Gareth Bale scored one goal and set up another as Tottenham Hotspur beat Manchester United for the first time in 23 Premier League matches with a thrilling 3-2 win on Saturday.
Spurs’ first victory at Old Trafford since December 1989 saw them twice go two goals in front, with the teams sharing three goals in as many minutes during a frantic spell before the hour mark.
United’s first home league defeat this year meant Alex Ferguson’s side ended the weekend in third place — four points behind leaders Chelsea — while Tottenham climbed to fifth.
Just 90 seconds had been played when Spurs’ defender Jan Vertonghen burst into the box and fired the visitors in front with a low shot that deflected off Jonny Evans.
In the 32nd minute they were 2-0 up when Bale, from just inside the United half, outpaced Rio Ferdinand, before his shot beat Anders Lindegaard.
United pulled a goal back in the 51st minute when substitute Wayne Rooney provided a cross for Nani to steer past Brad Friedel, but two minutes later Jermain Defoe left the struggling Ferdinand behind him and found Bale. The Welshman’s shot was palmed away by Lindegaard, but only to Clint Dempsey, with the US international shooting into an empty net.
However, United cut the lead to 3-2 moments later when Japan international Shinji Kagawa slotted home.
Rooney hit the post and Michael Carrick’s header came off the crossbar as United pressed for an equalizer, but Spurs held on for a famous victory.
Ferguson was furious with referee Chris Foy for only playing four minutes of stoppage-time at the end of the match.
“Four minutes of added-time is an insult to the game. It’s a disgrace,” he told the BBC.
However, in a separate interview with ESPN, the veteran manager admitted United had not helped themselves early on.
“It was a poor start to the game and they got a little break with a deflected goal. We really defended poorly. From there we were playing against the wind,” he said.
Delighted Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas urged his side to build on the result, the Portuguese boss saying: “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.”
Chelsea remained top as Juan Mata starred in a 2-1 win away to London rivals Arsenal in the early match.
They are three points ahead of Everton, whose promising early season form continued with a 3-1 win over Southampton.
Brendan Rodgers enjoyed his first Premier League win as Liverpool manager, with Luis Suarez scoring his second hat-trick in as many seasons at Carrow Road during a 5-2 win at Norwich City that took the Reds out of the bottom three.
“The team was outstanding,” Rodgers said. “I’m not surprised because in a lot of our games we have played very well and created a host of chances.”
Nikica Jelavic scored twice for Everton after Southampton went 1-0 up through Gaston Ramirez’s first goal for the club.
“If I had paid to watch that, then I would have been pleased,” Everton manager David Moyes said.
Reigning champions Manchester City came from behind to win 2-1 at Fulham, with substitute Edin Dzeko scoring the winner three minutes from time.
Mladen Petric gave Fulham a 10th-minute lead from the penalty spot, before Sergio Aguero drew City level in the 43rd minute.
“I was worried because we continued to play well and continued to create chances, but didn’t score [the second goal] for 87 minutes,” City boss Roberto Mancini said.
Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew’s first match in charge since being given a new eight-year contract ended in a 2-2 draw at his former club Reading.
Demba Ba was the Magpies’ savior, canceling out goals from Jimmy Kebe and then Noel Hunt.
Elsewhere, Stoke City and Sunderland both recorded their first wins of the season, the Potters defeating Swansea City 2-0 and the Black Cats seeing off Wigan Athletic 1-0.