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Inside Lane: A Spurs fan’s view of the draw with Manchester United

Paulinho (centre) in action against Manchester United Paulinho (centre) in action against Manchester United

By George Lacey
Monday, December 2, 2013
11:01 AM

Tottenham blogger George Lacey gives his verdict on yesterday’s 2-2 draw with Manchester United at White Hart Lane.

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The blue half of Manchester seem more equipped to challenge for the Premier League title than their rivals in red, who earned a draw at White Hart Lane yesterday.

After being on the receiving end of a 6-0 drubbing last week, yesterday’s 2-2 tie with Manchester United at White Hart Lane made for a reassuring afternoon for Spurs fans. It was vital that we bounced back after such a defeat at the Etihad and, on the basis of yesterday’s score draw, it looks like the players are up for the fight.

The crowd were vocal throughout the afternoon, supporting the side for the duration of a very exciting game and, although we led twice and ended up sharing the points, we rallied together and produced a committed performance to thwart the reigning champions. All in all, a draw was a fair result.

Everything Tottenham-related seemed to attract unrest during the run-up to the game, including the stick directed at the players and manager Andre Villas-Boas.

However, with the fans demanding a response and pressure on Villas-Boas’ position mounting, we looked like a completely different side to those that have lined up for Spurs recently.

Last time out at White Hart lane in the Premier League, Newcastle left London and returned to the north-east with three points after a goalkeeping display of the highest order from Tim Krul.

It was essential that the team showed some fighting spirit, given that the champions were coming to north London, and we duly delivered in all areas - although the two goals conceded were very avoidable.

For anyone who had been paying too much attention to the fact that we hadn’t scored a goal from open play since the trip to Aston Villa, a thunderbolt from Sandro found the top corner in the second half and had the crowd in raptures. The buzz that had been absent from White Hart Lane this season was back amongst the terraces.

Villas-Boas opted for a midfield three of Sandro, Mousa Dembele and Paulinho, who I felt were excellent.

I for one championed the fact that Dembele should play ahead of Lewis Holtby due to his versatility but it was Paulinho - playing just behind Roberto Soldado - that impressed me the most.

The Brazilian was involved in everything positive that we produced going forward and linked up very well with Soldado on a few occasions, which was refreshing.

Yesterday was a huge test of character for both Villas-Boas and his players, and a positive performance will surely settle the nerves that surrounded the club over the past week.

I think anything but a defeat would have been credible but a performance of attacking intent, desire and, surprisingly, goals proved more than convincing and sets us up nicely for the visits to Fulham and Sunderland on Wednesday and Saturday respectively.

Panic over for now, but we know how fickle football fans are. Hopefully, this much-improved performance will provide a springboard for us to kick on and pick up some vital wins in the run-in to the busy Christmas period.

Follow me on Twitter @Georgie_Lacey

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