Manchester United’s Portuguese playmakers struck just before halftime in North London to alleviate some of the pressure on manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and Tottenham Hotspur never had an answer for Nuno Espirito Santo in a 3-0 win for the visiting Red Devils on Saturday
United got a goal and an assist from Cristiano Ronaldo, the goal set up by Bruno Fernandes, as Edinson Cavani and Marcus Rashford also scored in a win that boosted the Red Devils back into fifth.
Surprise results for Liverpool and Man City mean United is three points back of third-place City with the Manchester derby just a week away.
Tottenham slips into eighth place with 15 points, passed by Brighton, Man United, and Arsenal on Saturday.
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Tottenham vs Manchester United final score, stats
Final score: Manchester United 3, Tottenham Hotspur 0
Scorers: Ronaldo 2 (39′, 64′), Rashford (86′)
Shot attempts: Manchester United, 10-9
Shots on goal: Manchester United, 4-0
Possession: Tottenham 58%
Three Four things we learned from Tottenham vs Manchester United
1. Harry Kane is a shell of himself: A lot of players don’t look themselves when they want a transfer and don’t get it, but Tottenham striker Harry Kane looks so unlike himself that we’re considering whether there was some sort of Vincent Janssen body swap. His confidence looks low and his burst appears slow.
2. Ole gets his answer in Varane: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will get plenty of credit for a 3-4-3 formation that led to a much-needed win, but don’t sleep on the pure profit that is adding Raphael Varane back into the team. The newly-healthy center back had five clearances and kept the back organized for David De Gea, and that certainly helped Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof to good games on either side of the Frenchman.
3. Healthy United its biggest boost: It wasn’t simply the return of Varane but also the reintroduction of Marcus Rashford that’s paid off for the Red Devils. Rashford’s long absence to start the season might’ve made it too easy to forget the importance of the English forward to Manchester United.
4. Nuno needs better, to be better: Spurs manager Nuno Espirito Santo didn’t exactly inherit a team destined for glory but he also didn’t take over a team capable of a long nap. It was clear from the start that Oliver Skipp wasn’t at his best and the match seemed to be crying out for Tanguy Ndombele in the middle of the park and/or Sergio Reguilon’s ingenuity on the left. We only got the former, which honestly changed little, and the heat under his seat will only grow as the North London crowd is booing the boss.
Man of the Match: Cristiano Ronaldo
It has to be, doesn’t it? He’s had two goals ruled offside in as many weeks, smashed a low drive home to relieved United for 1-0, and then slipped Edinson Cavani into the box for the second goal.
Tottenham vs Manchester United recap
Cristian Romero thought he had it 1-0 only for an offside flag to defy the defender, and United found its way in front instead through a similar name:
Bruno Fernandes’ terrific cross to the back post freed the deft-moving Ronaldo but the United forward still had a lot of work to do to make it 1-0 in favor of the visitors.
“CR7” made a very difficult goal look easy with a powerful low strike across goal and into the side netting, easily his best goal since returning to United.
And he’s provide the assist on United’s second goal, slipping Cavani onto the doorstep for a passed finish past Lloris.
Harry Kane looked to be leading a rush down the right that could put Spurs back in the game but the England captain was anything but convincing as he cut back and hit a cross into United’s defense.
Rashford would then put the match to bed when Matic put him through on the left, a fine finish past Lloris making it 3-0.