Player Ratings as Ronaldo shows he is the GOAT vs Tottenham
In a battling night of football, Manchester United beat Spurs 0-3 in a must-win clash for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Nuno Espirito Santo was the manager who left this showdown under the most pressure as United’s players really turned up for their boss and playing their old 3-5-2 “big game ballista” they shot Spurs out of the sky.
Here’s how the players rated at Tottenham Stadium:
David de Gea – 5 – Had nothing to do. Stood by with his hands in the air as Spurs’ best chance was blazed over the bar.
Victor Lindelof – 7 – Impressively aggressive, especially in the first-half as United forced Spurs back.
Raphael Varane – 8 – It felt right that Varane’s return to the side coincided with a clean sheet. An immaculate display from one of the very best defenders in the world. If he can stay fit, United can do well even with their managerial misfirings
Harry Maguire – 7 – Played the game like a defeat would have been a personal affront to him. Didn’t have much to deal with in terms of Spurs actually trying to expose him (especially as Varane was around to cover) but still handled himself well and his passing was class.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka – 8 – Brilliant up and down the right-flank all night. Defended supremely (his chasedown block on Heung-min Son was sublime) and was even impactful in attack as his dribbling and crossing added more punch than usual.
Scott McTominay – 8 – Often excels in big games, physical games and games where his manager desperately needs something. This was all three and so predictably, McTominay was great. Just great.
Fred – 8 – Is wildly inconsistent with the ball but in terms of being a tackler and source of energy, Fred is just great. A properly coached team would only need him or McTominay in midfield, but United are what they are. 4 tackles, 3 interceptions. Superb.
Luke Shaw – 7 – Was alright. Still nowhere near his levels of last season.
Bruno Fernandes – 8 – The heart of everything good United did. His movement into space added some much-needed verticality. He created mnore than anyone else (3) and his assist for the opening goal was an absolutely dreamy cross in behind the defence. His pressing and intensity won the ball back for United’s second as well. Just brilliant.
Cristiano Ronaldo – 8 – Put Cristiano in a position where he doesn’t have to move much and he will still destroy sides. His goal saw him make a 10 yard sprint off the shoulder of a defender and finish with the ruthless brilliance we’ve all come to expect. He scored a second with a barely believable strike from the edge of the box but that was correctly ruled out for offside. He then created the second goal with a classic “Ronaldo chop” to get enough space to play a nice pass to Cavani.
Mr. Matchwinner was at it again, appearing in the crucial moments to decide the game in his team’s favour. One wonders if 3-5-2 will now become the norm to extract maximum value from Cristiano’s capabilities; and how that will impact United’s young attackers like Jadon Sancho and Mason Greenwood.
Edinson Cavani – 8 – Movement, energy, pressing. Cavani offered what Cavani always does. Simultaneously a foil for Cristiano’s movement and a reference for the entire United side. A brilliant finish for the second goal. What Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wouldn’t do to take five years off this guy. What a player. Absolutely sensational.
Marcus Rashford (for Cristiano 71′) – 7 – Came on and instantly added a level of pace and vertical threat that United had been missing all game long. Scored a sublime third and one can only imagine the havoc he could wreak in this formation if unleashed from the start.
Nemanja Matic (for Bruno 76′) – 6 – Added solidity. Played a nice pass to Rashford for the third.
Jesse Lingard (for Cavani 82′) – n/a – Came on late.
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