When Spurs last beat Man United, Van Der Gouw was in goal for United, Les Ferdinand was captaining the North London side and Fergie was on his way out of the club after deciding to retire at the end of the next season. That was in 2001, when Spurs thrashed the Red Devils 3-1 at White Hart Lane (obviously, Giggs, who could appear for the 600th time for Man United in the league this Sunday was playing that day!). 23 matches in all competitions later, Spurs get another chance to defeat United and there is a feeling that their time has finally come.
Tottenham have 2 of the players of the season in their team in Gareth “Better Than Messi, Well Not Really” Bale and Rafael Van Der Vaart. While the former has impressed with his quick runs and dribbling, the latter has been probably been the best buy of the season with 9 goals and 6 assists in 15 appearances. Fourth-placed Spurs have been relatively solid this season, with their highlight so far being when they came back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 at the Emirates in November. They also dominated Chelsea at home, only to end up drawing the match. But one of the few places Bale and Van Der Vaart were not able to weave their magic was at Old Trafford where in October, United ran out 2-0 winners.
The result came after 3 frustrating draws and a tough away win at Stoke with the main talking point of that match being Nani’s controversial goal but Rafael’s performance which was just as important may have slipped under the radar. The young Brazilian had Bale, who had recently scored a hat-trick at the San Siro and was being raved about as being better than God, in his proverbial pocket for most of the match.
If the OT match came at a time when United were struggling for form, Man United will be traveling to White Hart Lane on Sunday as unbeaten Premier League leaders. We have an almost fully fit squad, with Rooney, Vidic and Van Der Sar potentially coming back into the side and I think we are looking very good all over the pitch with no real worries in attack, defence or indeed the much-maligned midfield.
Despite our current form, there is no reason for United to underestimate the size of the task that awaits us on Sunday. Spurs have the ability to cause us a lot of problems and it’s not only Rafael who will need to be at the top of his game. United don’t boast an impressive away form this season either; winning 2 out of 9 away matches is atrocious.
Some people out there have decent reasons to think that the wheels will come off our unbeaten run at White Hart Lane, one of them being the great season Spurs are having and another one being the tedious (sometimes laughable) reminder of how Man United haven’t got out of second gear this season and are scrambling for wins. Sunday might be a great opportunity for Spurs to burst the United bubble and re-affirm their top four credentials, but it is also a great chance for us to send a signal to our rivals that we mean business, we can turn our away form around and that we are not going to be the worst side to win a Premier League title if we do end up top in May (as has been claimed by many outside OT).
Spurs – WLWWWD
Man United – WWWDWW
Last 5 Meetings:
|30-10-2010||Manchester United||2-0||Tottenham Hotspur||PREM|
|24-04-2010||Manchester United||3-1||Tottenham Hotspur||PREM|
|01-12-2009||Manchester United||2-0||Tottenham Hotspur||CARL CUP|
|12-09-2009||Tottenham Hotspur||1-3||Manchester United||PREM|
|25-04-2009||Manchester United||5-2||Tottenham Hotspur||PREM|