Manchester United vs. Tottenham Hotspur: Final score 1-2, Spurs withstand late United barrage

Paul Gilham

Despite a nervy final 20 minutes, Tottenham Hotspur managed to hold on for a 2-1 win away at Old Trafford.

Tottenham Hotspur withstood a late Manchester United barrage to take a surprise 2-1 win at Old Trafford. The visitors hit United with a couple of counter-attacking goals either side of halftime, and held on for three points after Danny Welbeck clawed one back with just over 20 minutes remaining.

United made the brighter start and pinned Spurs back from the first whistle, with Chris Smalling marauding into the box after five minutes only to fire straight at Hugo Lloris.

However United's good opening didn't last, and the pattern of the first half was set within 15 minutes after Spurs created their first chance. A swift counter-attack culminated in Roberto Soldado slipping Aaron Lennon through on goal, and only David de Gea's right boot ensured the scores stayed level.

United's initial purpose was replaced by ponderousness, and despite the hosts' domination of possession, Spurs looked increasingly comfortable at soaking up pressure. They took the lead with just over 10 minutes of the first half remaining, with Emmanuel Adebayor leaping above Chris Smalling to head in Christian Eriksen's cross.

United were lucky to not be two down at the break, with Lennon again finding space in behind Patrice Evra on the counter. He drilled a great cross back across the United box, though Roberto Soldado slid the ball barely wide.

After the restart United resumed control and pushed for an equalizer, though were sucker-punched again 20 minutes into the second half. Spurs had barely ventured forward, though Eriksen got in ahead of auxiliary right-back Antonio Valencia to nod in their second.

Fortunately for United, Spurs are Spurs, and they were let back into game just a minute after their deficit had been doubled. A brilliant through-ball from Adnan Januzaj was finished first time by a delicate Danny Welbeck chip, ensuring a nervy final 20 minutes for the visitors.

But, despite United throwing the kitchen sink and all of the wingers in the entire world at Spurs, they managed to withstand the late barrage. Hugo Lloris almost threw away the win with a cavalier intervention on Ashley Young in the final five minutes, though made up for his near-penalty giveaway with a couple of crucial late saves.

Manchester United: de Gea; Evra, Evans, Vidić, Smalling (Kagawa 61'); Cleverley (Young 84'), Carrick (Hernández 61'); Januzaj, Rooney, Valencia; Welbeck.

Goals: Welbeck (67').

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris; Rose, Chiricheș, Dawson, Walker; Eriksen, Dembélé, Capoue (Bentaleb 64'), Lennon; Soldado (Kane 75'), Adebayor (Chadli 70').

Goals: Adebayor (34'), Eriksen (66').

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