Two teams in dire need of points in order to move up the table. Spurs hosted Manchester United with pressure on both managers to improve results.
The opening exchanges were an even affair with both teams getting feel of the ball. United were playing a back-five with Cavani glancing a header wide in the game’s first half chance. Spurs were finding it hard to keep possession for long.
A lively start in London as the Reds look for an early breakthrough.#MUFC | #TOTMUN pic.twitter.com/ylkX92kYT0
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) October 30, 2021
Son had the clearest chance of the first 25 minutes, bringing down Moura’s chipped pass with his left foot before blasting over with his right. The Red Devils went right up at the other end and Cavani headed wide from Fernandes’ cross. But it was the home side who took the lead as Romero touched Dier’s flick on into the net. However, the Argentine defender was correctly called offside and it remained 0-0.
A 𝐛𝐢𝐠 tackle from @AWBissaka to deny Son, after @Fred08Oficial forced a good save from Lloris.#MUFC | #TOTMUN pic.twitter.com/lynhVL22wY
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) October 30, 2021
Fred’s shot from long range was United’s first shot-on-target, which was tipped aside by Lloris. Their domination finally paid off as Fernandes clipped cross sailed over to Ronaldo whose volley across goal nestled into the right hand corner. Spurs had a half chance from a corner but could not capitalise as the halftime whistle went.
HALF-TIME Spurs 0-1 Man Utd
A superb volley from Cristiano Ronaldo separates the sides at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium#TOTMUN pic.twitter.com/VP3oTqAEwP
— Premier League (@premierleague) October 30, 2021
Ronaldo thought he and United had a second within minutes of the restart but the Portuguese was found offside as he made his run to latch onto McTominay’s through ball. Spurs were attacking a bit more regularly, but their end product remained a long way off. For the away side, that thing was no problem as they doubled their lead just past the hour mark. Fernandes pinched the ball off Skipp in near the centre line before finding Ronaldo whose perfect pass was saw Cavani fire past Lloris.
Ronaldo 🤝 Cavani
🍷 The 36-year-old assists the 34-year-old to double Manchester United's lead.#MUFC #TOTMUN pic.twitter.com/6jkoFxY7tg
— Sporting Life Football & Infogol (@InfogolApp) October 30, 2021
The game kind of went into meandering mode, as both sides got their foot off the pedal a bit. Spurs were happy to just play it around at the same tempo which allowed a third goal. Matic’s straightforward pass found Rashford making a run beyond the Spurs defence and the attacker made no mistake, curling the ball past Lloris. There was no more action of note late on as United claim a crucial win while Spurs sink further down.
Here are the three key takeaways from the match:
CHANGE IN SHAPE BRINGS REWARDS
Solskjaer’s decision to start with a five-man backline while leaving out Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Paul Pogba might have had fans fearing the worst. However, their defence did indeed look solid, denying spaces for Spurs’ attackers while Wan-Bissaka was a constant threat upfield down the right. Fernandes was once again the creative hub of the side, playing major roles in the opening two goals. The strike partnership was spot on as Cavani and Ronaldo complemented each other supremely, knowing their roles and getting into dangerous positions.
3️⃣ Goals@MarcusRashford is back with a 💥 pic.twitter.com/JRTukYzcaE
— UtdDistrict (@UtdDistrict) October 30, 2021
Granted, Spurs did not pose too much danger in the final third which made things easier but after the week they had had last time, the Red Devils will take a win any which way. Rashford’s goal continued his good form as they move up to fifth in the standings and Solskjaer will be taking a lot of confidence into their upcoming Champions League clash.
SORRY SPURS NOT GOOD ENOUGH
It is really not a great time to be a Spurs fan right now. Watching your London rivals on the ascendancy as Nuno Santo’s team stays in a rut. Their play at home inspired no confidence that things were looking up. They could not register a single shot on target while Kane looked non-existent and woefully short of confidence. The midfield most often played amongst themselves while the defence was shaky at their job.
✅ Booing Nuno
✅ Booing his subs
✅ Singing ‘We want Nuno out’
✅ Booing Harry Kane
✅ Leaving early
It’s bad at Spurs. All the problems summed up in this 90 minutes #TOTMUN pic.twitter.com/ev5UJGRovm
— Tom Scholes (@_TomScholes) October 30, 2021
Spurs struggled to create clear cut opportunities with Son looking like the only person who wanted to make a difference. Even their substitutions made little impact under a cascade of jeers and booing from the home support. Nuno looked out of ideas and at no point during the match did they look like making or even attempting a comeback.
NUNO’S TIME COMING TO AN END?
Five wins, five losses. It has not been a great start to life for the former Wolves manager. Spurs had known that the team will take some time to gel under a new boss but results have not up to the mark. These kind of limp performances will not be tolerated by the fans for much longer while the players really look lost on the field. There seems to be no clear way of playing while the underperformance of several key stars has certainly not helped. Nuno’s job for now seems to go on for some time longer though it is getting harder to see him lasting the full season.