CLINT PUTS THE SKIDS ON FERGIE; TOTTENHAM 1 MANCHESTER UTD 1 THRILLER FROM WHITE HART LANE United Brought Down to Smurf by Ice-Cool Dempsey's Last-Gasp Leveller
Byline: MIKE WALTERS firstname.lastname@example.org
by MIKE WALTERS NOBODY had the heart to tell Sir Alex Ferguson his Papa Smurf woolly hat was on back to front.
But as Ski Sunday dealt a cruel twist to Manchester United's title crusade, nor could anybody deny Spurs' claim to at least a point.
For 92 minutes, Fergie's wizards of the blizzard took everything Tottenham could throw at them.
Robin van Persie's 22nd goal of the season, David De Gea's saves and Rio Ferdinand's refusal to bow to Father Time all served United well in conditions better-suited to Scott of the Antarctic.
But then De Gea's pat-a-cake punch at sub Benoit Assou-Ekotto's cross landed at Aaron Lennon's feet, and the winger's low centre was turned home by Clint Dempsey in the third minute of stoppage time.
And Fergie's grievance about linesman Simon Beck denying Wayne Rooney a clear-cut penalty for a foul by Steven Caulker was not just sour grapes. He had a long-standing complaint against the vineyard.
His observation that Spurs' second-half siege was based on "pumping crosses into our box" was a tad disingenuous.
Tottenham were better than that, and 15 goal attempts to United's four underlined their territorial advantage. When he thaws out, Ferguson will look back on this as a hard-earned point and, perhaps crucially, of the top seven United only have to visit Arsenal now.
The game only went ahead after the pitch was passed playable 70 minutes before kick-off.
Fans were the last to be considered in the equation.
under soil heating was never going to make conditions unplayable underfoot, but who the last to ered in n. o i l was ng e s e , o gives a brass monkey's droppings for the poor old fans who had ss' s for old had to battle through the cold to reach icy stations? Fans who pay up to PS81 a time for seats at showpiece Premier League games at White Hart Lane should not need a sledge and pack of huskies to make it safely to the turnstiles. And when turnstiles.
nstiles. he w And n some of the country's best players give away possession like Green Shield stamps with a gallon of petrol because they are peering through a snowstorm, what are the fans supposed to do - ask for their money back? Both teams d on the bac up a d and we am Both teams deserved pats on the back for serving up a decent game, and when United went ahead after 25 minutes, there were no prizes for guessing the source of their joy.
It was Tom C r i cros out R Cleverley's right-wing cross that picked out Robin Reliant at the far post, where Kyle Walker had switched off, and RVP's firm header took his personal persecution of Tottenham to six goals and five assists in 11 appearances. …