For an hour it was looking quite positive. In the first half Spurs had withstood United's early dominance and had then started to make an impression on the game. Satisfied at half-time but after that United started to build up a period of sustained pressure which reduced Spurs' forward forays to almost nothing. However, Aaron Lennon had one great opportunity to create an opening for Spurs when he got past the full back to the line but as he moved towards goal, with both Gareth Bale and Rafael Van der Vaart waiting for a pass, he froze and did nothing. He lost the ball, at that moment he was like a rabbit transfixed in the headlights of a car, and Spurs best chance was gone to the very evident displeasure of Van der Vaart on the pitch and his manager off it.
In spite of their possession and pressure United were not causing any real problems to the Spurs defence where Brad Friedel was making his Tottenham debut at the age of forty, Tottenham's oldest player since the war.
Unfortunately, it was following a poor United pass that they scored their goal. Rooney saw his pass cut out by Benoit Assou-Ekotto but his poor clearance gifted the ball to Cleverly and from his cross Wellbeck headed the opening goal. Game over.
The goal gave United confidence and they poured forward in search of a second. Tottenham faded and the inevitable happened. It was only after conceding the second goal that Spurs managed to mount a dangerous strike on the United goal. From a cross, challenged by substitute Roman Pavlyuchenko in the air, United's young goalkeeper flapped at it and the ball fell to Jermain Defoe who volley crashed against the woodwork. That was the end as far as Spurs were concerned and Rooney scored a third towards the end.
Team: Friedel; Walker (Corluka), Dawson, Kaboul, Assou-Ekotto; Lennon, Livermore (Huddlestone), Kranjcar (Pavlyuchenko), Bale, Van der Vaart; Defoe.
Horrendous Record at Old Trafford
Tottenham went into the game hoping to overturn years of history surrounding their games against United but in the end had to accept they were second best and would have to wait for another year to end their losing sequence of games at Old Trafford.
Lennon and Bale worked hard especially in the first half but faded after United became more dominant and didn't do enough to keep the United full backs in defence allowing them time to push forward in support of their midfield. Both should be contributing more in big games like this and were wasteful when in possession either running into trouble or wasting crosses or shots. Disappointing that they didn't make a more meaningful contribution in the second half.