2021-22 English Premier League
  • Cristiano Ronaldo (39')
  • Edinson Cavani (64')
  • Marcus Rashford (86')

Cristiano Ronaldo leads Manchester United recovery against Tottenham

Manchester United got back to winning ways with a 3-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur, courtesy of goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani, but Spurs fans began to turn on manager Nuno Espirito Santo.

United, who lost 5-0 to rivals Liverpool in the Premier League last Sunday, recovered to take an important three points after a week of speculation about the future of manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

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But Tottenham suffered a fifth league defeat in their opening 10 games as supporters first booed the team off the pitch at half-time and then sang 'You don't know what you're doing" at Nuno when Lucas Moura was substituted for Steven Bergwijn.

Ronaldo opened the scoring for United on 39 minutes, beating Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Llloris with a superb volley from an angle after a floated cross from Bruno Fernandes.

United added a second after 64 minutes when Fernandes robbed Oliver Skipp of possession in midfield and teed up Ronaldo to play a through ball to Cavani who dispatched his shot into the net with ease.

And substitute Marcus Rashford completed the scoring as he beat the offside trap to add a late third goal.

"Great goals, all of them," Solskjaer said. "The first one is the major one. What a pass from Bruno and Cristiano is the best. If he misses one he's still as focused for the next one.

"The experience of Edinson Cavani and Cristiano is massive. We need it. We can't hide. The week has been difficult for all the players. They really stuck at it."

United climbed to fifth on 17 points from 10 games, while Nuno's Spurs side, who failed to trouble United goalkeeper David De Gea, are eighth on 15.

The visitors came into the match following a week in which questions were raised about the future of Solskjaer after arch-rivals Liverpool ran them ragged at Old Trafford on Sunday.

But led by the class of Ronaldo the visitors dug in and battled for their under-fire boss in a first half which ended with the Portuguese volleying the opener to settle his side.

It was Ronaldo's 11th goal in 19 games against Spurs and the forward has scored more times against the London side than any other English team during his career.

Tottenham struggled to carve out any clear openings with Harry Kane lacking support despite the efforts of Son Heung-min and Lucas Moura, whose substitution was booed by the home fans.

Ten minutes later Cavani was played through by Ronaldo and the Uruguayan calmly clipped the ball into the net to give United breathing space and silence the disgruntled home crowd.

It was left for Rashford to come off the bench and apply the coup de grace with a simple finish to give Solskjaer hope that he can turn the season around and save his job.

By contrast, Tottenham manager Nuno now finds the spotlight fixed on his tenure in his first season in charge with his side lacking creativity as they failed to manage a shot on target.

Spurs have scored their fewest goals after 10 league games since 2013-14 when they also got nine, while United kept their second clean sheet in 22 games in all competitions.

Information from Reuters was used in this report.

English Premier League Standings

1 Manchester City 38 +61 89
2 Arsenal 38 +45 84
3 Manchester United 38 +15 75
4 Newcastle United 38 +35 71
5 Liverpool 38 +28 67
6 Brighton & Hove Albion 38 +19 62
7 Aston Villa 38 +5 61
8 Tottenham Hotspur 38 +7 60
9 Brentford 38 +12 59
10 Fulham 38 +2 52
11 Crystal Palace 38 -9 45
12 Chelsea 38 -9 44
13 Wolverhampton Wanderers 38 -27 41
14 West Ham United 38 -13 40
15 AFC Bournemouth 38 -34 39
16 Nottingham Forest 38 -30 38
17 Everton 38 -23 36
18 Leicester City 38 -17 34
19 Leeds United 38 -30 31
20 Southampton 38 -37 25