Recalling five brilliant away wins at Tottenham
Manchester United will make our second-ever visit to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this Sunday.
Our first, of course, came in June 2020, when a 1-1 draw between the sides signalled the resumption of our campaign after the first COVID-19 lockdown in the UK.
Bruno Fernandes's 81st-minute penalty ensured we claimed a crucial point in the battle for Champions League qualification, after Steven Bergwijn's opener, and we're sure this weekend's clash will be just as hotly contested, as the home side once again strive to make the top four.
In order to whet your appetite, here are five of the very best United wins against Spurs on their home patch during the Premier League era, starting with 1997's season opener...
SPURS 0-2 UNITED, 1997/98
A trip to the old White Hart Lane was always a fierce prospect, especially on the first day of a campaign, but extra fuel was poured on the fire in August 1997, with Spurs old boy Teddy Sheringham returning to his old stomping ground, just months after transferring to United. For 80 minutes, it was an unhappy return for the England international, who was on the receiving end of a nasty tackle from Ramon Vega before smashing his first-half penalty against the post, much to the delight of the home support. Fortunately for United, two goals in two minutes - the first from Nicky Butt, the second a Vega own goal - ensured Teddy could raise a wry smile at full-time.
SPURS 3-5 UNITED, 2001/02
United were struggling defensively after the departure of Jaap Stam and came into this fixture at White Hart Lane – against a Spurs side featuring Sheringham – having conceded 10 goals in our opening six games. That record soon worsened, when goals from Dean Richards, Les Ferdinand and Christian Ziege threatened to condemn the Reds to our third consecutive defeat in N17. But this United side were used to fighting back from adversity, and when Andy Cole headed in straight after the break, the comeback was on. Stam’s replacement, Laurent Blanc, reduced the deficit further just prior to the hour mark, before Ruud van Nistelrooy powered past Neil Sullivan to equalise. Spurs were reeling at this point, and minutes later Juan Sebastian Veron drove in from the edge of the box to complete a remarkable turnaround. David Beckham – the driving force behind our second-half renaissance – added a fifth late on in what is still revered by Reds as one of our best-ever Premier League away days.
SPURS 0-2 UNITED, PREMIER LEAGUE, 2002/03
'We want our trophy back!' crowed the travelling support after this vital win at White Hart Lane in late April sent United five points clear of reigning champions Arsenal, with just a fortnight of the season to play. The Reds' dominance over a Tottenham side with little to play for was established virtually from the word go, but a masterful performance from American keeper Kasey Keller kept the Whites' fierce rivals happy until Paul Scholes nodded in a Ryan Giggs cross with 20 minutes left on the clock. Gus Poyet could have salvaged a late equaliser to blow the race open once again, but van Nistelrooy struck his 40th goal of an incredible season in injury-time to settle matters. The gap between the two challengers - which had once been eight points in the Gunners' favour - was now irreversible, as United's 4-1 win over Charlton and Arsenal's home defeat to Leeds the following day gave Sir Alex Ferguson and his side an eighth title in 11 years.
SPURS 0-4 UNITED, PREMIER LEAGUE, 2006/07
One of our most emphatic Premier League wins in north London came in 2007. After defeat to Arsenal at the Emirates just weeks earlier, we needed all three points to keep Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea at bay at the top of the table. A nervy first-half performance ended with Cristiano Ronaldo firing us into the lead from the spot after he’d been tripped by Steed Malbranque. A Nemanja Vidic header and a Scholes tap-in – after more good work from Ronaldo – then put us in an unassailable position early in the second half, before Giggs made it four on the break. However, without doubt, the most memorable moment of this match came in the closing stages. Edwin van der Sar suffered a broken nose, but Sir Alex Ferguson had used all three of his substitutes. With no replacement possible, the travelling Reds were left to glory in the sight of defender John O’Shea keeping goal – and ensuring a clean sheet – during the closing stages.
SPURS 0-1 UNITED, PREMIER LEAGUE, 2018/19
The less said about the Reds’ previous Premier League visit to Tottenham’s temporary home at Wembley, the better, with Mourinho’s men being outplayed in a 2-0 defeat in January 2018. An FA Cup semi-final win at the famous ground was a welcome tonic, but United were still eager for revenge when the sides rekindled our top-flight rivalry a year on. Five league wins in a row under then-caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would soon become six, thanks to Marcus Rashford's superbly taken strike, shortly before half-time, but that was by no means the full story. The Londoners, attempting to stay in touch with Liverpool and Manchester City at the summit, threw all they could at United, especially during a fraught second half where David De Gea was forced to make a number of crucial saves. The Spaniard denied Harry Kane on several occasions and ended the match with 11 stops after one of his very best showings for the club.