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Last Updated: Sunday, 27 January 2008, 15:53 GMT
Man Utd 3-1 Tottenham
By Paresh Soni

Carlos Tevez
Tevez levelled for United after poor defensive work from Spurs
Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice to put Manchester United into the last 16 of the FA Cup after an entertaining tie.

Wayne Rooney cleared Dimitar Berbatov's header off the line before Robbie Keane converted Aaron Lennon's cross to put Tottenham ahead in a lively first half.

Ryan Giggs teed up Carlos Tevez to level but Edwin van der Sar superbly denied Jermaine Jenas before half-time.

Ronaldo netted a penalty after Michael Dawson saw red for deliberate handball and he fired in the third near the end.

It continued United's long unbeaten run at home against Spurs - which began in December 1989 - and was no less than the Premier League champions deserved after a dominant second-half display.

They were tested, however, during an opening 45 minutes which featured plenty to admire from two sides that have won the Cup 19 times between them.


For all their fluid movements, the home team often lacked a telling final ball and Spurs drew encouragement from the success they had in containing the lethal triumvirate of Rooney, Tevez and Ronaldo.

Indeed, the visitors came desperately close to an opener in the 15th minute when Berbatov headed Lennon's corner goalwards, only to be thwarted by Rooney on the line.

The warning signs were there for the favourites and when a raking pass from Dawson was collected by Lennon, the winger's cross was met by Keane, who ghosted past the centre-halves to claim his fourth strike in as many games.

United responded with predictable vigour and after Cerny tipped over a fierce Ryan Giggs strike from the edge of the area they were deservedly level.

Robbie Keane and Aaron Lennon celebrate Spurs' goal
Lennon and Keane combined to put Tottenham in front

John O'Shea's deep ball caused confusion for Young-Pyo Lee and Dawson, allowing Giggs to nip in and lay-off to Tevez, who fired across Cerny and into the net.

Spurs were undaunted and, with the game opening up, almost regained the lead right on half-time.

Jenas raced clear down the middle following Steed Malbranque's defence-splitting pass and he got in an effort which Van der Sar pushed past the post.

More composure soon after the break would have yielded another Tottenham goal.

A slip from left-back Patrice Evra allowed Lennon to break free but he chipped over, and a clever punt from Keane created an even better opening for Jenas, who sidefooted off-target.

Those misses proved costly as Sir Alex Ferguson's men cranked up the pressure.

Ronaldo was enjoying more freedom and he really should have made it 2-1 when a sublime pass from Tevez sent him clear into the box.

But the goal United had been threatening duly arrived when Dawson was dismissed for using his arm to deny Rooney a shooting opportunity and Ronaldo fired home his 24th goal of the season from the spot.

The game looked up for Tottenham but they bravely ventured forward and Wes Brown's attempt to clear a Malbranque cross bounced back off the post.

However, any hopes the visitors were harbouring of a replay were ended when a dreadful error from Cerny saw Ronaldo's shot squirm under his body and over the line.

Man Utd: Van der Sar, O'Shea, Ferdinand, Brown, Evra (Simpson 90), Ronaldo, Carrick (Scholes 64), Hargreaves, Giggs, Rooney, Tevez (Anderson 81).
Subs Not Used: Kuszczak, Nani.

Booked: Evra.

Goals: Tevez 38, Ronaldo 69 pen, 88.

Tottenham: Cerny, Tainio (Defoe 81), Dawson, Huddlestone,Lee (Gunter 59), Lennon (Boateng 72), O'Hara, Jenas, Malbranque, Keane, Berbatov.
Subs Not Used: Robinson, Kaboul.

Sent Off: Dawson (68).

Goals: Keane 24.

Att: 75,369

Ref: Peter Walton (Northamptonshire).

BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Tottenham's Robbie Keane 7.61 (on 90 minutes).

  • Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.

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