Under the guidance of Andre Villas-Boas, Spurs claimed an impressive 3-2 win over Sir Alex Ferguson's United, but there have been changes in both camps as yesterday's game saw David Moyes take on Tim Sherwood. The result was the same, as a dogged Spurs side walked away from Manchester with all three points in a shock win.
Sherwood has had a positive impact on a group of players that looked bereft of confidence in their 5-0 loss to Liverpool, which proved to be Villas-Boas' final game in charge – but despite the plaudits for Sherwood, was his win at Old Trafford better than the one AVB achieved last season?
From a personnel standpoint, Villas-Boas was able to call upon Gareth Bale, whose direct running tore United apart throughout, leading to the second and third goals that night. Additionally, Villas-Boas had star defender Jan Vertonghen at his disposal that night – something that Sherwood could have only wished for as the Belgian continues his recovery from an ankle injury.
Sherwood, on the other hand, couldn't rely on Bale since the Welshman moved to Real Madrid for £86m, and had to work with a squad that are still finding their feet since AVB's departure, but the renaissance of Emmanuel Adebayor continues. The Togolese striker was frozen by the previous manager, but has now hit four goals in five games under Sherwood, and praise must go to him for getting the best out of the former Arsenal striker.
So whilst the squad on the whole may appear better after Villas-Boas £100m spending spree, Sherwood was unable to use the star defender and the key goalscorer that were so important in last year's game between the two sides – immediately giving yesterday's win great value, despite the encounter being against David Moyes' United rather than Sir Alex Ferguson's.
The stats are fairly even, with 10 shots in 2012 against nine yesterday, five shots on target to four, five corners to two and seven fouls in each game. However, the one huge discrepancy is that Spurs had 39% of possession at Old Trafford last night compared to just 25% under Villas-Boas. This would suggest that, despite coming under immense pressure in both games, Sherwood's Spurs did a better job of keeping hold of possession.
It's still early days in the Tim Sherwood era, but impressive wins over Southampton, West Brom and now Manchester United will give Spurs fans hope that the former England international can bring the good times back to White Hart Lane after a tough end to Villas-Boas' tenure.
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