Ratings: Ronaldo’s hat-trick sunk Spurs; Sancho and Fred amongst the plaudits – big win for United

Ronaldo's return has been important for United, even if the critics don't like it

Manchester United beat Tottenham Hotspur 3-2 at Old Trafford in the Premier League. Cristiano Ronaldo scored a brace in the first half with Harry Kane equalising from the penalty spot in-between. Harry Maguire scored an own goal before Ronaldo completed his hat-trick.

United started well against Spurs. The first chance came in the ninth minute with Cristiano Ronaldo seeing his attempt blocked. However, three minutes later, he struck from range after being set up with a flick from Fred, beating Hugo Lloris to put United ahead.

Son Heung-Min had a chance in the 16th minute, which was blocked as Spur sought to get back into the match. Paul Pogba missed a shot in the same minute and the following minute, Pierre-Emile Højbjerg saw his shot saved by David De Gea.

In the 18th minute, Son played the ball into Ben Davies, who equalised for Spurs, but the flag was raised and the goal was ruled out for offside. Ronaldo missed a chance to double United’s lead in the 23rd minute with Eric Dier and Højbjerg also seeking to score.

In the 29th and 30th minute, both Matt Doherty and Rodrigo Bentancur saw shots blocked before Dier was booked in the 30th minute for a foul. Five minutes later, Alex Telles conceded a penalty, which was scored by Harry Kane. Fred was also booked in the same minute.

Just three minutes later, Ronaldo restored United’s lead after Jadon Sancho found him in the box. VAR looked at the goal for offside, but allowed the goal. Kane then saw a shot blocked before Sancho had one of his own saved in added time.

At the start of the second half, there were no substitutions for either team. Just six minutes into the second half, Marcus Rashford seemed to injure himself, looking like he was not able to continue initially, but he was fine to continue – it looked worse than it was.

Son missed an attempt on goal for Spurs in the 61st minute of the match, which did not cause many problems for United. Ronaldo had two more chances in the 63rd and 66th minutes of the match, missing one and seeing the other saved.

Anthony Elanga replaced Rashford in the 68th minute of the match but just four minutes later, Spurs were level with Harry Maguire putting the ball into the back of his own net. Ronaldo had a good chance to seal a hat-trick in the 77th minute, but Lloris made the save.

Lucan Moura replaced Dejan Kulusevic in the 78th minute for Spurs with Edinson Cavani coming back to the fray in the 80th minute. It was the change that inspired United as Ronaldo completed his hat-trick in the 81st minute, putting United 3-2 up.

Victor Lindelöf then replaced Ronaldo in the 83rd minute, with United seemingly seeking to retain their lead with Spurs expected to throw all they had against United to get a point, or more from this match. It all worked out for United. Spurs didn’t want to fight for the win.

United got the win that they deserved and Ronaldo has sent a message to his critics with that important hat-trick. United move to fourth in the Premier League again, for now. They will be back in UEFA Champions League action facing Atletico Madrid on Tuesday evening.

Player Ratings

David De Gea: Beaten by Davies, but it was offside. United then conceded a penalty which Kane scored – he dived the right way though. Was not really pressured in the second half with both teams battling to be the worst on the pitch, at times. ★★★★★

Diogo Dalot: Played well at right-back. Helped the attack and fortified the defence at times. I would like to see him raise his game and show that he has a big future at United as I don’t feel 100% confident with him. But he could grow into the decent player. ★★★★★

Raphaël Varane: Silently did what he needed to do in defence. Will be unhappy with the lack of a clean sheet, but it is not the end of the world. Needs to help build up Maguire’s confidence after his own goal. I’m glad United brought him to the Theatre of Dreams last summer. ★★★★★★★

Harry Maguire: Looked fragile at times which is probably part of parcel of a void in confidence. United led at the end of the first half though and looked strong. However, he put the ball into his own net, equalising for Spurs. ★★★★★

Alex Telles: Conceded a penalty in the 35th minute with a raised arm in the box. Some say just, but it was harsh. However, despite that, he had a good game. Seemed to attack a lot of the time and got another assist for Ronaldo’s hat-trick completion. ★★★★★★

Fred: Showed a glimpse of his skill as a midfielder with a flick which led to Ronaldo’s opening goal in the 12th minute of the match. He can be a good player to have, but needs to be consistent. Had a good second half too, which was great to see. United were up against it though. ★★★★★★★

Nemanja Matić: Dealt with the Spurs press at times and had a good display in the midfield with Fred. He tends to do well in stages for United if he is not used all that often. United need a competent replacement for him though. Replaced by Cavani late in the second half. ★★★★★★★

Marcus Rashford: Seemed unable to get into the game at times. Did a lot of running, not necessarily troubling Spurs. Seemed injured at the start of the second half, but it was not as bad as it looked. Hooked in the 68th minute for Elanga. ★★★★★

Paul Pogba: Got the better of Bentancur but I did not see much more from him. Those that rate this guy need to get a critical eye and stop assuming racism is involved for the criticism. The guy came back to United to finish what he started – but what dd he start? ★★★★★

Jadon Sancho: Seemed up for the task at hand against Spurs. Assisted for Ronaldo’s second goal of the game with some good play in the box. Also unlucky not to have scored him self at the end of the first half. ★★★★★★

Cristiano Ronaldo: Scored a brace in the first half, taking it to 17 goals so far this season. Seemed to enjoy his moment in the spotlight after some time suffering lots of frustration. Completed his hat-trick in the 81st minute. Replaced by Lindelöf. ★★★★★★★★★


Anthony Elanga: Replaced Rashford 68′. Brought energy at the right time for United. Whilst he did not score, assist or get much from the game, his performance pushed United into the right direction at 2-2. Deserves to be ahead of Rashford more often at the moment. ★★★★★★

Edinson Cavani: Replaced Matić 80′. Made his first appearance since the 1-1 draw with Burnley. He will be rusty after an injury layoff but it is good to see him back at the right time for United. He will be an important player in the coming months. ★★★★★

Victor Lindelöf: Replaced Ronaldo 83′. Came on to add more in the defence for United with the club protecting a 3-2 lead at the time. They got the win ad therefore the Swede did what was needed from him. Perhaps he might replace Maguire for Tuesday’s match? ★★★★★★

Goals: Cristiano Ronaldo 12′, 38′, 81′; Harry Kane 35′ pen, Harry Maguire 72′ o/g

Assists: Fred 12′, Jadon Sancho 38′, Alex Telles 81′

Manchester United: De Gea; Dalot, Varane, Maguire, Telles; Fred, Matić (Cavani 80′); Rashford (Elanga 68′), Pogba, Sancho; Ronaldo (Lindelöf 83′)

Substitutes Not Used: Henderson; Bailly, Jones, Wan-Bissaka; Mata, Lingard

Bookings: Fred 35′, Paul Pogba 85′; Eric Dier 30′

Written by John Walker

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I support Manchester United, the greatest English football team to have ever existed. Bruno Fernandes is the latest in a long line of players with great ability to play for the club. I idolised Bryan Robson, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, and Eric Cantona growing up.