There’s no doubt about it, Manchester United desperately needed a win at Tottenham on Saturday evening.
After last week’s 5-0 humiliation against Liverpool, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was left clinging onto his job.
He responded by naming a three-man defence as the Red Devils went to Spurs cautiously.
However, Solskjaer did name a front two of Edinson Cavani and Cristiano Ronaldo. Two players towards the end of their career but who know exactly where the back of the net is.
And minutes before half-time, Ronaldo found it.
It was a cagey opening 38 minutes to the match and Spurs were probably the better side.
But all it took was one moment of brilliance from Ronaldo.
Bruno Fernandes clipped a beautiful cross towards the back post as Ronaldo peeled off. He connected with a brilliant volley that beat Hugo Lloris.
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The brilliant volley gave United a 1-0 lead at half-time and helped ease the pressure on Solskjaer.
Before the game, Solskajer explained his decision making which saw a change of formation.
“We’ve put a few more experienced players in there,” Solskjaer told Sky Sports.
“We need to have that experience and a solid foundation to perform from. That’s the main thing.
“We need to control the game with and without the ball. With the ball, if you have players in different positions then we need to use the full width of the pitch. That’s the full-backs/wing-backs responsibility now.
“We’ve got players like Cristiano and Edinson on the pitch together and that’s two players that you want in the box together, so we need to provide them with crosses.”