Jenas grabs point for Spurs
By Graeme Bailey. Last Updated: 22/10/05 4:55pm
A sublime free kick from Jermaine Jenas gave Tottenham a 1-1 draw at Manchester United.
The home side looked good in the first half and deserved their lead which came early on through Mikael Silvestre.
But they could not hang on as Jenas fired home with less than 20 minutes to go to hand his side a share of the spoils.
United had decided against using Cristiano Ronaldo from the start, but Wayne Rooney returned to the starting line-up following his European suspension.
The Red Devils stuttered in midweek against Lille and lacked spark, but Rooney soon ignited the Old Trafford faithful when he helped break the deadlock just seven minutes in.
He won the ball in his own half before embarking on a trademark burst into opposition's half which saw him glide by a couple of challenges before Michael Dawson felled him 30 yards out.
Paul Scholes whipped in the resulting set-piece, which Ruud van Nistelrooy got his head to - but Paul Robinson could not hold the ball and it spilled into the path of Silvestre who slid the ball home from just two yards.
United could have added to their lead just moments later as Alan Smith broke into the box from his midfield role, but his left footed drive was pushed away by former Leeds colleague Robinson.
Spurs then had two penalty appeals turned down by referee Uriah Rennie. The first came when Lee Young-pyo broke into the box and went down under a challenge from Phil Bardsley, although the South Korean was lucky not to be booked.
Then Mido did well to turn on the edge of the United box and his goal bound effort did strike Rio Ferdinand's hand, but again Rennie waved play-on.
It was, though, United who continued to assert themselves on the game and they should have doubled their lead through John O'Shea when Darren Fletcher's cross evaded everyone but the Irishman - but he could not dig his right foot out and the ball harmlessly fell for Robinson.
Van der Sar was forced into action for the first of the first time just before the interval when Jermain Defoe was allowed space 20 yards out before unleashing a dipping effort, which the Dutchman had to be at full stretch to force wide
Tottenham started the second half brightly and it was again Defoe looking the danger man. He found himself in the clear on the right side the box, but his cross-come-shot evaded everyone.
United finally began to get into their stride some ten minutes in and it was again Rooney the hub of everything.
A sublime flick from the England star on the edge set van Nistelrooy free into the box and only a terrific last ditch tackle from Dawson stopped a great opening for United.
The game then turned nasty for a few minutes as Rooney, Edgar Davids, Jermaine Jenas and Paul Stalteri all saw yellow in quick succession.
Things needed to be changed and Martin Jol duly introduced Robbie Keane to try and find a way back into the game, while the United faithful tried to beckon for Ronaldo.
Soon, though, United calls for a change were drowned out by Tottenham cheers as they levelled with 18 minutes remaining.
Rio Ferdinand brought down Defoe and it was Jenas who stepped up from 25 yards to curl the ball perfectly over the United wall and into the net past a despairing van der Sar.
The goal stirred Sir Alex Ferguson into action and Ronaldo joined the fray.
But it was Spurs who could have taken the lead as Michael Carrick's looping free kick into the area smashed off the bar with van der Sar struggling to get back.
United as expected toiled in the final minutes desperately looking for the winner and they could have easily levelled in the final moments - but Ronaldo rose unmarked and headed Scholes's corner wide.
For their second half display alone Spurs deserved their point, while United can only be left ruing two more dropped home points.
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|Manchester United||Team Name||Tottenham Hotspur|
|5||Shots on target ( Inc Goals )||4|
|4||Shots off Target (inc woodwork)||2|
|15||Total Fouls Conceded||12|
Barclays Premier League
|8||West Ham United||23||36|
|15||West Bromwich Albion||23||22|
|19||Queens Park Rangers||23||19|