Walking In A Dempsey Wonderland

Clint Dempsey struck a very late equalizer in the driving snow at White Hart Lane to snatch a point away from Manchester United and bring just a little bit of life back to the title race.

Spurs very much deserved to win this match, but they could only manage a point and trailed to the Red Devils for 92 minutes of the match.

Tottenham dominated most of the match from an offensive perspective because they mirrored the tactics they used in September on their visit to Old Trafford.  They ran relentlessly at the home side, over-powering them with pace.  Even though this left their back line pretty vulnerable, they ended up winning the match 4-2 on the flapping coattails of their speedy Welshman Gareth Bale.

Manchester United offered very little from an offensive perspective.  They managed just 5 shots to Tottenham’s whopping 25 shots.  Tottenham were extremely wasteful and sloppy in front of goal.  Gareth Bale led the attack with 7 shots on goal while Dempsey and Defoe both had 5 apiece.  Tottenham also got nice performances from supporting attacking players, with Dembele and Dempsey running things in midfield and Lennon making runs from deep to peg Manchester United back.

Almost predictably, however, Robin van Persie put the visitors ahead in the 25th minute.  I wonder what kind of deal with the devil Robin van Persie signed and when.  Maybe it came in his early years, maybe when he went to Arsenal or maybe Sir Alex Ferguson is the devil in this case.  After surviving a Spurs attack, Cleverly picked out Robin van Persie with a cross and the Dutch marksman headed it past Hugo Lloris to give Manchester United a 1-0. 

Things returned to normal after this, however, and Tottenham resumed their onslaught of Manchester United’s goal.  They forced David De Gea into some fantastic saves.

The refereeing was a little suspect but consistently unfair to both sides.  The referee Chris Foy didn’t even seem to be able to see Shinji Kagawa because the Japan international got away with a couple really petulant challenges.  He was dragged off for Wayne Rooney, who assumed a deep lying central attacking midfield role and brought the balance of play back to Manchester United somewhat.  Fergie lost his cool when Foy failed to award a penalty to Rooney after he went down in the box, but the call would have been 50/50.

The match continued on with Tottenham peppering De Gea’s goal until the 92nd minute when the ball was loose and everyone was scrambling in the box, Clint Dempsey stepped up to the ball and tapped it home.  He ran through the London snow with his arms outstretched, taking his celebration right into the jubilant Spurs’ faithful.  No one in navy and white was probably too bothered about the maelstrom of snow driving down as they made their way home from the Lane.

The two points Tottenham snatched from Manchester United’s clutches were critical to the Premier League’s title race and dash for the Champion’s League spots.  Manchester United’s seven point lead at the top shrunk to five with Manchester City’s 2-0 win at home to Fulham.  Tottenham were able to put more distance between themselves and archrivals Arsenal, who fell at the Bridge to Chelsea earlier on Sunday and sunk to 6th place, 7 points behind Spurs who have a stranglehold on 4th.

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