Sunday, 1 December 2013

Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester United - LIVE Commentary

Interesting game: Tottenham host United at home in a crunch match in the early kick-off.

Hello and welcome to my latest blog post, where I have a LIVE Commentary of an early afternoon kick-off on a Sunday, with Tottenham desperate to bounce back from a 6-0 thrashing against Manchester City to beat United at home today. 

Team Line-ups:

Lloris, Walker, Dawson, Chiriches, Vertonghen, Sandro, Paulinho, Chadli, Dembele, Lennon, Soldado.

Is he good enough? Many people are criticizing Soldado's performances and whether he is good enough to succeed at Spurs

Pressure: Soldado has scored 6 goals in 14 games since his £26m move from Valencia.

Subs: Friedel, Kaboul, Holtby, Capoue, Townsend, Defoe, Sigurdsson.

Manchester United:
De Gea, Smalling, Vidic, Evans, Evra, Jones, Kagawa, Cleverley, Valencia, Welbeck and Rooney.

David De Gea is now the second youngest goalkeeper to play 100 games for United.

Subs: Lindegaard, Rafael, Anderson, Young, Nani, Hernandez and Fellaini. 

11:55 - 8th placed United travel to London to play against Spurs, who are a point and a place below them. A win for either side will move them into the top 4, even if it is just for a few hours based on the other matches being played today. 

11:58 - The teams have warmed up, and are ready to start the first-half of action at White Hart Lane. The atmosphere is building already...

12:00 - And the referee blows his whistle to start the first-half.

10: Tottenham have started the game lively, have not conceded as of yet which they could not say at this stage last week against Manchester City, conceding in the first 30 seconds of play. 
They are certainly taking the game to United, with pacy right-back Kyle Walker having the best chances on the flank but so far being unable to take his chances. 

13: Lloris comfortably catches a deflected strike by Smalling on the flank which bounced off Chiriches awkwardly towards the near post.

15: And now it's United who are looking bright, as if they are about to score. Cleverley and Rooney doing well to pass their way into the Spurs box, but defensive midfielder Sandro makes two great blocks to deny Rooney from breaking the deadlock.

17: Great footwork by Paulinho to get past the United defence, before he is brought down by Jonny Evans from 20 yards out. Dangerous free-kick for the hosts in a goal-scoring position, with Walker to take..

Walker can score a few decent free-kicks, anyone remember his strike against Blackburn last year?

18: GOAL! What did I say? Walker smashes the ball powerfully underneath a poorly-constructed United wall from 20 yards out to open the scoring for Spurs and give The Red Devils a wake-up call after starting out of the blocks slower than their hosts.

Taking advantage: Walker smashed the free-kick past the United defence to break the deadlock.

Breakthrough: Walker celebrated scoring his first goal for Spurs in 19 months.

20: Spurs have been pressing for the opener, but it's slightly a surprise that it has come like this! After their truly shocking performance against City, they have certainly turned it around - but there is still a long way to go before they take a famous three points from United. 

30: Still 1-0 to Spurs, with Soldado having missed a golden chance to double the lead for the hosts - Paulinho with a great through ball into his team-mate who hits the strike over the bar and kicks the advertising board in frustration. They could go on to rue missing that chance. 

31: GOAL! Manchester United have equalised thanks to none other than English talisman and striker Wayne Rooney! Great play by Phil Jones down the right flank with an unstoppable cross into the box for Rooney, Walker deflects off the ball straight into Rooney's feet to equalise! 1-1, and it's all to play for now - again!

35: Soldado will be absolutely kicking himself now for missing that golden chance to give Spurs a 2-0 lead, he is under increased pressure already, he needs a goal and soon.

36: Vertonghen does well to tackle Rooney and clear the ball away from the danger zone as United press for another goal. Rooney's workrate again today has been good, he's been everywhere working hard to win the ball and find a team-mate in space.

39: Tottenham looking dangerous on the counter attack as usual, with Lennon running fast on the overlap getting past Evra before crossing the ball into the box but no Spurs team-mates are in space to shoot and the English winger goes to ground.

44: United are looking as if they are ready to pounce on Spurs with another goal before half-time, but Tottenham want to go into the break with the scoreline intact at 1-1 - solid defending all-round.

45: The fourth official signals for just one minute of stoppage time to be added on at the end of the first-half, with United about to take a corner from Rooney.

45+1: Spurs partially clear the ball away twice before Chiriches finally smashes the ball away near the touchline. The referee blows his whistle for half-time as soon as the ball reaches the half-way line. 

