Exit the Sandman

The Tim Sherwood express and go show continues to gather steam and Spurs continue to pick up the points. Two visits to Old Trafford (this season and last), six points won. The theatre of dreams nothing more than a nightmare for the home fans and a lucid awakening for the away support as we no longer fear the night terrors of old. You would think we'd have plenty to worry about pre-match what with Howard Webb as the Sandman, but it seems his generosity has diminished along with Manchester United's power over Tottenham.

Let's be honest, conspiracy theories aside, Tottenham's biggest problem in the past concerned our insecurities and a lack of self-belief. We would capitulate regardless if a decision appeared to favour our hosts. Sure, sometimes it was a catalyst, but it still masked the truth that we never quite had a handle on beating them. We simply never had it in us.

Until last season and again on Wednesday evening.

I'm glad there were controversial moments although I tend to think they are largely exaggerated for the purpose of deflection. David Moyes doing well to tag Webb's decisions as 'scandalous' thus giving a headline or two to divert the questioning away from his team's performance.

Danny Welbeck was hardly touched by the boot of Vlad Chiriches as the defender pulled away. Still, it didn't stop Welbeck from embracing gravity and falling with her to the ground. We've seen 'em given, some would say. In fact, we've seen lesser alleged fouls given in this fixture.

The Hugo Lloris sweeper-keeping tackle launched into Ashley Young looks dramatic enough to earn its stonewall label that Moyes stated post-match. On reflection, Lloris just about gets to the ball with studs as its floated over him. Maybe I'm stretching it there (replay isn't conclusive) but with the ball in flight and into the box it's not like the keeper fouled the player before he executed the cross. I don't know, maybe Webb is repenting for the past afterall.

The Danny Rose block move on Adnan Januzaj? No argument, that should have been a free kick. Januzaj tormented Rose down the left hand flank all game.

Yet still, take away these moments and you're left with the more prominent facts of the game. For all of United's early pressure and pressing they didn't do enough whilst slow starting Spurs found a more effective counter-attacking rhythm and punished the team in red. Obviously, for old times sake, we allowed Utd back into it at 2-1 and it was agonising at times towards the end but Spurs well deserving of the points.

Emmanuel Adebayor immense. Roberto Soldado involved. Christian Eriksen inventive. Michael Dawson and Vlad strong and steady at the back. Aaron Lennon a constant tormentor.

Tim Sherwood brave with his substitutions and once more vindicated with Spurs displaying organised expression. A lack of balance on the left, but one game at a time.

The football won us the game. That should truly dominate the headlines.

 

metro