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Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur Match Report

A vintage performance from Cristiano Ronaldo saw him score a 59th career hattrick as Manchester United beat top four challengers Tottenham 3-2 at Old Trafford.

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The opening ten minutes featured little to no action as both sides looked to settle into the match but on 12 minutes, Ronaldo produced a piece of brilliance – picking up the ball 35 yards out and arrowing the ball beyond Hugo Lloris.

United’s 1-0 lead didn’t look like it would last long when Ben Davies had the ball in the net but he was adjudged to be offside by the assistant referee just six minutes after Ronaldo’s stunning opener. 

Spurs found the equaliser in the 35th minute when Harry Kane converted from the penalty spot. The penalty was awarded after Alex Telles handled the ball following a cross from Dejan Kulusevski. Although David De Gea guessed correctly, he could do nothing to prevent Kane from equalling Frank Lampard’s goal scoring feet of 177 goals.

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United struggled to deal with Spurs’ 3-4-2-1 formation with wing backs Sergio Reguilon and Matt Doherty being afforded far too much space down the flanks.

However, in the 38th minute Jadon Sancho was played through by Nemanja Matic and the 21-year-old laid the ball across the goal to Ronaldo who tapped in to score his second of the game.

The Reds headed into the half time interval with a 2-1 advantage even though they had been far from convincing and were still showing the same defensive fragility that saw them ship four goals last weekend against Manchester City.

It was the same old story for Ralf Rangnick and his players when Spurs levelled for a second time – United had failed to hold on to yet another half time lead. Reguilon’s low driven cross was turned into the United net by Harry Maguire who’s troubles continued. Spurs had brought it back to 2-2 with 15 minutes left to play and looked the more threatening side.

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Although the visitors looked the more likely side to find a winner, Ronaldo had other ideas and when Telles whipped in a corner in the 81st minute, there was only one outcome and the greatest goalscorer in the history of the game lept above the rest and nodded the ball into the top corner to hand the hosts a 3-2 lead.

Rangnick decided to switch to a more defensive formation when he brought Victor Lindelof on for starman Ronaldo. The aim was to see out the 3-2 lead and bring home all three points in what could prove to be a decisive result in the race for the top four.

When referee John Moss blew his whistle for full time, it was a picture of relief amongst the United players that had managed to beat Spurs 3-2. The win puts United back into fourth but only two points clear of Arsenal who have four games in hand over the Red Devils.

As for Spurs, they stay in seventh and sit five points behind United. Spurs’ next fixture is Brighton & Hove Albion at the AMEX on March 16.

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