TOTTENHAM 0, MANCHESTER UNITED 0
A tired performance by Manchester United denied them victory in a goalless early kick off at White Hart Lane just 43 hours after their home win against Newcastle United on Boxing Day.
Despite complaining about the fixture schedule, United manager Louis Van Gaal opted to name the same side that beat the Magpies 3-1 at Old Trafford two days earlier, the first unchanged United side for over two years.
A draw in the away game against Tottenham would ordinarily be seen as an important point and a clean sheet gained but United will rue a succession of chances gone astray with an early missed chance by Robin Van Persie, a poor shot by Radamel Falcao easily saved by in-form Spurs ‘keeper Hugo Lloris and Juan Mata’s deflected free kick hitting the post with Vlad Chiriches beating Falcao and Van Persie to the rebound to clear off the line.
Phil Jones thought he had scored after 24 minutes after his header appeared to cross the line before being cleared by Jan Vertonghen but the goal was chalked off for an earlier offside.
Lloris also kept out Ashley Young, Van Persie and Falcao while Spurs struggled to test his opposite number David De Gea.
United couldn’t keep up the intensity, however, and allowed Spurs back into the game in the second half but Mauricio Pochettino’s team couldn’t find a late winner.
Andros Townsend could have done better with two attempts on goal in the first half and a second half strike from outside the box while Federico Fazio failed to test De Gea with a weak shot and and Ryan Mason was wayward late on as Spurs rallied and Harry Kane provided an excellent chance for him to settle the game but it ended having never raised itself above a scrappy post-Christmas battle.