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United claim win at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium - match report and reaction

Spurs 0-3 Manchester United

Sat 30 October 2021, 19:25|Tottenham Hotspur

Manchester United left north London with maximum points on a disappointing evening at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday, thanks to goals from Cristiano Ronaldo, Edinson Cavani and Marcus Rashford.

A fairly even first half saw Heung-Min Son lift a shot over from close range, Cristian Romero have a goal disallowed for offside after touching home at a corner and Fred force Hugo Lloris into a smart save from the Brazilian’s 30-yard shot before the visitors went ahead on 39 minutes, Ronaldo on the end of a Bruno Fernandes cross to volley home.

United also had a goal ruled out for offside as a VAR check denied Ronaldo shortly after the break, but they doubled their lead 19 minutes into the second period when Cavani finished off a move created by Fernandes and Ronaldo.

We saw plenty of possession for the remainder of the game but failed to work David De Gea in the United goal and instead it was the visitors who added to their scoreline when two substitutes combined in the 86th minute, Nemanja Matic releasing Rashford and he beat Lloris with a smart finish.

Tough evening in N17

We made a bright enough start to the contest as we looked to bounce back quickly from last weekend’s defeat at West Ham, with United deploying a five-man defence in response to their heavy loss at home to Liverpool on the same day. It was the visitors with the first sight of goal on eight minutes, though, Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s ball into the box finding Cavani in space but his shot was blocked by Eric Dier.

We went close on 24 minutes, one of our best chances of the game as it turned out. Giovani Lo Celso’s free-kick hit the wall and we recycled the ball out on the left, Lucas clipping it over the United defence for Son, who controlled with his first touch but lifted the ball over the bar with his second. Moments later, Cavani headed a Fernandes cross just wide on a swift counter, while we had the ball in the net on 28 minutes as Romero touched home from close range after Dier’s header at a corner, but he was a yard offside.

Lloris was called upon in the 33rd minute, making an excellent save diving to his right to push away Fred’s 30-yard effort which swerved around in the air before United stole the lead six minutes before half-time. The ball pinged around on the edge of our area as we tried to keep the visitors out but when it fell to Fernandes 20 yards from goal, he delivered a cross to the back post which eluded Ben Davies and found Ronaldo, whose crisp volley beat Lloris.

The last chance of the half came our way, good work from Emerson Royal out on the right as he came inside and found Lo Celso but his rising drive just cleared the bar. We also had the first opportunity of the second period, just two minutes gone when De Gea’s goal-kick went straight to Lucas and we moved the ball onto Son whose right-foot shot curled just wide. Then it was United’s turn to have a goal chalked off, Ronaldo through on goal and finishing in some style but he was ruled offside after a VAR check.

There was no let-off in the 64th minute though when Fernandes won possession on half-way, laid off to Ronaldo who slid in Cavani and he clipped the ball over Lloris and in from 15 yards out. And that was pretty much it in terms of chances as United were quite happy to sit back and defend what they had, allowing us to have the ball in front of them and we found it difficult to find a way through. Instead, it was the visitors who added to the scoreline with four minutes left, Matic setting Rashford away and his right-footed effort curled inside the far post.

Team news saw Nuno Espirito Santo make four changes from the midweek win at Burnley in the Carabao Cup, Lloris, Dier, Lucas and Son coming in for Pierluigi Gollini, Davinson Sanchez, Bryan Gil and Steven Bergwijn. It was Davies' first league start of the season and saw him bring up his 150th Premier League appearance in our colours, while Kane was making his 350th Spurs appearance.

Reaction on Spurs TV

'We didn't recover the momentum'

“It was a very tough afternoon, very disappointing,” said Nuno after the game. “We didn’t perform as we wanted. I truly believe that we are better than what we showed today. We started the game well, didn’t really create much but had situations where we could have done better. We conceded a goal that we knew, a situation that United create after a second phase and, after that, we started the second half very badly. We didn’t recover the momentum of the game.”

Highlights on Spurs TV

Spurs 0-3 Manchester United

Spurs (4-2-3-1): Lloris (c), Royal, Dier, Romero, Davies, Skipp (Ndombele 66), Hojbjerg, Lo Celso (Dele 73), Lucas (Bergwijn 54), Son, Kane. Substitutes (not used): Gollini, Doherty, Tanganga, Rodon, Sanchez, Reguilon.

United (3-4-3): De Gea, Lindelof, Varane, Maguire (c), Wan-Bissaka, Fred, McTominay, Shaw, Fernandes (Matic 76), Cavani (Lingard 82), Ronaldo (Rashford 71). Substitutes (not used): Henderson, Bailly, Dalot, Van de Beek, Greenwood, Sancho.

Match data

Goals: Manchester United – Ronaldo 39, Cavani 64, Rashford 86.

Yellow cards: Spurs – Davies, Romero; Manchester United – Shaw, Maguire, Fred.

Referee: Stuart Attwell.

Venue: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Weather: Partly cloudy, moderate breeze, eight degrees.

Attendance: 60,356.