Tottenham Hotspur 0-3 Manchester United: Ronaldo inspires Red Devils to a comfortable win

Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United Tottenham Hotspur
Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United Tottenham Hotspur

Cristiano Ronaldo inspired Manchester United to a 3-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday to ease the pressure on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The Red Devils had promised fans a response after the way they were beaten by Liverpool last week. And they delivered on their promise, producing a strong performance that will give their coach some respite.

Spurs meanwhile fell to another Premier League defeat to compound the misery on Nuno Espirito Santo, who is already facing questions about his Tottenham reign. 

Solskjaer started the game with the three-man defence Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Rafael Varane, with Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani pairing up front. 

The strike partnership paid off, with both strikers grabbing a goal apiece.

The first goal came in the 39th minute through Ronaldo, who got on the end of a sublime pass by Bruno Fernandes to open the scoring for United.

The goal was his sixth consecutive goal against Tottenham and capped off a good first half by Manchester United.

Ronaldo was again involved in United’s second goal after the break as he supplied the pass through which Cavani scored his side’s second goal.

The home team could still not offer anything going forward and allowed the visitors too much space to get their third goal. This time it was Marcus Rashford who ghosted past the Spurs defence five minutes from time to slot home his side’s third and effectively end the game.

Formation change pays off for Ole

After the manner in which their midfield was bypassed last week against Liverpool, Ole opted for a change in formation on Saturday.

Against Tottenham, the former Molde manager played a five-man midfield consisting of Fred, Scott McTominay, and Bruno Fernandes, with Luke Shaw and Wan-Bissaka providing width as wingers and an extra body in defence.

The idea was to have extra bodies in midfield, soak up space and to hit Spurs on the counter-attack. And the plan worked to perfection as Manchester United had the better of the chances and allowed their hosts no sniff at goal.

Solskjaer will hope the formation can yield dividends again on Tuesday when they travel to Bergamo to face Atalanta in the UEFA Champions League. 

Woeful Spurs made it easy for United

Although Ole Solskjaer and United deserve all the credit for their win, it cannot be denied that Spurs made it easy for them.

The hosts were woeful on the night and proved again why they’re a club in crisis. Even the fans could not bear the sight of the team and showed their disapproval by booing, when Nuno made substitutions.

Nuno’s side for all the ball possession they enjoyed did not have a single shot on target throughout the game. The result means that they have scored one goal in their last four games.

Despite having the likes of Kane and Son in their ranks, Spurs struggled to create any clear cut chances and deserved to lose this game on the evidence of their performance.

The earlier Nuno finds the way to get his strikers to score more consistently, the better.

Clean sheet for de Gea and Varane 

Finally, David de Gea and the Manchester United defence gets a clean sheet.

Before meeting Tottenham on Sunday, the Red Devils had not kept a clean sheet in ten consecutive matches. In fact, they had kept just one 20 games heading into the game, making them one of the most porous sides in the league.

But on Saturday, they finally broke their clean sheet duck, shutting out Spurs and doing so admirably. Although there were some moments of hesitance and poor decision making, the United back line did its job well.

Varane was particularly impressive and made up well for areas where Maguire was exposed.

United fans will now hope that they can build on this good defensive showing going forward.