12/09/2009 16:33, Report by Steve Bartram
Tottenham 1 United 3
United recovered from an opening-minute concession and the second-half dismissal of Paul Scholes to post an ominous victory at White Hart Lane.
Jermain Defoe put Spurs ahead inside a minute, but the Reds hit back through Ryan Giggs and Anderson. Scholes was dismissed for two bookings - the second of which appeared harsh - before Wayne Rooney crowned a magnificent display with a superb late clincher.
Throughout the 90 minutes, United's display oozed the marriage of class and resolve that champions require, and sent out a clear warning to those teams aiming to prevent the Reds from bagging a fourth straight title.
White Hart Lane buzzed with anticipation ahead of kick-off. Spurs, buoyed by a perfect record after four league games and an unbeaten home record blanketing 2009, fancied their chances of a first win over the Reds since 2001.
Sir Alex Ferguson had tentatively suggested that Rio Ferdinand could line up for his first league start of the season, but few expected the England international to be joined by John O'Shea in the Reds' back line.
The Irish defender, who had been the subject of media suggestions that he could face a sustained spell on the sidelines through injury, instead took a place at right-back, with Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra completing the quartet in front of Ben Foster's goal.
Anderson, Scholes and Darren Fletcher lined up in midfield, linked to the front axis of Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov by the ageless Giggs. Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp named a similarly positive side, laying the foundations for an open encounter.
That promise was realised within the opening minute. Benoit Assou-Ekotto's flighted ball was inadvertently headed back into the mix by Nemanja Vidic, under