Tottenham Hotspur continued their fine run under new manager Tim Sherwood with a 2-1 victory at Manchester United on New Year's Day.
Emmanuel Adebayor scored again, and Christian Eriksen tallied the winner for Spurs, who won for the second consecutive season at Old Trafford. Danny Welbeck pulled one back for United in the second half.
The win sent Spurs up to sixth place on 37 points, three ahead of United. Since Sherwood took over from the sacked Andre Villas-Boas in December, Tottenham have won three times and drawn once in four league matches.
United, who lost for the fourth time this season at Old Trafford, are seventh on 34 points. The result ended a four-match winning streak in the league for United under first-year manager David Moyes. The Red Devils are in the middle of an especially busy period that includes two cup-ties in the next six days.
Spurs boss Tim Sherwood: "We could've played better, I thought Man Utd were there for the taking. But we showed the heart of a lion" #MUNTOT— Premier League (@premierleague) January 1, 2014
Continuing his habit of selective offensive-minded lineups, Sherwood paired Adebayor with Roberto Soldado to lead Tottenham's 4-4-2 formation. But in something of a changeup, Sherwood also drafted Etienne Capoue into his side as a defensive-minded midfielder.
United started strongly and nearly went ahead in the fifth minute through Chris Smalling, but Tottenham keeper Hugo Lloris saved the defender's near-post shot. Spurs had a chance in the 14th minute when Roberto Soldado played through Aaron Lennon with an angled pass, but David de Gea saved it with his legs.
United seemed more likely to break the deadlock over the next 20 minutes, but in the 34th minute, Tottenham went ahead. Christian Eriksen held up play on the right and crossed for Adebayor, who directed a well-taken header past de Gea at the far post.
It was Adebayor's fourth goal in five matches since returning to the side after the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas in December. The Togolese striker has scored in each of his last three league appearances at Old Trafford.
This has become the archetypal Man Utd performance at home. Dominate possession, but create little and concede defendable goals.— Graham Ruthven (@grahamruthven) January 1, 2014
Tottenham came close again in the 39th minute, but Soldado shot over the goal from close range from Lennon's excellent cross. Spurs took a 1-0 lead into halftime.
United pushed for an equalizer and thought they had won a penalty in the 59th minute when Danny Welbeck went to ground in the box under pressure. Referee Howard Webb waved play on as United's fans and players protested. Replays showed Vlad Chiriches had made contact with Welbeck, though Chiriches appeared to pull his foot out of the challenge at the last second.
Instead of a penalty and potential equalizer, though, it was soon 2-0.
Spurs countered quickly in the 66th minute, with Lennon crossing for Eriksen from the right. The ball was deflected en route, but Eriksen reacted quickly to stoop and head past de Gea for a 2-0 lead.
Within moments, however, United had pulled one back.
In the 67th minute, Welbeck timed his run perfectly along Tottenham's back line and latched onto Adnan Januzaj's pass before finishing coolly. Now trailing only 2-1, United received further good news when Adebayor limped off injured in the 70th minute.
United continued pressing for the tying goal, and Webb waved play on when substitute Ashley Young was involved in a collision with Lloris along the edge of Tottenham's box in the closing minutes.
In the 90th minute, Lloris saved on the line from Nemanja Vidic's header. Vidic came close again moments later, but this time his header went over the bar.
|David De Gea||6||6|
Manchester United host Swansea City in the FA Cup third round on Sunday, then play at Sunderland on Tuesday in their Capital One Cup semifinal first leg.
Spurs play at Arsenal in the FA Cup third round on Saturday.