Manchester United came away with the crucial three points against Tottenham Hotspur in yesterday’s Premier League clash at Old Trafford.
Cristiano Ronaldo captured the headlines with a scintillating hat trick, bringing back memories of 2008.
United were not at their best by any means but did enough to put away a resilient Spurs side. Despite surrendering the majority of the possession, United were not tested defensively.
Both the goals they conceded had an element of luck to them, and the team as a whole did well to keep Spurs at bay.
Let us look at some of the key highlights of the match.
Nemanja Matic and Fred provided a good balance to United’s midfield. Fred particularly had an amazing game and was instrumental in many of United’s attacking and defensive actions throughout the match.
In his post-match interview, Ralf Rangnick praised the Brazilian: “He’s [Fred] probably, with Scott McTominay, one of the best ball-winners if the other team is in possession. He also showed in quite a few counter-attacks and transitional moments he can play perfect balls, he gave the assist for the first goal to Cristiano.”
Rangnick: "He's [Fred] probably, with Scott McTominay, one of the best ball-winners if the other team is in possession. He also showed in quite a few counter-attacks and transitional moments he can play perfect balls, he gave the assist for the first goal to Cristiano." #mulive
— utdreport (@utdreport) March 13, 2022
Fred is tenacious here, maybe even too much but he wins possession after a couple of rebounds. He then plays the initial outlet to Ronaldo, shows himself around his man and then plays a progressive pass to Sancho.
Impact on both sides of the game: defence and offence. pic.twitter.com/XSrJpYPRZG
— UtdArena (@UtdArena) March 13, 2022
On the other hand, Matic’s value to this team shouldn’t go unnoticed.
The Serbian is the only natural defensive midfielder at the club and his ability to seamlessly break opposition lines benefits United when attacking.
In my opinion, the two should be starting in almost every game for the remainder of the season.
Jadon Sancho has arrived
Jadon Sancho once again proved to be United’s main creative threat and linked beautifully with Alex Telles on the left flank.
He has a knack for attracting opposition defenders, which creates space for his teammates to run into – similar to Anthony Martial.
The 21 year old is extremely intelligent in and around the final third, playing the correct pass almost every single time.
Ronaldo’s second goal was a prime example of his quality. He timed his run to perfection layed it off beautifully for Ronaldo to finish.
All in all an entertaining game at Old Trafford which would give Rangnick’s side some confidence before the Champions League knockout clash against Atletico Madrid on Tuesday.