All the talk about Manchester United getting back into the title race seems premature as they lose for a second consecutive time to Tottenham at the Old Trafford, suddenly becoming their most difficult fixture. Emmanuel Adebayor and Christian Eriksen did an excellent job in finishing counter attacks before a quick Danny Welbeck goal and immense pressure from the home side created late drama, but nothing more.
Spurs came away with the 2-1 win which brings them only two points behind Liverpool at 4th place and some might consider them as part of the title race once more, 7 points behind Arsenal. Manchester United lost for the fourth time this season at home, something that hasn’t happened since the 2001-2002 season, when Manchester United finished third. Right now they’re 11 points behind Arsenal and five points behind 4th placed Liverpool.
It wasn’t a bad match from Manchester United, who were the better side for about 75 of the 90 minutes, making Hugo Lloris and his defense work very hard in the final 15 minutes as a barrage of headers and shots from inside the penalty area caused a lot of problems for Tottenham. However, the awful United defending allowed Adebayor to score in the first half and later on to Christian Eriksen, who proved just how wrong Andre Villas-Boas was for not using him regularly in the lineup.
David Moyes and Wayne Rooney epitomized the frustration at the club that just isn’t used to being left out of the main event. Danny Welbeck dove in the box after injuring Danny Rose which had everyone up in arms, but no penalty was warranted. Ashley Young made his own attempt by leaping over Hugo Lloris, but Howard Webb didn’t buy that as well.
David Moyes put on an ultra-attacking formation in the final minutes, as Wayne Rooney anchored Chicharito, Danny Welbeck, Adnan Januzaj, Shinji Kagawa and Ashley Young. The problem was that Rooney was out of focus the entire match, arguing with the referee more often than he did something positive for his own team.
Tottenham are winning their confidence back, maybe to the point where they can feel good enough to be a a part of the top 4 soon enough. Manchester seem to be where they’ve been all this season, which is below all the clubs they think they belong with, and many problems heading into the new year despite a mostly successful Christmas.