Manchester United bounced back from a tough week with a 3-0 win over Tottenham Hotspurs in London. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took no risks defensively, setting up with 3 at the back flanked by wing backs, and was rewarded with a clean sheet to secure 3 much needed points.
The first half began as a bit of a bore as the team adjusted to the unfamiliar setup, but gradually United were able to find paths forward. Cristian Romero had a goal ruled out for offside, but otherwise Tottenham really struggled to get going in United’s half. Victor Lindelof in particular had some memorable moments defending Son Heung Min. He had a decent day alongside Raphael Varane and Harry Maguire, and the defense didn’t allow a single shot on target from Spurs.
The deadlock was broken in the 39th minute by Cristiano Ronaldo, who expertly pounced on the end of a nice ball over the top from Bruno Fernandes. It was a tough angle but he hit it perfectly first time past Lloris, and gave United the lead just before the break.
The pair of Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani up front looked like perhaps the wrong choice for the first half hour or so, but they grew into the match and really settled in the second half. Cavani’s goal to make it 2-0 in the 64th minute was a well worked goal on a quick break, built up by Bruno Fernandes and Ronaldo, the latter of whom made a nice move to create space and send the final ball through to his strike partner.
Marcus Rashford came on for Ronaldo late, and grabbed a goal to seal the result in the 86th minute. It’s his 3rd goal in 4 games since returning from injury, and was another demonstration of his growth as a scorer. He calmly controlled the through ball and placed it past Lloris one on one, adding emphasis on the victory and no doubt building confidence as he continues his return to playing.
Manchester United aren’t quite out of the woods yet. Pressure will continue to mount on Solskjaer, but his adjustments to win and keep a clean sheet in this one are the kind of thing we need to see from the manager if he’s to steer the ship out of danger yet again.