Tottenham 2 Manchester United 2: Five things we learned
With both teams in need of points, the level of commitment and desire was there for all to see, with an end-to-end game captivating the fans.
Here are five things we can take from the game.
Spurs march to samba beat
With Tottenham struggling for goals this season, Brazilian midfield duo Paulinho and Sandro looked to help the players in front of them in the quest to hit the back of the net.
Paulinho has certainly been the most impressive of Tottenham’s seven new summer signings, and put in another industrious, box-to-box display here. He was unlucky not to get a goal himself, and sent Roberto Soldado through on goal with an inch-perfect pass.
The more-defensive minded Sandro put in a typical hardworking display, and looked to release his attacking players with quick passes when he received possession. His fantastic individual goal topped of an excellent showing.
Valencia back to his best
United got most of their joy attacking-wise down their right-hand side, with Antonio Valencia repeatedly getting in behind the Spurs defence and to the byline.
The Ecuador international has suffered dips in form over the last 12 months, but has been one of United’s unsung heroes over the course of the last four weeks or so.
His direct style is a real threat to opposition, and if he can be more selective with his end ball can be an excellent attacking weapon for David Moyes.
Lennon’s substitution disrupts Spurs’ momentum
Andre Villas-Boas’ decision to remove Aaron Lennon in the second-half was something of a surprise, as the diminutive winger had been one of Spurs’ most threating players.
Despite the emergence of Andros Townsend, the England man will look to command a starting berth for the north Londoners once more.
His devastating pace, trickery and movement off the ball were on show against United, with Lennon looking close to being back to his best.
Chadli still adapting to life in England
Nacer Chadli got the nod on the left-wing after returning from injury, but was largely a fringe figure in the home side’s attacking play.
Right-footed but playing on the left, Villas-Boas’ preference for inverted wingers is yet to prove successful and the Belgian’s best position is still undetermined.
Although he looks technically able, Chadli still has some adapting to do to be a success in English football.
United show resilience
The old adage of never writing off Manchester United has been questioned since Moyes’ appointment, but the Premier League champions have started to hit their straps over the last month or so.
Any suggestions that the visitors were ready to lie down and take defeat after falling behind twice were duly eradicated with swift retribution.
United are improving as the season progresses, and will surely be there or thereabouts come May.