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REPORT: MAN UTD 1, SPURS 1

Posted on 24 October 2005  - 12:00

Jermaine Jenas struck a sweet free-kick in the second half to secure a deserved point against Manchester United on Saturday.

Jermaine Jenas struck a sweet free-kick in the second half to secure a deserved point against Manchester United on Saturday.

It was the midfielder's second goal in as many matches as we recovered from Mikael Silvestre's early goal to gain our second 1-1 draw at Old Trafford this year.

Jenas curled into the top right corner from 20 yards leaving Edwin Van der Sar rooted to the spot on 72 minutes after Jermain Defoe had been upended by Rio Ferdinand.

The draw maintained our unbeaten run on the road in the Premiership.

It was a worst possible start for Martin Jol's unchanged side when Silvestre managed to scramble home the loose ball from Scholes' free-kick on seven minutes after Paul Robinson uncharacteristically spilled Van Nistelrooy's header. United were then bubbling and the goal sparked Old Trafford into life.

Our boys were forced to try and consolidate and stem the red tide from players visibly lifted by a goal following Champions League stalemate against Lille in midweek.

Struggling to really get to grips with the game in an attacking sense, keeping possession for little spells was proving to be a starting point. Containment was out of the window with the early setback and it was a forward thinking formation Martin was seeking to impose with Aaron Lennon and Jenas located very close to Defoe and Mido in final third positions.

Jenas nearly sparked a breakaway goal shortly before half-time when he nicked the ball off Wayne Rooney in midfield and advanced before playing into the path of Defoe. The little striker hit traffic and switched the ball high to Mido who attempted an ambitious volley that flew high over the bar.

Moments later Defoe took aim from about 25 yards and Van der Sar just managed to shovel his bouncing effort around the post. Momentum was beginning to gather and the interval came a little too soon from our perspective.

The second half started brightly and, just over a minute in, Defoe flashed a shot across goal that took a slight deflection. There followed an almightly goalmouth scramble with Mido, Michael Dawson and Ledley King all close to finding enough room to get a shot on goal away.

United were pretty much rocked back on their heels and the flow of the game was all very much in the direction of the Stretford End

Dawson was called on to halt Van Nistelrooy in his tracks when the Dutchman was bearing down on goal nine minutes into the half.

Lennon looked the have a very good shout for a penalty on 57 minutes when caught the area by Bardsley - referee Rennie staring long and hard before accepting play was to continue. Rooney was then booked for a foul on England under-21 winger.

Edgar Davids picked up his fifth booking of the season after a collision with Alan Smith and looked quick to point out that Smith had clattered him a little earlier with no punishment being dished out. The game was getting a little tetchy and Jenas was next in the book for barging into Park, although it did appear the Korean handled the ball seconds before when dispossessing Michael Carrick. Paul Stalteri was next to see yellow for another challenge on Park.

Lennon's game ended on 64 minutes when Robbie Keane was introduced - Robbie being something of a specialist in comebacks this season with his goals at Aston Villa and Charlton.

Special goals save or win matches and there was certainly one that fell into that category on 72 minutes. Ferdinand upended Defoe in a central position just outside the area and the usual suspects lined up behind the ball as the defensive wall was being lined up.

Possibly the one you least expected stepped forward and arrowed the ball into the top left hand corner of the net, with Van der Sar completely stranded - motionless even.

The celebrations were particularly joyous as Jenas sped towards the Spurs fans in the 67,856 crowd. It took Keane to inform his huddled teammates that the game was about to carry on without them!

There was nearly another free-kick shock for the home side when Carrick floated one in front the left that deceived Van der Sar and clipped the bar. It looked to be a fine line in deciding whether to go for the full three or take the point. The upper hand was held and United looked nervous in front of a crowd that was getting quieter by the minute.

Last season's 'goalscorer' Pedro Mendes returned to the scene with six minutes remaining allowing Carrick to break forward only to be stopped in his tracks by Ferdinand as Keane waiting for the pass.

Into injury time and we were still looking for the winner when United hit back. Scholes' ambitious free-kick from 30 yards was deflected just wide, the midfielder took the corner himself and found Ronaldo's head just 10 yards out - all Spurs in the stadium held their collective breath as the ball flashed inches wide. That would have been harsh - instead, a much deserved point was bagged.