Manchester United scored three second-half goals to beat Tottenham and extend its club-record home winning streak in the Premier League to 16 matches.
Danny Welbeck got defending champion United’s opener in the 61st minute last night and set up the second for Anderson. Wayne Rooney then scored in the closing minutes at Old Trafford in Manchester to give United a 3-0 win.
United started the match with its second-youngest team since England’s Premier League began in 1992. Striker Welbeck, 20, midfielder Tom Cleverley, 22, and 19-year-old defender Phil Jones lined up in front of goalkeeper David de Gea, who at 20 was half the age of his opposite number Brad Friedel.
“We’ve always had confidence to play young players,” United manager Alex Ferguson said in a televised interview. “But this group have such fantastic ability, it forces me to play them really.”
United, which last failed to win a Premier League match at Old Trafford on Oct. 16, joined crosstown rival Manchester City and Wolves as the only teams to have won their first two games of the season. It was Spurs’ campaign opener.
The home team took the lead last night just after the hour when Welbeck met Cleverley’s cross with a header that flew across Tottenham goalkeeper Friedel into the corner of the net.
It was Welbeck’s second league goal for United, his previous strike coming three seasons ago against Stoke. He credited the quality of Cleverley’s assist.
“I’ve been playing with Tom ever since I was a young kid,” Welbeck told MUTV. “We’ve got a good understanding. I knew exactly where he was going to put the cross and thankfully I got my head onto the end of it.”
Welbeck joined United in 2007 as a trainee and spent the past year on loan at Sunderland and Preston. Cleverley also came up through United’s academy ranks and played for three seasons at Leicester, Watford and Wigan.
Four minutes after Welbeck scored, Rooney forced U.S. national goalkeeper Friedel to dive high to his right to turn a shot around the post.
United went 2-0 up in the 76th minute. Anderson played the ball to Welbeck, whose back-heeled flick allowed the Brazilian midfielder to slide a rising left-foot shot past Friedel.
“They have such composure,” United captain Patrice Evra, at 30 the oldest player in the starting lineup by almost four years, said of his younger teammates. “They want to prove to the manager that they are ready to play on the team. It’s good for us because we need some energy and they have that.”
Within two minutes of Anderson’s goal, Friedel had dived to make a save at the feet of Nani and United goalkeeper De Gea, signed from Atletico Madrid in June, botched an attempted catch as he leaped for a high cross. The ball bobbled out of his arms to Jermain Defoe, whose right-foot shot struck a post.
Rooney added United’s third by heading in Ryan Giggs’s flicked cross in the 87th minute.
“Our second-half performance was absolutely fantastic,” Ferguson said. “We just took off.”
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