Manchester United vs. Tottenham Hotspur Score, Grades and Post-Match Reaction

Michael CummingsWorld Football Lead WriterJanuary 1, 2014

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01:  Emmanuel Adebayor of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on January 1, 2014 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

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.

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.

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.



Manchester United Player Ratings vs. Tottenham
David De Gea66
Patrice Evra55
Jonathan Evans76
Chris Smalling55
Nemanja Vidic66
Michael Carrick77
Tom Cleverley66
Antonio Valencia87
Adnan Januzaj68
Wayne Rooney78
Danny Welbeck67
Shinji KagawaN/A6
Javier HernandezN/A7
Ashley YoungN/A6
Tottenham Hotspur Player Ratings vs. Man United
Hugo Lloris67
Kyle Walker66
Danny Rose55
Vlad Chiriches78
Michael Dawson89
Aaron Lennon77
Etienne Capoue88
Mousa Dembele76
Christian Eriksen88
Roberto Soldado66
Emmanuel Adebayor77
Nabil BentalebN/A6
Nacer ChadliN/A6
Harry KaneN/A6


Up Next

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.