Controversial Nani goal ensures win over Spurs

Manchester United 2 Tottenham Hotspur 0

A controversial late goal from Nani and a first-half header by Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic ensured Tottenham's 21-year wait for victory at Old Trafford continued.

United captain Vidic opened the scoring with a header after 31 pulsating minutes before Nani reacted quickest to some goalmouth confusion to prod home five minutes from time.

Spurs were furious with referee Mark Clattenburg for allowing the second goal, scored after goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes placed what he believed to be a dead ball.

With just two minutes gone Park Ji-sung had come within a whisker of giving United the lead, taking a couple of touches to line up a shot before letting fly from 25 yards. His low effort had Gomes well beaten but cannoned off the post to safety.

Nani also found room to shoot in the opening minutes but this time Gomes made a straightforward save.

Spurs did not allow themselves to be shellshocked by United's busy start and only a precision tackle by Darren Fletcher stopped Aaron Lennon testing Edwin van der Sar after a swift counter-attack in the fourth minute.

Rafael van der Vaart then matched Park's earlier effort, holding possession despite tumbling to the floor before rising to curl the ball against the far post.

Chances continued to come at both ends - Van der Vaart drilling over for the visitors and Park missing the target after some neat footwork in the Tottenham area.

By now United were looking the better side and Spurs survived another nervy moment when Gomes spilled Michael Carrick's shot before gathering again with Javier Hernandez lurking.

Tottenham looked capable of catching their opponents on the break but United's attacks were producing more clear-cut opportunities.

Fletcher missed the latest of them after 25 minutes, failing to convert from the edge of the box after some patient approach play from Nani.

A clumsy Younes Kaboul challenge after half an hour gave the Red Devils the chance to attack from a set-piece and they duly cashed in. Nani floated in the free-kick in from the left and Vidic eased in front of Benoit Assou-Ekotto to head home.

A quickly-taken throw by Gareth Bale, who started despite Harry Redknapp's suggestion that he may be rested, gave Van der Vaart a sight of goal soon after but he badly mishit his shot.

Luka Modric did better with a sweetly-struck half-volley from the Holland star's corner a minute later but Van der Sar was on hand with a vital diving save.

Dimitar Berbatov could have doubled the lead over his old club just before the interval but a combination of Gomes and William Gallas stifled him.

As in the first half, United came out firing at the start of the second, with both Hernandez and Berbatov just failing to get clean shots away in the opening moments.

Robbie Keane and Jermaine Jenas, both drafted in to the starting XI for this match, were looking distinctly off the pace in key positions for Spurs.

In the 59th minute, Bale finally gave the away support something to cheer. In a passage reminiscent of his memorable Champions League hat-trick against Inter Milan he strode past a handful of red shirts and bore down on goal, only to see his shot squirm just wide of Van der Sar's far post.

Keane gave way to Roman Pavlyuchenko just past the hour mark, handing the captaincy to Modric in the process.

After Van der Vaart failed to beat Van der Sar from a tight angle, Pavlyuchenko almost got lucky when his 25-yard effort nearly found its way over the line courtesy of Vidic's deflection, before Peter Crouch replaced Van der Vaart - who looked in a little discomfort as he left the pitch - in the 77th minute.

Nani's controversial strike ended matters, with the officials judging play to be active when Gomes placed the ball down in his area after an unsuccessful penalty appeal.

Gomes clearly believed he was lining up a dead ball but the Portuguese winger was the only one on the referee's wavelength and rolled the ball in to tee up furious scenes of protest by the visitors.

Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
Sport
The giant banner displayed by Legia Warsaw supporters last night
football Polish side was ejected from Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone