By Robert Morris
Manchester United continued their unbeaten start to the season with a controversial 2-0 win over Champions League new boys Tottenham Hotspur.
The first-half was an open and enticing affair. Both teams looked to attack, whilst the first chance of the match fell to the Red Devils. Ji Sung Park’s terrific low-drive from outside the box skidded off the wet turf and crashed against the woodwork. Spurs quickly responded with an explosive effort of their own, as Rafael Van der Vaart’s twenty-yard strike was denied by the post. The Dutchman would later be substitute with what looked to be a hamstring injury.
In spite of Tottenham’s attractive football, they had little to show for it and United broke the deadlock on the 31st minute. Luis Nani, a live wire throughout, delivered a delightful freekick which was met by a perfect glancing header from Nemanja Vidic, giving the imposing centre-half his second goal of the season.
Spurs’ best chance to level before the break fell to Luka Modric, however, the Croatian’s sublime chest and volley was equally met by Edwin van der Sar.
There was little to shout about in the second-half, until the game sparked to life in the final ten minutes of the match. Nani, who appeared to be brought down by Younes Kaboul inside the area, stumbled to ground, however, the referee did not award a penalty. As the Portuguese winger fell, he clearly handled the ball and thus Heurelho Gomes assumed Spurs were awarded a freekick. As the goalkeeper rolled out the ball, unaware that the referee has not blown his whistle, Nani crept around the Brazilian and slotted home. A protest soon began, as the Spurs players looked at one another utterly confused. After a discussion between the referee and his assistant, the goal stood. The Reds had gone 2-0 up through the most bizarre incident of the season so far.
Nonetheless, United picked up a vital win and continued their good form of late, despite the absence of the injured Wayne Rooney.