They say the mark of true Champions is how they overcome adversity. Well if that is the case then we might as well hand Manchester United the Barclays Premier League trophy for the third successive year after a truly stunning second half comeback against an impressive Tottenham side, who had stunned Old Trafford by racing into a 2-0 half-time lead thanks to strikes from Darren Bent and Luka Modric.
Granted, it took a highly debatable penalty decision by referee Howard Webb to get United going. But once they got going, there was no stopping them as they scored an incredible five times in a 20 minute spell which blew Harry Redknapp’s side away and in doing so, took a massive step towards the Premiership title.
Wayne Rooney in particular gave one of his best performances in a Man Utd shirt while Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez were back to their best form and even the much maligned Dimitar Berbatov weighed in with a goal as United ran riot.
There are still many hurdles to overcome and Sir Alex Ferguson will certainly be keen to get to the root of some alarming defensive problems which threaten to derail their bid for Premiership and Champions League glory. Having being almost impossible to breach for most of the season, United’s defence is fast turning into a shambles and the loss of another two soft goals yesterday cannot be swept under the carpet in the wake of a simply stunning second half attacking display.
The reality is United cannot perform like this going forward on a consistent basis and the foundation of a successful Championship winning side must be based on a solid defence. Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand have not become bad defenders overnight, so United must quickly resolve these issues if they are to stave of the threat of Liverpool. In particular, cross balls are causing United all sorts of problems at the moment.
Up front however, United were simply breathtaking. They attacked Tottenham at a pace we became accustomed to last season but which has been strangely lacking in their play for large spells this season. Rooney was outstanding and had a hand in each of United’s five goals, but it was the introduction of popular Argentine Carlos Tevez which really kicked United into gear.
Although United finished with Tevez and Berbatov on the park, the reality is it is difficult to field all four attacking players consistently and many United fans may be keen to call for the former Boca Juniors star to be given the nod in the Champions League semi final with Arsenal this week.
Written by Danny Watson, a professional sports writer who blogs about football news.