Spurs assumed early control. After seven minutes, a snap header by Rory Allen dropped narrowly wide. Seconds later, United's uncertain central defenders watched Simon Wormull run on to a pass from Stephen Clemence (son of Ray), and score with little difficulty. United, featuring the current first-team player, Philip Neville, huffed and puffed in anonymous midfield and docile attack. The new Busby Babes were as threatening as a Busby Berkeley formation.
Simon Spencer laid on the second Spurs goal not long after half-time, lofting a simple pass into space for Allen to direct a stooping header past an under-protected Paul Gibson.
Spencer brought the game to life for a while with a surge through the middle, Paul Gibson palming away expertly. With 10 minutes remaining, Terry Cooke sprinted on to a loose ball following a defensive lapse, and side-footed a consolation, which gave United hope for the return leg at Old Trafford next Monday.
Tottenham Hotspur (3-5-2): Brown; Carr, Maher, Darcy; Wormull, Spencer, Gain, Clemence, Arber; Fenn, Allen (Bunn, 73). Substitutes not used: Janny, Shave (gk).
Manchester United (4-4-2): Gibson; P Neville, Westwood, Clegg, Wallwork; Cooke, Hall, Mustoe, Mulryne (Gardner, 76); Johnson, Baker (Curtis, 70). Substitute not used: Maxon (gk).
Referee: M P Vanes (Birmingham).