Andre Villas Boas faced the biggest match of his Tottenham career so far as he took his momentum and delivered an excited game of football which saw Spurs defeat United 3-2 at Old Trafford, there first ever win at the Theatre of Dreams in the Premier League.
Not only did AVB have to overcome a period of unlucky refereeing decisions to create his historic win, the first in 23 years, he also had to brush off the ignorant comments by the Sun, labeling the North London side as a club in ‘turmoil’.
Obviously that was on display when the club showed their colours in a 3-2 win over Ferguson’s side, showing their improvement in holding on to a win whilst utilising their pace and power to get a third goal despite the momentum being with the home side.
The turmoil was further emphasised by the players congratulating AVB after the final whistle went, which sent Spurs into fifth place and was the third win in a row for Spurs in the Premier League.
But despite the brave win, how were the individual performances?
- Friedel – 6/10
Whilst he dealt with majority of what was needed of him, there were no real saves Friedel made which any other keeper would struggle with. His distribution was poor and with Lloris breathing down his neck, the veteran goalkeeper should have been more dominating with corners to prevent Lloris gaining the upper hand.
- Walker – 5/10
He looked weak and his marking looked shambolic. He failed to keep Kagawa quiet in the second half and was constantly beaten by Evra who managed to constantly cross the ball into the danger box.
- Caulker – 6/10
The centre back looked solid but sometimes allowed Van Persie too much room. But, considering it was his first start for Spurs and was against a very high quality team and attack, it was understandable for Caulker to have a rocky starting appearance.
- Gallas- 6/10
He managed to keep Rooney relatively quiet in the second half and led the defence well. He always put himself in front of the ball and helped Friedel out in defence but ultimately he should have closed the ball down better when the two flash goals went in.
- Vertonghen- 8/10
His defensive skills looked shaky against a flair-filled Nani, but his power and acceleration when going forward helped Tottenham immensely. As well as this, his passes to Bale allowed Tottenham to move up the pitch and his tackling was utilised when needed, but despite this his aerial ability helped to clear the ball away numerous times from United’s corners.
- Sandro – 9/10
Quite frankly he was sensational. He always went in for the tackles and this is shown by Sandro completing the most successful tackles in the game, winning 7. He also pressed forward when needed by dribbling the ball and piecing the attack with the defence well rounding off a very excellent performance.
- Dembele – 8/10
Yet again he rang circles around Manchester United and behind Sandro completed the second most succeessful tackles for Spurs with 5. Not only this but he had four times as many successful dribbles as any other player on the pitch with Scholes, Nani and Bale all having one against Dembele’s four.
- Bale – 9/10
His pace was perfect down the wing and his counter attacks helped Spurs. As well as this, he provided a goal for the club and with the United goalkeeper saving Bale’s inital shot when the score was 2-1, he accidently provided the assist for Dempsey’s first Tottenham goal, as well as providing Vertonghen’s goal too. This means that Bale was involved with every Tottenham goal and his acceleration and power helped to provide Bale with the man of the match award.
- Lennon – 6/10
He looked quiet in the second half and did not storm the wing like he normally does. Considering his dominance over Evra in the League cup final two years ago, it was foolish for Lennon not to trouble the defender more. Additionally, he was unwilling to make the runs for Walker and his defensive contributions were also weak too.
- Dempsey – 7/10
He looked very polished playing behind Defoe, ensuring that every ball was followed up as shown by his eventual tap-in. He dropped back when needed and helped the defence in the second half of the game. He also brought down the ball from Friedel’s long balls and as a result he helped Tottenham retain possession in midfield.
- Defoe – 8/10
The Englishman looked exceptional today and despite only registering one shot in the whole game, his hold up play in the second half allowed his key pass to Bale which led to the third goal. But, he looked lazy in the second half and did not chase down the balls which reduced his scores, although his selfless play helped to contribute to the team.