Live Commentary: Manchester United 2-3 Tottenham Hotspur - as it happened

Sir Alex Ferguson
© PA Photos
Sports Mole brings you live commentary of tonight's Premier League encounter between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford.

Good afternoon and welcome to Sports Mole's live commentary of the Premier League encounter between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford.

United lost their opening league match of the season to Everton, but have since won their last four to occupy third spot in the Premier League table.

Tottenham, meanwhile, overcame a lacklustre start to secure back-to-back wins against Reading and Queens Park Rangers and consequently move into ninth spot in the table.

They have not won at Old Trafford since 1989, however, while they have lost 17 and won none of their last 22 Premier League games against Sir Alex Ferguson's side.

>Full team news for the match

Please note that the match kicks off at 5.30pm.


7.26pmThanks for joining Sports Mole for the action and be sure to join us for La Liga football this evening. Until then!

7.24pmSo there we have it. Spurs hold on in the second period to secure an unlikely three points against Manchester United. It is a notable win for Spurs. They move into fifth, while United remain third.

FULL-TIMEManchester United 2-3 Tottenham Hotspur

90 min+3One last corner for United. Lindegaard is forward...

90 min+3Maybe one last attack from United as they pass and probe in the Spurs half...

90 min+2Nani fires over the crossbar from outside the box. That could be just about it. Meanwhile, change for United as Javier Hernandez replaces Ferdinand. Spurs bring on Michael Dawson in place of Defoe.

90 minMeanwhile, we will play an additional four minutes at the end of the 90. Can United score? They always score.

89 minStill United probe and pass but they cannot find a way through at the moment as Spurs stand strong. Meanwhile, Rooney brings down Sigurdsson in the United half.

87 minChance! Another fine chance for the home side as Rafael finds Evra in the box, but his header is straight at Friedel.

85 minChance! United hit the crossbar once more with a header from Carrick. How close have they come?

83 minMeanwhile, change for Tottenham as Dembele is replaced by Tom Huddlestone. They are just slowing the game down now.

83 minAnother half-chance for United as Rooney picks up possession outside the box, but he fires it over the crossbar.

82 minChance! Another chance for United as Scholes strikes from outside the box, but Friedel clears the danger.

81 minIt remains all United as they force a corner before Rooney searches out Evans, but Tottenham continue to clear the danger.

79 minChange for United as Kagawa is replaced by Danny Welbeck. Can he inspire his team in the last 10 minutes?

78 minWonderful ball from Van Persie as he whips it into the box, but no United player is there. United still have possession in the Spurs half as Nani tests Friedel.

76 minUnited continue to pass and probe in the Tottenham half. However, Spurs are resisting the danger at the moment.

74 minChance! Another opportunity for United as Scholes finds Van Persie in the box, but he heads wide of the target.

72 minTottenham have just stemmed the tide for the moment with a period of possession. But they still have a long time to hold on. This is proper Premier League football.

70 minCHANCE! Wonderful chance for United as Van Persie drifts into the box, but he fires it wide. Meanwhile, change for Spurs as Sigurdsson replaces Dempsey.

68 minSpurs remain such a threat on the counter attack with Lennon and Bale, but they just cannot keep possession at the moment. We still have over 20 minutes of football to play.

66 minChance! So nearly an equaliser for United as Rafael finds Rooney in the box, but his shot is wide of the post. Meanwhile, Gallas is changing his contact lense.

65 minAnother penalty shout for United as Sandro appears to handball in the penalty area. Any danger of that one being given? That is two United should have had.

64 minStill United attack with Rafael and Nani down the right. Rooney has completely changed this for the home side. United have the ball in the net as Van Persie tucks home, but he is offside.

62 minROONEY HITS THE POST Oh my word! Rooney hits the post with a free kick. How close was that?

62 minUnited have a free kick on the edge of the box as Walker fells Kagawa. It appears that Rooney will take it. Big chance this.

60 minStill over 30 minutes remaining at Old Trafford and United have possession of the ball. But they must be so careful with Spurs on the break.

58 minPenalty shout for United as Kagawa is felled in the box, but Walker made connection with the ball. Good decision from the referee.

56 minIt's end-to-end football at the moment as both sides push forward. We still have another 35 minutes of football, does that mean another 10 goals? Wow!

55 minGood grief. What on earth has happened at the beginning of the second period? This is more like a basketball game!

54 minOh my word! United are back in it as Kagawa turns into the box before finding the corner. Incredible!

54 minGOAL! Manchester United 2-3 Tottenham Hotspur (Kagawa)

53 minTottenham extend their lead once more as Dempsey taps home following a Bale shot.

53 minGOAL! Manchester United 1-3 Tottenham Hotspur (Dempsey)

52 minUnited are back in it as Rooney finds Nani in the box, and the winger taps home.

