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Saturday, September 29, 2012
Villas-Boas delighted with Spurs' desire

ESPN staff

Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas praised his players for their desire after they claimed a thrilling 3-2 win over Manchester United at Old Trafford.

• Saturday's Prem review

Spurs secured a first triumph at United for 23 years as goals from Jan Vertonghen, Gareth Bale and Clint Dempsey ensured of a memorable night for the travelling faithful.

Villas-Boas was delighted with the efforts of his players, telling ESPN: "We were tremendous today, the players put in the effort and intensity to get a result. The first half was totally different from the second but we can be proud of each other.

"It was an electric first 15 minutes of the second half but you can see from the desire to hold on to such a historic result that we can count on each other to do big things."

The Portuguese saluted his side after illness had left them with some significant doubts over their line-up, adding: "Gareth was unable to train this week with the flu and [Gylfi] Sigurdsson has been ill the last two days, so the team are exhausted from the effort they put in.

"You have to give compliments to everybody on a special night like this but it doesn't stop here, we have so many important games to play.

"We go to Panathinaikos and we need a result to give us a strong position in the [Europa League] group, then we have Aston Villa two days after. It is important to continue from this."

Dempsey added: "It's awesome, it's always so difficult and it's the first time in so long so we're excited about it.

"It was a rollercoaster, we did well in the first half to go 2-0 up. Then they scored, we answered quickly, they responded again and in the second half it was like chasing shadows.

"But we showed a lot of character, we ground out a result and we got three points."

Red Devils manager Sir Alex Ferguson, meanwhile, felt his side were slow getting started, as they only really made an impression in the second half.

He said: "It was quite a game. The first half we never started, didn't get into the game. From there we were just playing against the wind. The second half we played fantastic, just trying to get something from the game, and I think we were very unlucky.

"I think the attitude changed, that was the important thing. Wayne's (Rooney) ability does help but the attitude of the players was excellent everywhere on the pitch."

United had a host of penalty appeals turned down, with both their goalscorers going down under challenges in the area and handball shouts against both Sandro and William Gallas.

"There were quite a few," said Ferguson. "I think the one in the first half was a clear penalty kick, but maybe Nani made a meal of it and he didn't need to do that. He was clearly pulled back. The ones in the second half, I'm not so sure."




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