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Ratings: Ronaldo, Cavani and Rashford leave Spurs in the doldrums; Solskjaer was spot on today!

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Manchester United beat Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 in the Premier League. It was a good comeback for United after their humiliation against Liverpool last week. Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring in the 39th minute of the match, assisted by Bruno Fernandes. United doubled their lead through Edinson Cavani in the 64th minute of the match, assisted by Ronaldo and Marcus Rashford scored the third goal of the match in the 86th minute, assisted by Nemanja Matic. United face Atalanta on Tuesday evening, then Manchester City in the first Manchester derby of the season next weekend.

It was a mixed start against Spurs with United seeming cautious rather than playing a pressing game, which saw them defeated 5-0 by Liverpool so I guess that is why United were not pressing. The said. it did not take Spurs long to get into the game, pressing United. To be fair, United did well under that pressure but this was not going to be a swashbuckling comeback from the devastating defeat last week. Spurs had a fair few chances in the first half but did not seem to be able to taken them, which is the story of their season so far. United had an ideal match to regain some confidence against Spurs, but it was not going to be easy.

United seemed to continue the caution approach throughout the first half but Spurs found a goal late in the half with Christian Romero tapping in at the far post but the flag was then raised with the goal being disallowed by VAR. United, minutes later, attacked Spurs with the players preying in the final third, passing the ball around before Bruno Fernandes lofted the ball over the defence into an onrushing Cristiano Ronaldo, who opened the scoring for United in their first match after the despicable defeat to Liverpool. It was a positive half for United, even better that Solskjaer’s side were in the lead at the break. This was not over though.

There were not changes at the start of the second half for either team. Ronaldo did score a second goal for United early in the half, but he was offside and the goal was ruled out. It seemed to have been a good game plan for United at this stage in the match, but a second goal should be pushed for with United needing this victory more than anything else in the world right now. There will be some so-called supporters of this club that will have been upset to see United score and in the lead at the end of the first half. These people are not supporters of the club, they just have an agenda that they just want to be correct.

United doubled their lead in the 64th minute of the match with Ronaldo playing Edinson Cavani through on goal, finding the back of the net. It was a cushion for United, but this Spurs side seem to be dejected to a point, which is where United were against Liverpool last week. Solskjaer made his first substitution in the 71st minute of the match, with United 2-0 up. Marcus Rashford replaced Ronaldo. Straight after this, Fred was booked for a challenge, minutes after being let off for something similar. Solskjaer made his second substitution in the 76th minute of the match, bringing Nemanja Matic on for Fernandes – it should have been Fred though.

Solskjaer made his final substitution in the 82nd minute of the match with Jesse Lingard replacing Cavani, which left Fred on some dangerous group if he was to get himself booked again. United should have enough talent on the pitch to grind out this victory – which has not been the most entertaining match this season, but a win is a win and United can start getting back to work after their poor period of results. Solskjaer will need to keep players fit for Tuesday’s match against Atalanta in Italy, then the Manchester derby at Old Trafford next weekend – which is an important match for United to get another good result in.

United scored a third goal of the game through Marcus Rashford in the 86th minute of the match. Matic assisted the goal, which shows that Solskjaer chose the right players, formation and tactics today and more importantly, chose the right substitutions as this team has risen above Spurs, in their own backyard, showing them who the boss is. There will still be people calling for Solskjaer to be sacked as their own ego’s will be pressing for that as it is so important for them to be right – even though they have been made to look wrong for the time being. If you support Manchester United, you want them to win, not lose.

Three minutes were added on at the end of the match but United were in a great position to guarantee all three points in this match. It was a good win for United and a better on for Solskjaer. There is still a lot of work to be done at United to get this team firing again but this victory came at the right time. United will face Atalanta on Tuesday evening in the Champions League, before welcoming Manchester City to the Theatre of Dreams on Saturday, which will then see the third international break of the season and the last of 2021, ahead of another important run of matches for United and Solskjaer.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

Got his second clean sheet of the season, which is important. Played a good game against Spurs and seemed confident. Did all he could do as this Spurs side played a shocking standard of football - and Solskjaer is the manager that is facing loads of criticism - there are many worse than him in this league.

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2 Victor Lindelof

Played a good game defensively, which was a relief after last week. This formation worked today. Will have found confidence in the clean sheet, which is something United need to achieve more often.

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19 Raphael Varane

The best defender on the pitch today and he was needed. Might have been rusty but played the game and did what he needed to do. The clean sheet was the better result, other than the win. United need more of these.

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5 Harry Maguire

Since his return from injury, he has not been the best. Played better with Varane and Lindelof in the back three, which might be a plan going forward. He will regain his form again. This happens in football.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Did well both defensively and whilst attacking. I worked well today for Solskjaer. I would like to see him offer a lot more going forward, but let's walk before we can run.

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17 Fred

Many will have been annoyed to see him start, but he did well. Had a shot on goal and generally played well. He has this in his game, just needs consistency. Booked for a rash challenge and was left on for the remainder of the game, when he could have been substituted for Matic.

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39 Scott McTominay

Played a good game and seemed to be up for this challenge. Showed his pride and generally did his job during the match. There will be some that will criticise his performance.

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23 Luke Shaw

He's lost the form that he was in but it will come back. He played well in the left wing-back role. Got forward at times and will be full of confidence after that clean sheet.

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18 Bruno Fernandes

Assisted for Ronaldo's goal, which was the first goal for United. It was a very good ball. I think he started to regress into the second half, which is why he was replaced by Matic in the 76th minute.

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7 Cristiano Ronaldo

Opened the scoring for United with six minutes of the first half left. Scored another, which was offside. Fed the ball into Cavani, who scored United's second goal of the game. It was a much better performance from the Portuguese forward. He was replaced by Rashford in the 71st minute of the match.

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21 Edinson Cavani

Scored his first goal of the season for United, after being set up by Ronaldo. He played a good game with Ronaldo and him up top, and I feel they worked well together. This may not work for every match moving forward, but it was good it was tested out today. He was replaced by Lingard in the 82nd minute.

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Substitutes

10 Marcus Rashford

Replaced Ronaldo 71'. Came on and led to find another goal, which was great for him. Used his energy and his presence to add something to United's attack. A good performance for him, which should see him start on Tuesday. Three goals in four games is a good return from injury.

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31 Nemanja Matic

Replaced Fernandes 76'. Came on to strengthen the midfield at 2-0 up. Assisted for Rashford's goal, which was good for him - his second assist of the season.

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14 Jesse Lingard

Replaced Cavani 82'. Should have been Van de Beek coming on. I feel sorry for him. Lingard did what he needed to do and got a run out in this win.

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Goals: Cristiano Ronaldo 39′, Edinson Cavani 64′, Marcus Rashford 86′

Assists: Bruno Fernandes 39′, Cristiano Ronaldo 64′, Nemanja Matic 86’

Manchester United: De Gea; Lindelof, Varane, Maguire; Wan-Bissaka, Fred, McTominay, Shaw; Fernandes (Matic 76′); Ronaldo (Rashford 71′), Cavani (Lingard 82′)

Substitutes Not Used: Henderson; Bailly, Dalot; Van de Beek; Greenwood, Sancho

Bookings: Ben Davies 78′; Luke Shaw 19′, Harry Maguire 22′, Fred 73′

Written by John Walker

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