01/12/2009 21:43, Report by Gemma Thompson
United 2 Spurs 0
into the far corner.
United were looking bright in attack and solid in defence with Wes Brown and Nemanja Vidic’s burgeoning partnership looking as strong as ever. The duo's fighting spirit was clearly rubbing off on Ritchie De Laet who heroically threw himself at Defoe’s close-range effort on 20 minutes to prevent an equaliser. Vidic followed suit soon after with a brilliant tackle on Keane who had cleverly made space for himself in the area having been found by Defoe.
After soaking up a prolonged spell of Tottenham pressure, the Reds exerted some influence in the attacking third with Park firing wide after a lovely clipped pass from Berbatov, who was clearly enjoying himself against his old side with an array of smart touches and lay-offs.
The Bulgarian played a big part in United’s superb second goal on 38 minutes. After being picked out by Park on the left, he swivelled to find Gibson who played a one-two with Welbeck on the edge of the box before curling the ball into the top corner for a glorious second.
Berbatov could have made it three on the stroke of half-time, but Obertan’s driven cross from the right was just too far ahead of the striker who was in acres of space at the far post.
With Tottenham in need of two goals, the visitors predictably dominated the opening exchanges after the break and United had Kuszczak to thank, on 58 minutes, for keeping the Reds’ two-goal cushion intact. Bale squeezed past Neville on the left wing, before finding the unmarked Bentley in the area but his snapshot was brilliantly punched clear by the Polish keeper. The Spurs pair combined again soon after with Bentley heading Bale’s looping left-wing cross just wide of the United stopper's near post.
The arrival of Michael Carrick and Federico Macheda just after the hour brought some fresh legs in midfield and attack, but United