Manchester United 3 Tottenham 1: Ronaldo double sends Man Utd through in FA Cup

By Mitch Philips
Sunday 27 January 2008 17:43
Cristiano Ronaldo at Old Trafford on January 27 2008 © Getty Images
Cristiano Ronaldo at Old Trafford on January 27 2008 © Getty Images

Two goals from irrepressible midfielder Cristiano Ronaldo helped 11-times champions Manchester United to a 3-1 home win over Tottenham Hotspur in an entertaining FA Cup fourth-round tie on Sunday.

United trailed to an early Robbie Keane goal but Carlos Tevez equalised and Ronaldo put them ahead from the penalty spot in the 69th minute and finished things off two minutes from time with the 25th goal of his remarkable season.

Spurs, without a win at Old Trafford since 1989, went ahead after 24 minutes when a great ball from Michael Dawson picked out winger Aaron Lennon, whose low cross was turned in from point-blank range by Keane.

United upped the pressure and it was no surprise when Tevez seized on a loose ball inside the box to drive in low seven minutes before halftime.

Jermaine Jenas for Spurs and Ronaldo both shot wide midway through the second half as the game remained open.

United dominated in terms of possession but the decisive goal came from an innocuous situation when a 70-metre free kick by goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar caught the Spurs defence square.

The ball was brilliantly brought down by Wayne Rooney and the stumbling Dawson stuck out a hand to earn a red card and give away the penalty that Ronaldo dispatched.

Spurs hit back strongly and hit the post when Dimitar Berbatov pressed Wes Brown to reach a low cross but United settled it when Ronaldo's deflected low shot went under the body of goalkeeper Radek Cerny two minutes from time.

In Sunday's other game Cardiff City won 2-1 at Hereford, while the last remaining fourth-round match was being played later when Premier League Manchester City visit Championship (second division) Sheffield United.

Among Saturday's games, where unusually none went to replays, minor league Havant and Waterlooville twice led at Anfield before losing 5-2, holders Chelsea won 2-1 at Wigan Athletic and Arsenal beat Newcastle United 3-0.

The draw for the fifth round takes place on Monday.

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