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Ole’s ‘last try unlocked a winning formula for the red’s

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Man Utd’s 3-4-1-2 formation proved to be a winning system at Tottenham, with Cristiano Ronaldo, Edinson Cavani and Marcus Rashford firing them to a 3-0 win; Gary Neville analyses why it worked so well for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.

By full-time, it seemed as though the under-pressure United manager had come up with a winning formula, which covered for his team’s weaknesses and enhanced their strengths.

For the second, Fernandes was again key, winning the ball back off Oliver Skipp. But from there it was the link-up between Ronaldo and Cavani which tore Spurs apart.

“We’ve seen two really special goals from Man Utd. Cavani deserved that goal but he can owe it to his team-mate and strike partner Cristiano Ronaldo.

Behind that front three, United – with more bodies in defence – formed a much tighter unit than they had against Liverpool. The yawning holes in their backline that their rivals exploited last weekend were nowhere to be seen on Saturd

Raphael Varane made more clearances than any player on the pitch in Man Utd's win at Tottenham
Image:Raphael Varane made more clearances than any player on the pitch in Man Utd’s win at Tottenham

That may be indicative of their own attacking problems – and the unrest among the Spurs supporters was a reminder of the mounting pressure on Nuno Espirito Santo, too – but it was also comfort for a United defence which had been scorched less than a week ago.

“Varane has made a massive difference at the back. You can talk about the change in system but he’s brought massive composure to that back three,” said Neville.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gestures to fans at full time

Next they go to Atalanta in the Champions League and then they host Manchester City on Saturday lunchtime.

“It’s a massive week for Solskjaer and he’s started if off just how he would have wanted,” said Neville after Marcus Rashford made it 3-0

His response was to overhaul the set-up.

Solskjaer went to a three-man defence, with the fit-again Raphael Varane in alongside Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof. Defensive midfielders Scott McTominay and Fred remained in the centre of the park, with Edinson Cavani forming a front two with Cristiano Ronaldo, with Bruno Fernandes just behind

Cavani deserved that goal but he can owe it to his team-mate and strike partner Cristiano Ronaldo.

“It’s a massive week for Solskjaer and he’s started if off just how he would have wanted,” said Neville after Marcus Rashford made it 3-0.”It gives Manchester United and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a little bit of breathing space before the Champions League game.

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