In an action packed Christmas period many of us had picked out Tottenham Hotspurs vs Manchester United as the stand out fixture. Tottenham had recorded a 2-1 victory against Leicester on Boxing Day with goals from Kane and Erikson, while United comprehensively beat Newcastle 3-1 as they continued their good form and remained unbeaten in 6 games.
United dominated the early period of the game having the majority of the ball but struggled to make any clear cut chances until midway through the first half. Michael Carrick collected the ball on the half way line and played a long aerial through ball into the path of Robin Van Persie. He controlled the ball on the six yard line and looked certain to score with only Lloris to beat.
The Tottenham Goalkeeper managed to pressure the Dutch man’s second touch and got a foot to the ball. enabling him to make a fantastic save. This was to set the tone for the remainder of the half. On the 42nd minute Mata switched play from right to left with a long diagonal pass which was collected by Ashley Young. The United player cut inside and utilised a one on one with Chiriches who created a great angle to get a shot away from the corner of the box. The ball seemed bound for the top corner but once again Lloris would not be beaten as he made an outstanding diving save, once again denying United of the goal they felt they deserved. This proved to be a turning point in the game as Spurs began to grow in confidence going into the half time break. In the first half of the game United recorded 5 shots on target but each time were denied by Lloris who was proving to be in unbeatable form.
This game was a tale of two halves as Spurs were inspired by the pure brilliance of their Goalkeeper who had undoubtedly kept them in the game. This showed as Spurs began to press and cause trouble for the united back 3. This was most clear when Harry Kane’s high energy performance put Michael Carrick under pressure in midfield. Kane intercepted the ball in his own half and drove at the retreating United defence and played a perfectly weighted pass to Ryan Mason. He perhaps should have done better with his effort on goal but showed desire to support the attack. This was to be the best chance for either team in the second half.
This was not your typical 0-0 draw as the game was action packed and kept viewers on the edge of their seats. Although three points were desired by both teams, overall Tottenham will be happier with the point, but neither team can be disheartened by their performance. Both goalkeepers were outstanding on the day with Hugo Lloris being awarded a very deserving Man of The Match and continuing his great record when wearing the armband for Tottenham, having only ever lost one game as captain.