HALF-TIME: Tottenham dominated the first 30 minutes but allowed their visitors time to get back into the match and create chances. 
Despite the fact that their defence has been solid, it is hard not to concede against a United team, especially when they are constantly pressing you in the centre of midfield and on the flanks. The equaliser eventually came through none other than Wayne Rooney, who scored his 8th EPL goal against Tottenham to make it 1-1. 

The game was always going to be interesting, but it will be even more interesting to see who gets the next goal - if there is another. 

13:00 - Second half has begun...

54: GOAL! Tottenham have gone back in-front, what a goal to make it 2-1! Defensive midfielder Sandro cuts inside from 25 yards out and wraps his foot around the ball around it cleanly to hit the ball past De Gea into the top corner of the net, who got nowhere near the ball. You can't exactly blame him either, it was truly an unstoppable finish. 

Absolutely stunning strike. Sublime goal. 

57: PENALTY! United win a penalty soon after Spurs go back in-front, with French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris rushing out to tackle Welbeck on the counter attack, bringing down the striker with a faint touch with his trailing arm. 

The hosts are not happy with the decision, and it looks slightly soft but it is a good decision nonetheless.

58: Rooney to take the penalty, he looks fearless as he steps up to shoot.... GOAL! United have equalised again, with Rooney scoring his second goal of the day, this time from the penalty spot. 2-2, and the game has opened up again!

65: Both sides going for the winner now even though there is 25 minutes to play, Rooney being denied by Chiriches and Welbeck doing well on the counter attack but no-one is in support to help him on the flank or inside the box.

67: Tottenham SUB:
Aaron Lennon OFF
Andros Townsend ON

Townsend replaces Lennon to a chorus of boos; the hosts feel that if anyone should be taken off, it should not be Lennon because he has worked hard on the flank throughout the game, whereas fellow winger Nacer Chadli has been anonymous so far.  

69: Cameras show that Tottenham striker and England player Jermain Defoe is getting ready to come on for Spurs, warming up and recieving instructions.

He has been in the newspapers recently, with transfer rumours running rampant about a potential move away from White Hart Lane in January to boost his World Cup selection hopes as he feels that he is not getting a significant amount of playing time to justify his place in Brazil next year.

72: Tottenham SUB:
Roberto Soldado OFF
Jermain Defoe ON

Soldado has seriously had a game to forget, missing a golden chance to double his side's lead in the first-half and he has not contributed as much to the play as he should have, just staying in the 16-yard box and waiting for a counter attack to begin constantly instead of tracking back and trying to win the ball. 

73: Manchester United SUB:
Danny Welbeck OFF
Javier Hernandez ON

Welbeck was relatively quiet in the first half for the most part, but was more involved in the play in the second half despite none of his team-mates supporting him in the box.
Super sub Hernandez replacing him isn't exactly the worst substitution in the world - he can score a goal either very early or very late on in a game. 

74: Townsend goes on another lung-busting run but nothing comes off it because his cross is cleared away by the United defence. He needs to skip past defenders and cut inside into the area and have a strike on goal instead of going down the flank to cross.

80: 10 minutes left plus stoppage time to play at White Hart Lane, still 2-2 with Spurs trying to keep pressure on United with yet another free-kick in a dangerous position.
Young and Nani are ready to come on for Manchester United meanwhile.

81: The free-kick is blocked well and United are able to clear effectively.

85: Manchester United SUB:
Antonio Valencia OFF
Shinji Kagawa OFF
Ashley Young ON
Nani ON

86: Tottenham SUB:
Nacer Chadli OFF

Gylfi Sigurdsson ON

90: The fourth official has signalled for 3 minutes of stoppage time to be added, on the electronic board. 

90+1: Both teams are both looking for the late winner, but I doubt it will come at this rate.

90+2: Last chance for United as an inviting ball into the box narrowly misses Hernandez's head at the far post, that's surely game over.

90+3: The referee Mike Dean blows his whistle to end the game at White Hart Lane, an entertaining 2-2 draw between two of the best teams in the English Premier League who are currently not exactly on the best of form in the league.

My Player Ratings and Man Of The Match: 

Lloris - 6/10. 
Walker - 6/10.
Dawson - 5/10.
Chiriches - 7/10.
Vertonghen - 6/10.
Sandro - 7/10.
Dembele - 6/10.
Lennon - 7/10.
Townsend - 5/10.
Paulinho - 6/10.
Chadli - 4/10.
Sigurdsson - 5/10.
Soldado - 5/10.
Defoe - 4/10.

Manchester United:
De Gea - 6/10.
Smalling - 7/10.
Evans - 6/10.
Evra - 6/10.
Jones - 6/10.
Vidic - 6/10.
Cleverley - 5/10.
Valencia - 5/10.
Kagawa - 6/10.
Welbeck - 5/10.
Hernandez - 4/10.
Rooney - 9/10.