Man United in 2021: Ronaldo's return, Ole out and Rangnick revolution
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On this day in 2009, Manchester United mounted a stirring comeback to beat Tottenham 5-2 at Old Trafford. Goals from Darren Bent and Luka Modric had put the away side in cruise control. But, after a dodgy penalty was given, Cristiano Ronaldo got the comeback started.
Manchester United were competing for the Premier League title when they went up against Tottenham on April 25, 2009.
But their hopes of clinching a third crown on the trot were dealt a blow when Spurs raced into a two-goal lead.
Goals from Bent and Modric had put Harry Redknapp’s side in dreamland, with the visitors superior throughout the first half.
However, a controversial penalty call then gave United a chance to get back into the game.
Michael Carrick went over in the box after Heurelho Gomes raced out to meet him and, though the Tottenham goalkeeper seemed to get the ball, a spot-kick was then awarded instead.
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Ronaldo converted and, from that moment on, the tide of the game turned in United’s favour.
Sir Alex Ferguson went for the jugular, fielding Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, Dimitar Berbatov and Carlos Tevez together in the second half.
And that decision paid off with the rampant Red Devils scoring a further four goals without reply.
Rooney levelled for United before Ronaldo’s flying header put Ferguson’s team in front, sparking wild celebrations in the stands in the process.
And further goals from Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov meant United took another step towards the Premier League title.
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Ferguson, after the game, conceded his side were lucky to be given the penalty that changed the contest.
“We were a bit fortunate but football is a funny game,” said the Scot.
“You get terrible decisions. We got one last week. You have to deal with them and get on with it.”
And his Tottenham counterpart, Redknapp, was furious at the way the game turned around.
“The referee made a terrible mistake,” he said.
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“United were not going to win unless something like that happened.”
United would go on to win the title that year, beating Liverpool to the prize.
They wrapped up the triumph with a goalless draw with Arsenal in May, with Gary Neville then lifting the trophy.
United’s season didn’t end on a high, however.
They lost 2-0 to Barcelona in the 2009 Champions League final, with Samuel Eto’o and Lionel Messi on target for Pep Guardiola’s team.
And Ronaldo then upped and left in the aftermath, joining Real Madrid for a fee of £80million – which was a world-record at the time.
As for Tottenham, they finished eighth.
But they rose to fourth the following year, securing Champions League football under Redknapp in the process.
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