Sunday, 1 December 2013

Wayne Rooney double earns Manchester United a point in Tottenham thriller

Wayne Rooney twice came to Manchester United’s rescue as a thrilling clash at Tottenham ended 2-2.
Wayne Rooney celebrates after making it 2-2 
The England international continued his superb form in a man-of-the-match display, cancelling out Kyle Walker’s free-kick opener in the first half before smashing home a 57th-minute penalty just three minutes after a stunning Sandro strike had restored Spurs’ lead.
The draw was a fair result, although will satisfy neither United boss David Moyes, whose side now trail leaders Arsenal by nine points, nor Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas, whose job is reportedly on the line following a stuttering start to the season.
There were many positives, however, for Villas-Boas, with his team showing much more purpose, zest and creativity than has been evident in the limp displays that have caused fans and media alike to question how the Portuguese was using his £100million of new summer talent.
Villas-Boas had dropped £30m man Erik Lamela, Lewis Holtby and Younes Kaboul, who all started the 6-0 rout at Manchester City last week, but persisted with under-fire striker Roberto Soldado up front.
Spurs started the brighter of the two teams, and when Jonny Evans was adjudged to have tripped Paulinho – who made the most of the challenge – Walker broke the deadlock. The right-back’s 18th-minute free-kick fizzed under David de Gea, who was not helped by a United wall that jumped over the ball’s low trajectory.
However, after Soldado and Aaron Lennon both saw excellent chances go abegging, United equalised in the 32nd minute.
Phil Jones’ cross caught right-back Walker napping – the ball clipping the right-back’s heel and into Rooney’s path to allow the United forward to poke home from close range.
Nine minutes after the restart, Sandro niftily evaded a number of United challenges before unleashing a spectacular 25-yard piledriver past De Gea to make it 2-1.
Spurs’ joy, though, was short-lived, with keeper Hugo Lloris conceding a penalty after upending Danny Welbeck, who was running away from goal.
Referee Mike Dean correctly pointed to the spot and Rooney slammed his low spot-kick straight down the middle to level again. It was Rooney’s 164th Premier League goal as he moved to fifth on the all-time scorers list, one ahead of Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler.
The action never let up in a frantic conclusion to the game but both defences held firm as the spoils were shared.

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