Football

Berbatov sinks Spurs

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Manchester United remain on track for an unprecedented quadruple after squeezing past Tottenham 2-1 at Old Trafford to reach the last 16 of the FA Cup.

Paul Scholes and former Spurs favourite Dimitar Berbatov struck within a minute of each other to overturn Roman Pavlyuchenko's early opener for the Londoners.

Berbatov will be particularly pleased with his goal given the brilliance of what turned out to be the matchwinner, although for Tottenham the true test of the week will come against Stoke on Tuesday while Sir Alex Ferguson's team tackle West Brom with Fabio and Danny Welbeck new doubts.

Nemanja Vidic got himself in a muddle and allowed Pavlyuchenko to give him the slip and turn home a deft header after just five minutes. The trouble for Harry Redknapp was his side still had 85 minutes to hold out.

United's chances began to pile up, and it was beyond imagination that Tottenham could survive. How cruel though that one of their old boys should wreak the havoc.

Michael Carrick's move north from White Hart Lane created none of the animosity Berbatov's did. In the same quiet way, Carrick has gone on to become one of the most influential members of Ferguson's squad.

When he spotted Scholes lurking with menace on the edge of the box, he coolly rolled a corner into the veteran's path. The shot was pretty fierce and once it had flicked off Tom Huddlestone, Ben Alnwick did not have a hope of keeping it out.

A minute later Carrick floated a pass over the Spurs defence. Berbatov's first-time control was awesome. His second touch was a precise shot into the bottom corner that again left Alnwick flailing.

In the blink of an eye, or two Carrick passes, the tie had been transformed. Not though United's injury woes as Fabio collapsed in agony in the early moments of the second period after he had landed awkwardly following an aerial duel with Spurs substitute Giovani dos Santos.

Welbeck joined United's walking wounded late on and a late penalty shout was the best Spurs could muster.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Topics:
Tottenham Hotspur
Tom Huddlestone
West Bromwich Albion
Roman Pavlyuchenko
Stoke City
Dimitar Berbatov
Football
Michael Carrick
Alex
Danny Welbeck
Manchester United
Nemanja Vidic
Ben Alnwick
Paul Scholes
FA Cup

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