Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took a significant step to saving his job as his Manchester United side beat Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Goals from the strike partnership of Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani and substitute Marcus Rashford were enough to put the home side to the sword, as pressure mounts on Nuno Espirito Santo.
In a game previewed as ‘El Sackico’ due to the precarious positions of both managers’ futures, quality was lacking from either side where persistent fouling and poor possession play marred the rhythm of the game.
Talismanic Portuguese Ronaldo popped up at the back post on 39 minutes, volleying sublimely past Hugo Lloris a delightful cross from his compatriot Bruno Fernandes.
The second goal would stem from a defensive error from the hosts, with Oliver Skipp losing possession in his own half, caught by Fernandes, and Ronaldo had the awareness to chop inside of the desperate Spurs midfielder, setting up his experienced Uruguayan team-mate, and the former Napoli and Paris Saint-Germain striker dinked over Lloris with aplomb.
Fred had gone close with a drive from range, stinging the palms of Tottenham’s French goalkeeper, but the hosts did not seem to threaten United’s more compact defensive unit, as the returning Raphael Varane marshalled Harry Kane expertly, using his experience to its maximum as the Red Devils saw out the win.
The scoring wasn’t over for the revitalised reds as Rashford heaped more misery on the sullen Spurs supporters, tucking away a Nemanja Matic through ball which carved the home defence wide open.
The 3-5-2 shape adopted by the United boss was bold – desperate some claimed – but it turned out to be a stroke of genius as United were hardly troubled by their feeble opponents, who were equally feeling the pressure riding on the fixture.
Spurs were woeful, United weren’t great, but the result is the most important thing: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is still alive.