Manchester United Come Back To Rout Harry Redknapp's Spurs, Retain EPL Control

Nigel AssamContributor IApril 25, 2009

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 25:  Cristiano Ronaldo (R) of Manchester United is congratulated by team mate Dimitar Berbatov after scoring his team's third goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on April 25, 2009 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

In a match that was reminiscent of Manchester United's comeback led by Steve Bruce against Sheffield Wednesday in the early days of the Premier League, Manchester United came back from behind to rout Tottenham Hotspur, 5-2.

Harry Redknapp no doubt arrived at Old Trafford to avenge his defeat at the hands, and feet, of Manchester United in the Carling Cup final; and by half time, being up 2-nil, must have thought that he was to have his victory.

Tottenham have not won at Old Trafford since 1989 when Terry Venables managed the London club and it was Gary Lineker who scored the winning goal.

Today's match-up begin differently for Sir Alex's men, having lost the toss, they did not shoot towards the Stretford for the first half, as is the custom.

Thirty seconds into the match United threatened Spurs' Gomes; and in the fourth minute, Rooney passed to Ronaldo who then passed to Nani, but Gomes blocked. Four minutes later, it was Spurs' Darren Bent who almost opened the score sheet with his header to the near post that was blocked by van der Sar.

Just before the halfway mark in the first half, Ronaldo's free kick troubled Gomes who struggled to hold on to the ball; and his header four minutes later went just wide.

Spurs' Darren Bent opened up the score sheet in the 29th minute as he placed himself in between United's Vidic and Ferdinand to successfully head down a cross from the right from Corluka and right-foot the shot into van der Sar's net.

Only three minutes later Spur's Luka Modric would cause injury by receiving a cross from Aaron Lennon from the right and with a left-footed shot take the score to 0-2 in favour of Redknapp's Spurs.

But United would not give up and continued to attack.

In the second half the beloved Carlos Tevez came on for Nani. Rooney threatened in the 52nd minute from Tevez's pass, but the shot went past the goal mouth. Two minutes later, Tevez's shot in front of goal forced Gomes to close his legs and block the ball.

However, two minutes later, United began its return when awarded a penalty for Gomes' bringing down of Michael Carrick, Ronaldo converted the chance into a goal, shooting right into the center of the net.

Ten minutes later, Rooney would finally find the back of the net as Berbatov passed to Rafael da Silva continued the play to Rooney who leveled the score 2-2.

Then, only one minute later, Ronaldo found his name again on the score sheet when Rooney, constantly causing trouble down the left, crossed the ball in to Ronaldo whose header went down and past Gomes to put United on top.

By this time, 'appy 'arry could only be less than.

Rooney was not to be outdone by Ronaldo and in the 71st minute it was Ronaldo who set up the Englishman in a reverse of the third goal's set-up, and his shot crossed the line, despite being pushed back out by Spurs' Woodgate, bringing the score to 4-2, a celebration that brought even van der Sar to participate in.

But United were not finished and it was Berbatov's scruffy goal that sealed it when he received a cross from Rooney and headed it, and despite it being blocked, he received a rebound to nick it past Gomes for a 5-2 scoreline.

In the 86th minute, Redknapp tried a change, but all too late, by bringing on Huddlestone for Robbie Keane, who seemed absent throughout the match, and Gareth Bale for Luka Modric.

With this win, Sir Alex and his men are back in front of Benitez and his men who enjoyed, for a brief glimmer, a lead after their victory over Hull earlier in the day, and were doubtless attentive to United's match.

United now have an extra boost to face Arsenal during the week in the first leg of their Champions League semifinal tie. With a game in hand against Wigan, they can further open up the distance between them and Liverpool for the Premier League title.