Everyone’s getting excited about tomorrow’s game and rightly so. It’s one of the classic fixtures in English football. Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United. As hard as Chelsea might try to prove otherwise, you just can’t buy history.
Here are the greatest encounters between Spurs and United (with a slight Spurs bias and completely dependent on whether I could find highlights of the game on YouTube). Apologies to Gary Mabbutt, as I’d really have loved to have shown your diving header from 1986/87.
9. Manchester United 5 Tottenham Hotspur 2 – 2008/09
Yes, I’m going to include defeats, which mean that you will be seeing the other comeback. With our history of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, I don’t think that anyone was really surprised when we lost, despite being 2-0 up at half time. If memory serves me right, my exact quote at half time was: “So if we’re lucky we’ll only lose 5-2”. Spooky.
8. Manchester United 0 Tottenham Hotspur 0 – 2004/05
If anyone ever asks you who was the last Spurs player to score a winning goal at Old Trafford, then the official answer is ‘Gary Lineker’. However, we all know that the answer really should be ‘Pedro Mendes’, after the Portuguese midfielder lobbed Roy Carroll from roughly 80 yards away from goal, only for the referee to fail to spot that the ball had hit the back of the net, before Carroll sneakily fished it out again.
7. Tottenham Hotspur 5 Manchester United 1 – 1965/66
It’s not just United who can hit us for five. OK, so I’ve had to trawl through the history books to find an instance of us notching a quintet of goals against United, but so what? Greaves’ goal is awesome. He looks like he was almost as good as this Defoe bloke.
Bizarrely, just a couple of months after this result, Spurs went to Old Trafford and lost 5-1. Luckily that game wasn’t on YouTube.
6. Manchester United 1 Tottenham Hotspur 7 – 1952/53
Yes, you read that right all you Johnny-Come-Lately-United fans. 7-1.
Admittedly this result came in a pre-season friendly at Yankee Stadium in New York. United had just won the league in 52, taking the title that Tottenham had won in 51, when they met in one of what were to be many efforts to get the Yanks interested in football.
It’s worth inclusion for the commentary alone. The ‘Tottenham Hotspurs’ meet the ‘Manchester Uniteds’.
5. Manchester United 2 Tottenham Hotspur 1 – 1970/71
Like any normal person, I love Georgie Best and this is one of my favourite goals that the great man scored, despite it being against Tottenham.
4. Manchester United 3 Tottenham Hotspur 3 – 1967/68
George Best wasn’t the only man from Northern Ireland with an eye for goal. Our own Pat Jennings scored from his own penalty area in a thrilling Charity Shield game that finished 3-3. This clip is marred somewhat by the fact that it doesn’t include Kenneth Wolstenholme’s commentary, in which he is clearly completely unsure as to whether goalkeepers are allowed to score goals.
3. Tottenham Hotspur 3 Manchester United 1 – 1999/2000
1-0 down, but eventual 3-1 winners. Who says that we don’t make comebacks?
This game is best remembered for the astonishing goal by Stephen Carr. What’s more astonishing though, is the fact that a team including Taricco, Fox, Freund, Sherwood and Leonhardsen, could defeat a team including Beckham, Scholes, Keane and Giggs.
2. Tottenham Hotspur 3 Manchester United 5 – 2001/02
Utterly sickening. Completely predictable. United were pretty good though, so perhaps we shouldn’t beat ourselves up about it. Losing 4-3 at home to a ten man Manchester City is more embarrassing.
1. Tottenham Hotspur 2 Manchester United 1 1979/80
I’m sure that no one will agree with me, but it’s my site and Glenn Hoddle is my favourite ever player. Check out this goal and hope for something remotely similar tomorrow. COYS!