51 minGOAL! Manchester United 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur (Nani)

50 minSighter for United as Scholes picks out the run of Rooney with a searching ball, but the England striker just cannot collect possession.

49 minTottenham are dropping deeper and deeper at the start of this second half as the home fans drive their team on. We could be in for one hell of a second period.

47 minUnited simply have to go for it in this second period. They need an early goal. The next strike really does change everything.

46 minHere we go then. United make a change at the break as Rooney comes on to replace Giggs. Meanwhile, the home side get us underway in the second half.

6.34pmRight, we are moments away from the second period. I am certain that Ferguson has had a few words at the interval, but he should not need to raise his side. They should be old enough to do it themselves.

6.32pmUnited simply need to get Wayne Rooney on the pitch as soon as possible. He should have started in my eyes. If you are fit enough for a place on the bench, then you are fit enough to start.

6.29pmUnited have dominated possession with 61%. However, Spurs have played so well on the counter attack. United have also managed just one shot on target. That is almost unheard of. But they have really been that bad.

6.26pmIt's as poor a performance from the home side that I have seen in recent years. Unfortunately Giggs and Scholes have shown that they cannot compete in these types of matches anymore. Not together anyway.

6.23pmThe opener came in the early stages with Vertonghen dancing into the United box. Meanwhile, Bale added a second when he sprinted past Ferdinand before slotting home.

6.20pmSo there we have it. Tottenham lead United 2-0 at the interval with Vertonghen and Bale the scorers. Spurs are half-way towards a famous famous win at Old Trafford.

HALF-TIMEManchester United 0-2 Tottenham Hotspur

45 min+2United continue to pass and probe as the half advances, but there is just no creation. Has anyone seen Nani or Giggs by the way?

45 minMeanwhile, we will play an additional three minutes at the end of the half. Welbeck and Rooney are warming up on the sideline. I expect to see both of them in the second period.

44 minBig penalty shout for United as Nani is felled in the penalty area, but no decision is forthcoming. That had to be given. Poor from the referee.

42 minThe home side continue to whip balls into the penalty area, but they have not got anyone who wants to head the ball. For me Rooney and Tom Cleverley have to come on at the interval.

40 minUnited have a corner, but seconds later they emerge with the ball in their own penalty area. Just awful. But a goal for United changes everything.

38 minHalf-chance for United as Evra whips a dangerous cross into the box, but Friedel collects the danger. Surely Ferguson will get Wayne Rooney on at the break.

37 minMeanwhile, Gallas appears to have a problem here as he hits the deck. Sense of gamesmanship for me. He seems alright to continue.

35 minTottenham are just passing and probing inside the United half at the moment. Is there any chance of the home side waking up at some point? It is as poor as I have ever seen them.

33 minDid anyone see this coming? How do United respond to this? They need a goal back before the break. So so poor from the home side's defence.

32 minTottenham add a second as Bale sprints past Ferdinand before finding the bottom corner.

32 minManchester United 0-2 Tottenham Hotspur (Bale)

32 minHalf-chance for United as Giggs attempts to find Van Persie in the area, but Vertonghen is on hand to clear the danger. Better from the home side.

30 minIt almost has a pre-season feel to it as United casually stroke possession around in midfield. Any chance of someone raising the tempo here? It is just playing into Tottenham's hands.

28 minHalf-chance for Tottenham as Bale finds the head of Defoe in the penalty area. However, his effort is over the crossbar. United need some sort of inspiration here.

26 minDecent spell from the away side as the pass and probe in the United half. However, in truth, they are not really creating much either.

25 minUnited continue to struggle for the final ball as Carrick loses possession. Meanwhile, Vertonghen is a real threat down the left for Spurs.

23 minHowever, Van Persie's effort is straight into the wall. That's poor from the Dutchman.

23 minUnited have a free kick on the edge of the box as Dembele fouls Kagawa. Meanwhile, the home supporters have started to find their voice.

23 minChance! So nearly two for Tottenham as Bale finds Vertonghen in the box, but he can only head over the crossbar.

21 minIt's the Tottenham fans who can be heard at the moment with 21 minutes on the clock. United have enjoyed more of the ball, but they have not created any real chances.

19 minThe match has just developed into a pattern with United controlling possession and Tottenham playing on the break. The next goal in this match is huge.

17 minBetter pressing from the home team as they pen Tottenham into their own half. Spurs launch an attack on the break, but Ferdinand is on hand to clear the danger.

15 minVan Persie does indeed return to the action. However, the match remains ever so slightly bitty. I'm not sure if either Nani or Ryan Giggs have touched the ball thus far.

13 minVan Persie is in trouble here as he is felled by Gallas. However, the Dutchman looks alright to continue. United need him that is for certain.

