MANCHESTER, England (AFP) ― Danny Welbeck, Anderson and Wayne Rooney were all on target as Manchester United continued their perfect start to the season with a 3-0 victory over Tottenham at Old Trafford here on Monday.
Sir Alex Ferguson once again underlined his confidence in youth with a selection that saw France international Patrice Evra as the only player older than his mid-20s.
Manchester United’s Park Ji-sung (center) vies for the ball against Tottenham Hotspur’s Tom Huddlestone (left) during their English Premier League soccer match at the Old Trafford, Manchester, England, Monday. (AP-Yonhap News)
With Javier Hernandez missing the start of the season with concussion, Welbeck has been given the opportunity of first-team football after a year on loan at Sunderland.
And he took his chance by opening the scoring for United just after the hour and within 10 minutes he had set up a second goal for Anderson in some style.
Rooney then got on the end of a Ryan Giggs cross to head in late on to make it six points from United’s opening two matches.
Tottenham’s start was delayed by the riots in London causing their opening match against Everton to be suspended ― though they did thrash Hearts in last Thursday’s Europa League match ― and they never looked like coming up with a response once they were behind.
Having claimed that Luka Modric, a transfer target for Chelsea, was not in the right frame of mind to feature at Old Trafford, Harry Redknapp did indeed leave the Croatian out of his squad.
But Ferguson provided a surprise by including Hernandez, who had been expected to miss another couple of weeks with concussion, on the bench.
United dominated from the start, with Rooney having a header held by Brad Friedel after neat work by Nani.
And Friedel was called into action once again when he turned a low effort from Tom Cleverley around the post.
United’s new goalkeeper David De Gea has been the focus of plenty of attention since his 18.3 million pounds move from Atletico Madrid in the summer.
The Spaniard did little to cool the nerves when he attempted to dribble past Rafael van der Vaart in his area and was fortunate to be caught by the Dutchman’s out-stretched leg.
Niko Kranjcar had a shot deflected wide and Michael Dawson headed on to the bar from the subsequent corner as Tottenham began to settle.
Gareth Bale also cut in from the left and had a low shot held by De Gea as Tottenham continued to have the better chances.
Van der Vaart also skipped past Anderson and Phil Jones before seeing his hopeful 30-yard effort caught by De Gea.
Just before the half hour, Rooney created a fine opportunity with a lofted cross that was headed just wide by Ashley Young.
Van der Vaart was again denied by De Gea just before half time and just after the restart, Young had a low drive held by Friedel after a neat pass from Rooney.
United threatened once again when Anderson broke from midfield and Friedel could only block the Brazilian’s effort before Rooney shot the follow-up straight at the goalkeeper.
Impressive United youngster Phil Jones created another opportunity when he charged forward from the back and clipped a cross that was flicked on by Welbeck only for Young’s first-time shot to fly just high and wide.
But just after the hour, United took the lead when Smalling fed Cleverley and the youngster’s cross was glanced in by a fine header from Welbeck.
Rooney had a free kick tipped away from just outside the area as United looked to add to their advantage.
Welbeck then had an ambitious overhead kick saved by Friedel as he showed plenty of confidence after his goal.
And 10 minutes after making the breakthrough, Welbeck was picked out by Anderson and returned the pass with a back-heel for the Brazilian to double the lead.
Rooney added further gloss when he headed into the top corner from a neat cross from substitute Giggs.