ANDRE VILLAS-BOAS heard the jeers turn to cheers among the Spurs faithful last night after his side’s astonishing victory.
By IAN WHITTELL
And the Spurs boss has tipped his side for “big things” in his debut season after their first Old Trafford win in 23 years.
Goals from Jan Vertonghen, Gareth Bale and Clint Dempsey secured one of the most stunning results of the new Premier League campaign despite a spirited second-half comeback from Manchester United.
And, after a slow start to his reign at White Hart Lane, three straight league wins seem to have turned the tide for the Portuguese chief.
He said: “When you see a team with so much desire to hold on to a historic result you can count on each other to do big things this year.
“That’s the most important thing, the most important lesson we take out of tonight. We wrote history for our team and the satisfaction comes from that.
“The players really felt they could nick a win here and the first and second half is an expression of that desire and ambition, though in different ways. In the first half we attacked and kept the ball. In the second we defended.”
It was December 1989 when Spurs last enjoyed success at Old Trafford — before United subs Danny Welbeck and David de Gea were even born!
AVB added: “This is a very, very special night for us. It must serve as an example to us for what we want to achieve in the future.
“In the end it is just an important three points that will hopefully serve as an inspiration for the future. But the fans believe a lot in what we are doing. We need them to follow us with this passion and this ambition they showed here.”
The Spurs boss had special praise for goalscorer and man-of-the-match Bale and revealed the Welsh wizard only trained one day this week with a throat illness.
He said: “Gareth still has a sore throat and fever. We had problems with Gylfi Sigurdsson as well, who had diarrhoea and vomiting.”
But, despite the stunning upset, Villas-Boas refused to talk about Spurs in terms of title contenders.
He added: “Our quest is to qualify for the Champions League. It is very difficult to go for the title.
“We understand it is a place where the great teams of this country belong. We want to win a trophy this season. We want Champions League qualification.” Shell-shocked United boss Alex Ferguson was left to rue at least two strong penalty claims — best of all a clear two-handed grab by Vertonghen on Nani.
However, ref Chris Foy decided the winger had made a meal of the foul — and Fergie agreed!
He said: “I think there were quite a few penalties. The one in the first half was a clear penalty kick but maybe Nani made a meal of it.
“He didn’t need to do that but certainly he was pulled back. I’m not sure about those in the second half.”
But the United boss was seething that only four minutes were added at the end of the match.
He fumed: “They gave four minutes. It’s an absolute insult to the game.
“Substitutions, the trainer came on — that’s four minutes right away.
“The goalkeeper must have wasted two or three minutes, they were taking their time at every goal kick.
“That is obvious and a flaw in terms of refs being responsible for time-keeping.” Ferguson left fit-again Wayne Rooney on the bench but brought him on at the break and the England star responded by setting up Nani for United’s first.
Shinji Kagawa pulled back a second for the Reds, after Dempsey had made it 3-1, and Ferguson hinted strongly that it had taken a blast of his famous “hairdryer” at half-time to get the desired change.
He said: “The attitude changed and that’s the most important thing.
“Wayne’s ability does help but the attitude of the players was absolutely brilliant, everywhere on the pitch.
“They started going to win the ball rather than standing off as they had in the first half.
“We should have dealt with it better after scoring but there are a 100 ways to look at goals.”