Gibson and Anderson get Sir Alex's seal of approval

MANCHESTER: Sir Alex Ferguson singled out two-goal hero Darron Gibson and Brazilian midfielder Anderson after his Manchester United side moved closer towards back-to-back English League Cups.

United enjoyed a trouble-free passage into the semi-finals after defeating Tottenham 2-0 at Old Trafford here on Tuesday.

Ferguson's side, who defeated Tottenham in last season's final, are clearly in the mood to win the competition for a second successive campaign.

United have now scored five times in three League Cup ties this term without conceding a goal.

Gibson's spectacular first half double - both goals from long range - lit up Old Trafford and the 22-year-old Republic of Ireland international, who has yet to establish himself as a regular, won praise from Ferguson afterwards along with Anderson.

"For me the two stars tonight were Gibson and Anderson," said Ferguson. "They did very well particularly in the second half.

"Darron is one player at our club who can get a goal from outside the box. He has tremendous power in his shooting and his second goal in particular is a fantastic goal.

"There was good movement and a terrific finish. He is very quick and powerful. He's a handful."

It was the second and final game of Ferguson's touchline ban - and United have emerged triumphant in both fixtures.

The fiery Scot was also forced to sit in the stand as his English champions won 4-1 at Portsmouth last weekend but he will be back in the dug-out for Saturday's Premier League game at West Ham United.

"We all play a part at this club - it's not a one-man show," added Ferguson, who communicated with his bench during the game via a telephone from the directors' box in the main stand.

"There is a great staff and a continuity about Manchester United that is important. We're two games away from Wembley, so we'll enjoy the semi-finals - and these lads will play again."

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp declined to face the written press after the tie.

Instead he sent Kevin Bond, his assistant.

"You'd never have thought it was a quarter-final of a cup competition because we never got started," said Bond.

"To be honest, the longer the game went on, the worse we got.

"They were bad goals to concede from out point of view.

"Whether we did not believe we could get back in the game from 2-0 down I don't know. I thought there was a real chance for us to progress.

"Up until this point the players have done fantastic this season. But this is a big disappointment and hopefully it's a lesson that won't be repeated."

Redknapp earlier told Sky Sports: "I'm very disappointed. You're never going to get a better opportunity than we did tonight.

"We've been playing so well recently but there was no atmosphere tonight.

"It was like a practice match, it just never got going."