Solskjær’s remodeled Manchester United prove too good for Tottenham | premier league

The only note of concern for Manchester United has to be that this powerful, mature and tactically intelligent display has only delayed the inevitable. There have been too many false dawns under Ole Gunnar Solskjær and while there was a lot to admire about how his team struggled after a horrific week, it is too early to know if exposing Tottenham’s flaws means that a bend has been taken.

There has to be more of these performances from United before anyone can say Solskjær’s job is safe and it must be recognized that this victory, sealed by the clinical finishes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Edinson Cavani and Marcus Rashford, had something to do with it. with the level of opposition.

It was a miserable experience for Spurs, who fell into mediocrity under the leadership of their uninteresting manager, Nuno Espírito Santo. Daniel Levy, the club president, must know that it is unbearable. Levy heard loud chants calling him to quit once Rashford came off the bench to make it 3-0 in the later stages and there were also strong taunts for Nuno when he replaced Lucas Moura with Steven Bergwijn in the second half, chants of “You don’t know what you’re doing” a reminder that Solskjær isn’t the only manager in trouble.

Still, Solskjær deserves credit for improving United after last Sunday’s mess against Liverpool. There was daring in the Norwegian’s team, which is up to fifth place, but more importantly, there was a plan well executed. The switch to a fullback three worked, there was a first clean sheet since August and Solskjær could derive immense satisfaction from bringing out the best in Ronaldo, who took advantage of having Cavani by his side in attack.

United’s first veteran proved far too cunning for Nuno’s defenders and, for Ronaldo, it was a reminder that the 36-year-old’s lack of pressure won’t always be an obstacle to success. The striker’s goal, a brutal volley that marked Hugo Lloris shortly before half-time, sounded like a statement: write to me at your own risk.

Cristiano Ronaldo gives Manchester United the lead. Photography: Tom Jenkins / The Observer

It was a special effort from Ronaldo, who was able to convince after being chosen by Bruno Fernandes, and he then scored Cavani’s goal with a skillful pass in the 64th minute.

In these moments, Solskjær was able to see a new identity forming, even though the Cavani-Ronaldo partnership has a combined age of 70. The United manager had to respond after a week of intense speculation about his future and it was encouraging to see him adjust, focusing on solidity. more flair, the move to 3-4-2-1 giving his team more balance and muscle than the Spurs.

The changes had a calming effect on United, who were more difficult to play with Scott McTominay and Fred, a powerful duo in the midfield. Solskjær believed McTominay was the best player on the pitch and he also praised Raphaël Varane, who excelled alongside Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelöf at the back after returning from injury. Harry Kane was never allowed to sniff.

The spurs were average, creating little again. Son Heung-min flew at close range and Cristian Romero saw a goal disallowed for offside, but Nuno’s team didn’t test David de Gea once and it was no surprise when they did late.

United had created the best openings, Cavani’s move troubling Romero and Eric Dier, and they were leading after 39 minutes. Fernandes, stationed in the No.10 position, had time to look up and fold a glorious ball over Spurs left-back Ben Davies, who had a perfect view of Ronaldo moving away from him and crushing an angled volley in front of Lloris.

There wasn’t much Spurs could have done to stop Ronaldo. There was, however, more they could do with their overall performance. Their midfielders Oliver Skipp and Pierre-Emile Højbjerg were poor on the ball, Kane was tasteless and it sums up the lack of precision when Giovani Lo Celso missed an opportunity to free Son in the 51st minute.

United were playing with more intent, with Fernandes sending Ronaldo again to shoot past Lloris. Spurs were relieved to see the flag for offside.

Soon there were boos from Spurs fans, although it was hard to see why they turned on Nuno for replacing Moura with Bergwijn. The decision made sense: Moura, willful but aimless on the right, hadn’t done much.

However, the replacement did not improve Spurs. Soon there were two of them, Fernandes stealing Skipp and finding Ronaldo. The striker freed Cavani, who beat Lloris with a nice dink.

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The spurs, up to the eighth, have been made. Rashford ran to slip a third behind Lloris and the finals rolled out with United fans screaming their support for Solskjær. After all the angry whispers in the locker room, they haven’t given up on him yet. More aptly, the players still believe in it.


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