Spurs 0 Manchester Utd 0

Rafael Da Silva

Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur 0 Man­chester Uni­ted 0, White Hart Lane, Eng­lish Pre­mier Lea­gue, Jan­uary 16, 2011. Ta­ble top­pers Man­chester Uni­ted main­tained their un­beaten re­cord in the Pre­mier Lea­gue as they drew 0-0 ag­ainst Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur in North Lon­don. Uni­ted were re­duced to ten play­ers wi­th six­teen min­utes left, but the hosts was un­able to find the net as the sol­id away de­fence ma­naged to fight off every­thing that was thrown at them.

Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur had emer­ged vic­tori­ous in six of their last ten Pre­mier Lea­gue fix­tures, whi­le Man­chester Uni­ted had won sev­en of their pre­vi­ous ten. Spurs were mis­sing Tom Hud­dle­stone, Rob­bie Ke­ane, Led­ley King, Jam­ie O’Hara, and Jon­athan Woodgate, whi­le Wil­li­am Gal­las was back from in­jury. The Old Traf­ford club, on the oth­er hand, were with­out John O’Shea and An­tonio Va­lencia be­cause of in­jur­ies, but Paul Scho­les and Way­ne Roo­ney were bo­th back in ac­tion. The last time that Tot­ten­ham had de­feated Man­chester Uni­ted was a 3-1 Pre­miership win at White Hart Lane on the nine­teenth of May 2001 and Harry Redknapp´s men could con­sider them­selves lucky if they got a point out of this ga­me. Uni­ted, who had won the re­verse meet­ing be­tween the two te­ams earli­er in the 2010-11 cam­paign 2-1 thanks to goals from Ne­manja Vid­ic and Lu­is Nani, went clo­se al­ready af­ter two min­utes as Roo­ney latched onto a clev­er ball from strik­ing part­ner Di­m­it­ar Ber­batov and shot from some ten yards out, on­ly to watch his ef­fort go wide. Sev­en min­utes la­ter, Eng­land in­ter­na­tion­al Pe­ter Crouch should have sco­red for The Li­ly­whites, but  his vol­ley flashed a few in­ches pa­st the near goal­post. Man­chester Uni­ted de­fender Ra­fael da Silva then raised the tem­per­at­ure of the clash even fur­ther as he was cau­tioned for the fir­st time for a tough chal­lenge on Wil­son Pala­cios two min­utes be­fore the ha­lf-hour ma­rk. Hard man repu­ta­tion se­cured, the So­uth Amer­ic­an went on to make a wild tack­le la­ter in the mat­ch that ev­entually saw him sent off. The North Lon­doners, for their part, were play­ing wi­th bo­th con­fid­ence and pur­pose and must have gone in at the break stunned by the fact they had failed to score.

Man­chester Uni­ted got a lot more in­to the mat­ch fol­low­ing the re­sump­tion of play and Tot­ten­ham and Brazil goal­keeper Heurelho Go­mes was put to the test as Roo­ney power­ed a dev­ast­at­ing shot from out­side the pen­alty area in the fifty-sec­ond min­ute of the tussle. Con­tro­versy ar­rived af­ter sev­enty-four min­utes of fierce ac­tion when Ra­fael re­ceived the red card from ref­er­ee Mi­ke Dean of Wir­ral for a mind­less as­sault on Ben­oit As­sou-Ekotto, but the red shir­ted vis­it­ors from Man­chester held on to se­cure a tough-fou­ght goal­less draw away to Hot­spur, re­maining un­defeated in the Pre­mier Lea­gue. Des­pite of the fact Tot­ten­ham were one of football´s most high pro­file clubs, The White Hart Laners had not ma­naged to win the Cham­pi­on­ship since the double-win­ning sea­son of 1960-61. As for Man­chester Uni­ted, they were well on their way to their nine­teenth Lea­gue title. Sir Al­ex Fer­guson: “It could be a re­al thrill­ing end to the sea­son. We have to win our ga­mes in hand. This was a de­cent point for us. Our de­fenders were par­tic­u­larly good.” Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur Te­am: Heurelho Go­mes, Ben­oit As­sou-Ekotto, Wil­li­am Gal­las, Alan Hut­ton, Mi­chael Dawson, Gar­eth Bale, Aar­on Len­non, Luka Mod­ric, Pe­ter Crouch, Wil­son Pala­cios, Ra­fael van der Vaart. Sub­stitutes: Se­bas­tien Bas­song, Vedran Corluka, Jer­maine Je­nas, Niko Kran­j­car, Jer­main De­foe, Ro­man Pavlyuchen­ko, Carlo Cudicini. Man­chester Uni­ted Te­am: Ed­win van der Sar, Ra­fael da Silva, Ne­manja Vid­ic, Rio Fer­dinand, Pat­rice Ev­ra, Ry­an Gig­gs, Lu­is Nani, Mi­chael Car­rick, Di­m­it­ar Ber­batov, Dar­ren Fletch­er, Way­ne Roo­ney. Sub­stitutes: Jon­ny Evans, Chris Small­ing, Oli­veira An­der­son, Paul Scho­les, Javi­er Her­nandez, Mi­chael Owen, To­masz Kuszczak.


Rafael da Silva Quickfacts

Ra­fael da Silva ac­cu­mu­lated 170 ap­pear­ances in all com­pet­i­tions for Man­chester Uni­ted be­fore the full back left Old Traf­ford for French out­fit Olym­pique Ly­on at the start of the 2015-16 season.


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