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Friday, December 03, 2021

Relief for Solskjaer, boos for Nuno as Man U beats Tottenham

It was the strike force with a combined age of 70 that scored the first two goals before Marcus Rashford came off the bench and sealed a 3-0 win on Saturday with a curling strike.

By: AP |
Updated: October 31, 2021 8:02:42 am
Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo, center right, celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

In the end all the boos were for Nuno Espirito Santo as Tottenham fans chanted: “You don’t know what you’re doing.”

Joy had returned for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Manchester United, for now at least.

After collecting one point from four games, Solskjaer’s changes worked — going to a three-man defense and starting Edinson Cavani up front with Cristiano Ronaldo.

It was the strike force with a combined age of 70 that scored the first two goals before Marcus Rashford came off the bench and sealed a 3-0 win on Saturday with a curling strike.

It helped that United faced a side that gifted space in defense and couldn’t manage a single shot on target — the first time that’s happened for Tottenham in a home league game since 2013 — on a woeful night for striker Harry Kane.

It leaves Nuno with five losses from his first 10 league matches in charge, a far cry from the team that had four consecutive top-four Champions League finishes from 2016 to 2019 under Mauricio Pochettino.

The chants against Nuno when Lucas Moura was taken off in the second half were followed later by “We want Levy out”. It’s more likely there is managerial change rather than chairman Daniel Levy leaving.

Solskjaer vindicated the decision for United to stick with him following last Sunday’s 5-0 humiliation to Liverpool but tougher tests could be ahead in the next week — with a Champions League trip to Atalanta and a home match on Saturday against Manchester City.

With City surprisingly being held 2-2 by Brighton on Saturday, the defending champions remain in third place — with United now only three points behind in fifth. Tottenham is two points further adrift in eighth place.

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