Tottenham Hotspur repelled a second-half onslaught as Andre Villas-Boas masterminded their first away win over Manchester United since 1989 as they triumphed 3-2 at Old Trafford in the Barclays Premier League.
Jan Vertonghen and Gareth Bale gave the visitors a deserved half-time lead but not for the first time at Old Trafford in recent years Tottenham were hit by a fierce second-half fightback.
However, Clint Dempsey scored in between efforts from Nani and Shinji Kagawa to keep Spurs in front and after Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick had struck the frame of Brad Friedel’s goal, the visitors clung on for the final whistle.
The result ended one of English football’s longest winless streaks, as well as sending United to their second defeat of the Barclays Premier League campaign.
There were only two minutes on the clock when Vertonghen strode between Nani and Carrick, drove into the United box and found the corner of Anders Lindegaard’s net.
The Belgian’s shot did take a significant deflection off Jonny Evans but Vertonghen deserved his slice of good fortune for the adventure he had shown to take himself into a scoring position in the first place.
Rather than sting United into action, the early goal merely encouraged their visitors. Bale revelled in the open spaces at Old Trafford after picking up the ball from Mousa Dembele, sped past Rio Ferdinand and into the box before beating Lindegaard to make it 2-0.
Having resisted the temptation to name Wayne Rooney alongside Robin van Persie for the first time, Ferguson brought on the England forward for Ryan Giggs at the break.
The move triggered a burst of three goals in four minutes. Rooney provided the assist for Nani’s close-range effort, curling a low cross to the near post. Van Persie could claim the credit for United’s second as he threaded a precise pass through the Tottenham defence that allowed Kagawa to beat Brad Friedel.
But before Kagawa’s strike, Tottenham struck their third goal, Bale again surged forward, and when Lindegaard parried the Welshman’s low shot, Dempsey was on hand to slot home the rebound.
Rooney thudded a free-kick against a post as United turned the screw. William Gallas clattered into a post such was his determination to keep Nani’s far-post cross away from Rooney, then Friedel turned away a fierce Scholes shot. Carrick’s header almost sneaked in but dropped against angle of post and bar.
United continued to surge forward but the equaliser would not come. The sight of Evans hobbling off was an unhappy postscript given the defensive problems Ferguson has encountered this season.
|07 Oct 2012||v Newcastle (A)|
|15 Dec 2012||v Sunderland (H)|
|17 Nov 2012||v Norwich (A)|
|12 May 2013||v Swansea (H)|
|14 Apr 2013||v Stoke (A)|
|19 May 2013||v West Brom (A)|