12 minUnited are certainly enjoying the better of the play with 12 minutes on the clock. However, Van Persie fires an effort wide of the target from close range.

10 minFirst real spell of possession for United as Scholes picks up the ball in midfield. But Sandro shadows the England man to good effect.

8 minHalf-chance for Spurs as Dempsey strikes an effort from the edge of the box, but it is just wide of the target. End-to-end stuff at the moment.

7 minStrong play from United as Evra attempts to swing a low cross into the penalty area, but Walker defends the edge of the box well.

6 minReally confident start from Tottenham as they pass and probe in the United half. They look like the home side in the early stages of this one.

4 minDecent response from United as Patrice Evra advances down the left, but his cross is cut out. United need a quick response here. Meanwhile, Rafael lunges in on Bale to give away a free kick.

3 minWhat on earth were the United defence doing there? The defender just ran through the entire defence. That is woeful from the home side.

2 minTottenham lead as Vertonghen advances into the box and finds the corner via Jonny Evans.

2 minGOAL! Manchester United 0-1 Tottenham Hotspur (Vertonghen)

2 minDecent start from Tottenham as Gareth Bale advances down the left of the midfield, but Rafael is on hand to clear the danger.

1 minNice pre-match huddle from the away side. Here we go then. Tottenham Hotspur kick us off on this mild evening in Manchester. What will the 90 minutes bring?

5.28pmNo problems with handshakes and the like in this match. The flags just need to be exchanged, in addition to the flip of a coin. Then we will be underway.

5.26pmHere we go then. Both sets of players are just emerging from the tunnel. It's United versus Spurs. Ferguson versus Villas-Boas. Wonderful atmosphere building inside Old Trafford.

5.24pmIn terms of what both sides have missing. Antonio Valencia's absence is a terrible blow for United. He was wonderful against Liverpool last week. Meanwhile, United are also without their skipper Nemanja Vidic. The big blow for Spurs comes in the absence of Scott Parker.

5.22pmSubs:

Manchester United: De Gea, Anderson, Wootton, Cleverley, Rooney, Hernandez, Welbeck

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Dawson, Huddlestone, Falque, Sigurdsson, Townsend, Mason

5.20pmRight, we are just about 10 minutes from kick off at Old Trafford. Will this be the evening that Tottenham end their horrific run at Old Trafford? Or will United move back into second spot with three points?

5.18pmTalking of strikers in form. Jermain Defoe has scored four goals in five league matches this season. Emmanuel Adebayor joined the club in the summer, but he is currently out of side through injury.

5.16pmUnited are 8/15 to win this evening. Meanwhile, you can get as high as 5/1 for an away win. That brings me nicely onto my prediction. I'm going for 2-0 United.

5.14pmUnited also have a couple of strikers who enjoy playing against Tottenham. Rooney - who is on the bench today - has scored seven goals in his last eight Premier League appearances against Spurs. Meanwhile, Robin van Persie has scored five goals and made four assists in his last six home games against Tottenham.

5.12pmUnited, meanwhile, have been awarded a penalty in their last three league games and could match Arsenal's four in a row in 2007 with another this evening.

5.10pmTottenham's last victory over United came with a 3-1 win at White Hart Lane in 2001, but they have come close over the years. Anyone remember that Pedro Mendes strike? I think it might have crossed the line. I couldn't be certain though!

5.08pmAs if Spurs' recent record against United was not bad enough, they have failed to score in four of their last six league and cup meetings against Ferguson's side. Meanwhile, Danny Welbeck and David de Gea were not even born the last time they won at Old Trafford. Crazy!

5.06pmSome have suggested that United have not been at their best this season, which may well be true. However, they have won their last six matches in all competitions. How many sides can say that?

5.04pmIt is pretty much as expected from Tottenham with Clint Dempsey providing support to Jermain Defoe in attack. On paper, it is a really good side.

5.04pmSo there we have it. Sir Alex Ferguson goes for experience in the middle of midfield with Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs. Meanwhile, he keeps faith with Nani, who really needs a performance tonight.

5.02pmTeams:

Manchester United: Lindegaard; Rafael, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra; Scholes, Carrick, Giggs; Kagawa, Nani, Van Persie

Tottenham Hotspur: Friedel; Walker, Caulker, Gallas, Vertonghen; Dembele, Sandro; Bale, Lennon, Dempsey; Defoe

5.02pmTeam News: Wayne Rooney is named on the Manchester United bench, while Anders Lindegaard starts in goal for the home side. Tottenham hand a start to young defender Steven Caulker.

5pmGood evening all! The big matches just keep on coming don't they? What a day of Premier League football we have had this afternoon with wins for Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Stoke City, Sunderland and Manchester City on a pulsating Saturday.

Wayne Rooney
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