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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 January, 2005, 22:09 GMT
Manchester United 0-0 Tottenham
Alan Smith
Tottenham were denied victory at Old Trafford as a Pedro Mendes shot which crossed the line was not given.

Mendes' effort from the halfway line was fumbled by an out-of-position Roy Carroll, who only pushed the ball out after it went over the line.

United then almost won in the dying seconds as a Gabriel Heinze free-kick was brilliantly saved by Paul Robinson.

Earlier, Spurs' Noe Pamarot almost gifted United a goal, sending an attempted clearance against the post.

The home side paid for failing to take advantage of the majority of possession against a Spurs team who made it eight games unbeaten.

Yet it will be the visitors who feel aggrieved at being denied a first league win at Old Trafford since 1989.

Spurs began well and fashioned an early chance with Ledley King rifling a right-foot shot at United goalkeeper Carroll, but it was the home team who made the majority of the early running.

Ryan Giggs shot over and Smith forced Robinson into a fine full-length save with a cunning turn and shot in the 12th minute.

A dangerous cross from Smith drifted across the Spurs' goal, but the visitors began to look more solid as the half wore on.

That said, Smith had the clearest opening of the first half on 36 minutes when he found himself in space inside the box, only for Robinson to block his shot.

Keane also volleyed just wide and Scholes was denied by Robinson as United continued to press, although Giggs' departure with eight minutes of the half remaining gave them cause for concern.

Tottenham chances were few and far between, but the visitors could have taken a shock lead on the stroke of half-time as Mendes attempted to curl the ball past an out-of-position Carroll, but the ball drifted over.

United began the second half with a flourish as Cristiano Ronaldo and David Bellion forced saves from Robinson.

Yet for all the home team's possession and menace, there was a distinct unease among the fans at United's inability to breach Spurs' back line.

And ironically, it was a Spurs player who came within inches of handing United the lead.

Phil Neville's dangerous right-wing cross fell to Pamarot who could only watch as his attempted clearance hit the inside of his own post with Robinson beaten, before the ball was eventually cleared.

But United's attacks became more sporadic, and there were some anxious faces as Rio Ferdinand rose to head Michael Carrick's dangerous free-kick behind.

Scholes saw a deflected shot loop comfortably into Robinson's hands as the game moved into its final 10 minutes.

Smith was denied in a goalmouth scramble in the closing stages, yet there was still time for drama with Mendes' shot and Heinze's free-kick in the final seconds.


Man Utd: Carroll, Phil Neville, Ferdinand, Silvestre, Heinze,Fletcher (Miller 76), Keane, Scholes, Ronaldo (Spector 84),Giggs (Bellion 37), Smith.
Subs Not Used: Djemba-Djemba, Ricardo.

Booked: Phil Neville.

Tottenham: Robinson, Pamarot, Naybet, King, Edman, Marney,Pedro Mendes, Carrick, Ricketts (Gardner 90), Ziegler, Keane.
Subs Not Used: Bunjevcevic, Fulop, Yeates, Ifil.

Booked: Pamarot, Marney.

Att: 67,962.

Ref: M Clattenburg (Co Durham).


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SEE ALSO
Bookies pay out on Spurs 'goal'
05 Jan 05 |  Football



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