Tottenham Hotspur 0-3 Manchester United: Four Things We Learned

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Manchester United had a terrible last Sunday when they faced Liverpool at Old Trafford, but this weekend was a completely different story. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side went to London to face Tottenham Hotspur and ended up the match with three goals scored and three points in the pocket.

It was Cristiano Ronaldo who opened the scoring in the 3-0 win, when he ran away from Ben Davis after 39 minutes. In the second half, United were even better – first it was Edinson Cavani who made the most out of Ronaldo’s assist, before Marcus Rashford made it three with minutes to go. Here is everything you need to know about this Man United performance.

Solskjaer Changes The System

Fans had the chance to expect many things from Solskjaer as he got the opportunity to redeem himself after the Liverpool disaster. However, it seems not many people have expected such change of the system. United started in a classic 3-5-2 formation, with Bruno Fernandes operating slightly higher than McTominay and Fred in central midfield, without wingers and with two classic strikers in Ronaldo and Cavani. Victor Lindelof slotted in the back three alongside Maguire and Varane and United got themselves a comfortable win. It was an unexpected shift, that was made to negate Spurs’ attackers and it seemed the work on the night. However, this hardly feels like a change that is here to stay.

United Do Not Press, But Get Result

The reason Solskjaer opted for 3-5-2 is because it let his players sit back and dart forward in quick transitions, making the most out of spaces Spurs were allowing them. Man United’s pressing against Liverpool was much criticised as dysfunctional, so Solskjaer decided not to press at all, but rather make his team more compact and harder to break down. Against Spurs that worked, given their limitations, but that was yet another Man United performance under Solskjaer which worked when the team was reactive rather than proactive.

Spurs Ideal Opponent To Get Back On Track

There were probably not many Premier League sides that would have fit United this well to play against after such a terrible loss last weekend. Spurs are struggling side, especially in attack, and they were exposed defensively against every decent team – Chelsea, Arsenal, West Ham, Crystal Palace… Solskjaer knew exactly what to do this time around and it proved that Spurs were toothless, without managing to get a shot on target.

Cavani Shows Class

Cristiano Ronaldo delivered once again, with a goal and an assist on Saturday, but it was not only him that his job very well. It was also Edinson Cavani, who surprisingly had the chance to start the match next to Ronaldo. This was his first laegue start of the season and he was in the mood. He may have missed United’s best chances in the first half, but he did very well to score after 64 minutes, following Ronaldo’s ideal pass. Cavani worked very well in that left channel, he was driving United forward on occasions and we will see how much his playing time might change in the future due to this performance…

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