014 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01: Seamus Coleman of Everton fails to stop Oussama Assaidi of Stoke City scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and Everton at Britannia Stadium on January 1, 2014 in Stoke on Trent, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01: Oussama Assaidi of Stoke City celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and Everton at Britannia Stadium on January 1, 2014 in Stoke on Trent, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01: Ashley Cole of Chelsea holds off Steven Davis of Southampton during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Chelsea at St Mary's Stadium on January 1, 2014 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01: Christian Benteke of Aston Villa jumps with Phil Bardsley of Sunderland during the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland and Aston Villa at Stadium of Light on January 1, 2014 in Sunderland, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01: Luis Suarez of Liverpool scores their second goal from a free kick during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Hull City at Anfield on January 1, 2014 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01: Eden Hazard of Chelsea rises above Calum Chambers of Southampton to win a header during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Chelsea at St Mary's Stadium on January 1, 2014 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01: Lucas Leiva of Liverpool marshalls Jake Livermore of Hull City during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Hull City at Anfield on January 1, 2014 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01: Leandro Bacuna of Aston Villa challenges Phil Bardsley of Sunderland during the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland and Aston Villa at Stadium of Light on January 1, 2014 in Sunderland, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01: Despair for Sunderland players as Gabriel Agbonlahor of Aston Villa (6R) celebrates with team mates as he scores their first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland and Aston Villa at Stadium of Light on January 1, 2014 in Sunderland, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01: Mile Jedinak of Crystal Palae goes down in the box for a penalty during the Barclays Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Norwich City at Selhurst Park on January 1, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01: Jose Mourinho the Chelsea manager braves the elements during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Chelsea at St Mary's Stadium on January 1, 2014 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01: Jack Wilshere of Arsenal is chased by Gary Medel of Cardiff City during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Cardiff City at Emirates Stadium on January 1, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01: Jack Wilshere of Arsenal is chased by Gary Medel of Cardiff City during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Cardiff City at Emirates Stadium on January 1, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01: Jason Puncheon of Crystal Palace scores from the penalty box during the Barclays Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Norwich City at Selhurst Park on January 1, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
SWANSEA, WALES - JANUARY 01: Manchester City players Fernandinho (l) and Yaya Toure (r) combine to halt Jonathan de Guzman during the Barclays Premier League match between Swansea City and Manchester City at Liberty Stadium on January 1, 2014 in Swansea, Wales. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Manchester United slumped to their fourth home defeat of the season as Emmanuel Adebayor and Christian Eriksen scored the goals that earned Tottenham a 2-1 victory at Old Trafford.

Danny Welbeck pulled one back for the hosts but despite a succession of penalty appeals and chances for Javier Hernandez, Wayne Rooney and Nemanja Vidic, a combination of goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, good fortune and some desperate Tottenham defending kept them at bay.

The result maintained Tim Sherwood's impressive start as Andre Villas-Boas' replacement, with three wins and a draw over the festive period taking them above their opponents.

For David Moyes though, the mini-revival has ground to a halt.

Not since 1989 have the defending champions lost on New Year's Day. It is 1986 since United were last beaten four times on home soil by the opening day of January.

These historical statistics obscure the more meaningful ones.

On a day when the biggest challengers for a top four place all won, United now find themselves 11 points behind league leaders Arsenal and five away from a Champions League place.

It is a pretty depressing position for a club so used to winning, with former manager Sir Alex Ferguson on hand in the directors' box to watch it all unfold.

With Rooney restored to Moyes' starting line-up after overcoming a groin injury, United began with the verve expected of a team boasting a six-match winning sequence.

United's best opening fell to Chris Smalling, who charged onto Antonio Valencia's return pass before crashing a shot which appeared to go through Hugo Lloris' legs, but actually cannoned wide off them.

Lloris combined with Michael Dawson to deny Welbeck. Slow motion replays suggested the potential for a penalty shout but at full speed, it was difficult to see how referee Howard Webb could do anything but wave play on.

But, despite their dominance of possession, other than a Vidic header that bounced wide of a post Tottenham had well covered anyway, that was it from the hosts.

From far less possession, the visitors did much more.

Aaron Lennon got on the end of Roberto Soldado's superb through-ball but fired against David de Gea when he really should have done much better.

Lennon also provided the cross which Soldado was inches away from reaching as he slid in at the far post.

And, of course, there was the goal.

Eriksen deserved a lot of credit for the excellent far-post cross. Adebayor's execution was perfect.

Yet the complete absence of a challenge from Smalling made the striker's task far easier. Rooney in particular looked somewhat frustrated.

Operating in a deep role behind Welbeck, the England forward followed up a physical battle for possession near the corner flag by grabbing Mousa Dembele by the arm to prevent a counter-attack.

A yellow card inevitably followed, which could easily have been matched by Welbeck just before the hour.

Moyes tried to inject some life into his team after the break by throwing on Hernandez and Shinji Kagawa.

In the process, he made a tactical reshuffle that resulted in Tottenham grabbing their second.

Valencia's deficiencies as a full-back have already been exposed this season and when Vidic half-blocked a low cross from Lennon, there they were in glaring evidence again.

The South American simply failed to react to the danger of a bouncing ball, allowed Eriksen to run straight across him and, from six yards, the Dane nodded in.

It seemed like game over but within 60 seconds the deficit had been halved as Welbeck finished brilliantly, dinking the ball over an advancing Lloris after Hernandez had supplied the through-ball.

Amid the frenzy, Adebayor picked up an injury serious enough for him to be carried off, which delayed the restart without taking the edge off United's hunger for an equaliser.

Hernandez's impudent back-heeled attempt to turn home Adnan Januzaj's near-post cross nearly paid off.

In United's desperation to attack, Lennon almost sealed it for the visitors but once again De Gea came to the rescue.

Rooney and Vidic came close as the hosts reasserted themselves but Tottenham had done enough, and Moyes was left to experience that familiar losing feeling.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Nightlife galleries

More

Latest Sport News

Stats Centre