Edinson Cavani was superb as Manchester United came from behind to beat Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 on Sunday to solidify their chances of finishing second and cut Manchester City‘s Premier League lead to 11 points.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side thought they had taken the lead in the first half through Cavani, but a foul was given against Scott McTominay catching Son Heung-Min. To compound United’s woe, the South Korean forward opened the scoring minutes later.
Fred equalised, orchestrating a move and converting the rebound after Cavani’s shot was saved, and the Uruguayan eventually got his goal with a fine header from a cross by Mason Greenwood, who made the points safe in stoppage time after great work from Paul Pogba.
After a slow start, United performed brilliantly, grabbing the game by the scruff of the neck after the perceived injustice of Cavani’s disallowed goal. He was outstanding, while Pogba and Bruno Fernandes also combined well and defence was solid.
The build-up play was too slow in the first half, in part because there was not enough movement from the forwards. It will have been frustrating for Solskjaer to go a goal down so soon after a goal was disallowed.
Manager rating out of 10
9 — Solskjaer was visibly furious after seeing the goal ruled out, but whatever he said at half-time worked to calm and focus his players. His decision to bring on Greenwood also paid dividends as the teenager set up United’s second before scoring the third.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Dean Henderson, 8 — Decisive in his play and unafraid to come off his line to sweep up. Did well to stop Harry Kane’s second-half effort after having no chance to save Spurs’ goal.
DF Aaron Wan-Bissaka, 8 — Defensive performance was largely solid and the right-back got forward well in the second half to add an attacking threat, while pinning Sergio Reguilón back at times.
DF Victor Lindelof, 6 — Made a good header to deny Kane a certain chance early on, but got himself in a mess for Spurs’ goal. Did well to move the opposing defenders in the build-up to Cavani’s goal.
DF Harry Maguire, 7 — Usually did well when finding himself in a one-on-one battle with Kane and was booked for a foul on his England teammate the one time he was not.
DF Luke Shaw, 7 — Had a couple of moments where he tried to defend on the front foot when he might have been better holding his position. However, he was solid and got forward well yet again. Booked for a cynical foul on Lucas Moura.
MF Scott McTominay, 6 — Booked early for a poor challenge on Tanguy Ndombele, which slightly limited him, and his adjudged foul on Son resulted in Cavani’s goal being disallowed. But McTominay was batter in the second half and tested Hugo Lloris with an effort from range.
MF Fred, 8 — Showed a clinical edge to score the equaliser, having orchestrated the move that led to it. Displayed competitiveness in the midfield and defended well, though he was booked for a foul on Ndombele.
MF Paul Pogba, 9 — Made incisive passes that got Spurs’ defenders on the back foot and, while he arguably should have been more clinical when a chance came to him at 1-1, his work in the build-up to the third was masterful.
MF Bruno Fernandes, 7 — He was far from his best in the first half, but improved in the second and his flick in the build-up to the winner was delightful. Combined well with Pogba.
FW Marcus Rashford, 6 — Did well to track when Reguilon roamed up the pitch, but didn’t offer enough going forward and seemed to be limping at times. His best effort saw a shot blocked by Eric Dier.
FW Edinson Cavani, 9 — His movement in was superb and — eventually — it paid dividends. He took his disallowed goal superbly, his effort led to Fred levelling and then he did superbly to score the winner. Moments later, he denied Spurs an equaliser with a defensive header.
MF Mason Greenwood, NR — Replaced Rashford in the 72nd minute and came close soon after with an effort. His cross for Cavani’s goal was sublime and he topped that off with a great strike for his third goal in four games.
MF Nemanja Matic NR — Replaced Fernandes in the 90th minute and was composed in his play to help United see out the game.