Spurs 0 Manchester Utd 2
Tottenham Hotspur 0 Manchester United 2, White Hart Lane, English Premier League, August 10, 1997. Reigning Premiership Champions Manchester United beat Spurs 2-0 in their opening fixture of the season. Nicky Butt gave United the lead on 82 minutes before an own goal from Ramon Vega one minute later made the final score 2-0 to the visiting team.
The Manchester United First Team Squad for the 1997-98 season contained Peter Schmeichel, Raimond van der Gouw, Kevin Pilkington, Nick Culkin, John O’Kane, Gary Neville, Denis Irwin, Phil Neville, Henning Berg, David May, Ronny Johnsen, Gary Pallister, Chris Casper, Ronnie Wallwork, John Curtis, Michael Clegg, Wesley Brown, Danny Higginbotham, Terry Cooke, David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs, Karel Poborsky, Paul Scholes, Roy Keane, Ben Thornley, Philip Mulryne, Michael Appleton, Michael Twiss, Brian McClair, Jordi Cruyff, Alex Notman, Andy Cole, Erik Nevland, Teddy Sheringham, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Manchester United had finished the 1996-97 campaign as Premier League champions for the second time in a row and began the defence of their title by defeating Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane; but the meeting between the two clubs in North London was not without drama. Teddy Sheringham, who had joined Manchester United from Tottenham just two months earlier, was the victim of a horrible tackle from Swiss international Ramon Vega shortly after the first whistle and there were more incidents to come. As the first half of the tie wore on, however, United gradually began to dominate proceedings and Sheringham almost put the visitors ahead in the 29th minute of the clash, only to see his fierce shot saved by Spurs and Three Lions goalkeeper Ian Walker. The Lilywhites also had their moments before the interval, but they were denied by Peter Schmeichel on each occasion and the score remained goalless as the two teams went off the pitch for half-time.
In the second period, Manchester United were rightfully awarded a penalty by match official Graham Poll after Dutch international Jordi Cruyff had been illegally brought down by Tottenham defender Justin Edinburgh in the eighteen-yard area, and it was none other than Sheringham who stepped up to take the subsequent spot kick, but unfortunately his effort hit the upright. As the season opener progressed into the closing stages, Alex Ferguson´s United troops went into the lead anyway when a through ball from Sheringham found fellow England player Nicky Butt who hammered the ball past Walker and into the net in the 82nd minute of the Sunday encounter. And just one minute later in the game, Manchester United had their second goal of the afternoon as the increasingly exhausted Vega managed to put a cross ball from David Beckham, the grand son of a life-long Hotspur supporter, beyond a helpless Walker and into his own net. Despite missing a penalty kick, Sheringham still produced a professional performance against former club Tottenham, and even though the Highams Park born marksman was mercilessly booed and jeered by the White Hart Lane crowd throughout the ninety minutes, his Premiersip debut for The Reds was more than just acceptable. Tottenham Hotspur Team: Ian Walker, Stephen Carr, Sol Campbell, Ramon Vega, Justin Edinburgh, Stephen Clemence, David Ginola, David Howells, Allan Nielsen, Les Ferdinand, Steffen Iversen. Substitutes: Andy Sinton, Colin Calderwood, John Scales, Neale Fenn, Espen Baardsen. Manchester United Team: Peter Schmeichel, Ronny Johnsen, Gary Pallister, Denis Irwin, Phil Neville, Nicky Butt, Jordi Cruyff, Ryan Giggs, Roy Keane, Paul Scholes, Teddy Sheringham. Substitutes: Raimond van der Gouw, David Beckham Gary Neville, Brian McClair, Karel Poborsky.
Teddy Sheringham Quickfacts
Teddy Sheringham accumulated a respectable 31 Premier League goals during 104 appearances for Manchester United before he made his return to Tottenham Hotspur at the end of the 2000-01 season. The Londoner later played for Portsmouth, West Ham United, Colchester United, and Stevenage.