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Tottenham Keeper Gomes Denies Man United

Heurelho Gomes has grabbed his share of the headlines this season mostly for reasons that I am sure he and Spurs fans alike would rather not relive.  In the first 3 months of the season it seemed a match week did not go by without the White Hart Lane faithful grimacing and groaning at another howler by the Brazilian between the sticks.  If there were a goalkeeping nightmare reel compiled for the EPL thus far this season, the Spurs keeper would feature prominently.


To be fair he seems to have improved in recent games but the spotlight was burning bright as Manchester United paid a visit to the Lane for the Saturday evening marquee match of the weekend.

There has been plenty written about the upturn in the fortunes of Tottenham since Redknapp’s arrival but the goalkeeping position remains closely scrutinized in the Spurs quarters of North London.  With the improvement in Tottenham’s form and United ominously starting to threaten Liverpool and Chelsea at the top of the table, this game garnered match of the week billing, heading into round 17.  The return of Dimitar Berbatov added to the spice and intrigue, although his status appeared questionable until kick-off.


The game, for the most part, lived up to the hype despite the typical appalling weather, and it was played in front of a great atmosphere.  Although Spurs had their chances, testing Van Der Sar on more than a couple of occasions, as expected it was the men in red that controlled long periods of the play.  The first half was relatively quiet in terms of goal attempts.  But Gomes had to be alert when O’Shea drove in a cross around the 6 yard box that even the crescendo of boos could not have prevented Berbatov from tapping in, had it not been for a quick reaction from the Spurs keeper to get down and knock the chance away.

As United drove forward in the second half Gomes rose to the occasion and appeared to gain in confidence as the match progressed.  His performance included a good save from a Vidic shot before he tipped over a rasping drive from Ji-Sung Park.  He saved his best effort for the dying seconds as he brilliantly turned away a Ryan Giggs free-kick that looked destined to give Fergie’s boys all the points in injury time for consecutive weeks.  The only time he was beaten was from a corner that Ronaldo hammered in, correctly ruled out for handball.

Van der Sar, in the United goal, certainly was not the spectator that he was last week at home to Sunderland as Bentley in particular lashed a couple of goal bound efforts that forced the Dutchman into 2 very good saves.  The match finished nil-nil due to the goalkeeping performances on both sides.  We might be accustomed to such displays from United’s stopper but there is no doubt Gomes stole the show on this occasion and gained his team a valuable point against very tough opposition.


Who knows if this form will continue?  Maybe it was a one off and it is just a matter of time before the next howler.  But if yesterday’s match was an indication of the Spurs’ keeper’s capabilities, and assuming he can deliver some consistency, then maybe Harry will have less to worry about between the posts at White Hart Lane.

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  1. Weston

    December 15, 2008 at 11:57 am

    Great point about both the CB's being out injured…who would've guessed that Zokora would pick that game to actually play well?!

    That said, Spurs D has been very good lately, only allowing 2 goals in their last 6 games, so hopefully that continues…

  2. Kyle

    December 15, 2008 at 5:33 am

    United caught a pretty big break in that King's knee didn't allow him to play and Woodgate left the game with a hip injury in the 12th minute. Facing Spurs without their two starting center halves, which resulted in both Dawson and Zokora playing in Spurs back four, was a pretty big break. United didn't deserve the point they got.

    Gomes big problem at the beginning of the season was thinking he could muscle players around in the box on crosses and corners. Players are just too big and strong for that in England. He'd charge out and crash into a wall of players, wind up not getting to the ball and leaving himself exposed. His shot stopping, when in position, has been good this entire season. He's now making much better decisions and seems to have learned he's not going to muscle Premiership players around.

    Whether that's due to Redknapp, Parks or just finally learning from his mistakes, I think it bodes well for Gomes going forward.

  3. DaveMo

    December 14, 2008 at 7:26 pm

    Okay, I am biased, but it seems like United can't catch a break this season. They played New Castle at the start of the season – when they were unbeated in their first four (before they took a serious nose-dive in form). Arsenal picks the one week that ManU comes to town to look like a decent side, and every team in the prem takes maximum points off Spurs before Redknapp takes over and has them looking like a top team. Just kidding (sort of), but why can't MUFC play these teams during their slumps???

  4. Bill Ferreirae

    December 14, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    Harry Redknapp has given a confidence boost to Gomes, as well as others, notably Luka Modric and Aaron Lennon. Tony Parks has nothing but positives as Gomes' new coach. Gomes is in for the long term at White Hart Lane.

  5. Johnathan Starling

    December 14, 2008 at 11:28 am

    I think what's being undervalued is the fact that Harry Redknapp brought in a new goalkeeping coach. It's helped Gomes immensely.

  6. The Gaffer

    December 14, 2008 at 5:45 am

    The save by Gomes from Giggsey's free kick was spectacular. Save of the season in my book.

    The Gaffer

  7. Soccergoalx

    December 14, 2008 at 4:12 am

    The keepers from both team were doing very well. Van der Sar make two fantastic save from the shots of Bentley. The save from free kick of giggs should be given a high credit. It's too bad that Manchester United is unable to take the chance to reduce the gap between the league leader, Liverpool.

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