Cristiano Ronaldo provided a goal and assist to help Manchester United pick up their first Premier League win in five games and ease pressure on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
The Red Devils were without a win from their last four league matches and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was seemingly walking the plank following their 5-0 humiliation at the hands of Liverpool last weekend.
But United gave their gaffer – who made a bold change of formation after a week of relentless talk of the sack s- the response he demanded, while Spurs continued their poor form.
Ronaldo broke the deadline shortly before half-time, coolly volleying in a cute over-the-top pass from Bruno Fernandes.
The result heaped further pressure on Tottenham boss Nuno Espirito Santo.
Here are five talking points from the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
1. New role, old Shaw
The match’s first headline came well before kick-off as Solskjaer switched his side to a 3-5-2 formation.
And the 26-year-old looked back to his best in an attacking sense, creating one chance and making one key pass in the first half.
Shaw’s second half was focussed on defending and the former Southampton starlet helped his side to just their second clean sheet of the season.
2. Ronald avoids unwanted record
Heading into the game, Ronaldo was facing his longest league goal drought for over a decade.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner last went five domestic outings without scoring between November 2008 and January 2009 (nine games) during his first spell at United, with the trip to London 12 years later coming after four blanks in the Premier League,
And he ensured history wouldn’t repeat itself in the 39th minute, dispatching a wonderful Fernandes pass at the back post thanks to his smart run.
The volley was Ronaldo’s 11th goal in 19 games against Tottenham, including six in his last six.
3. Nuno not popular
Less than 10 minutes into the second half, Nuno had seen enough and made a change – but not the one supporters wanted.
He swapped the popular Lucas Moura, Shaw’s man, for Steven Bergwijn, a substitution that prompted a swarm of boos in north London from fans.
Up until Lucas was hooked, the 29-year-old had completed the most dribbles in the match, a highly commendable five.
Bergwijn struggles to justify the alteration as Spurs limped to another loss.
4. Cavani makes his mark
Another call from Solskjaer was to hand Cavani just his second Premier League start of the season.
And just over an hour in, the Uruguayan repaid his manager’s faith by doubling the Red Devils’ lead.
Fernandes and Ronaldo worked well to fashion the chance, with latter chopping inside and playing Cavani through to dink the ball over Hugo Lloris in front of the ecstatic away section.
Should Cavani start more regularly for Man Utd? Comment your thoughts below.
5. Terrible Tottenham
Although the story building up to the match was surrounding Solskjaer’s future, Nuno is under increasing scrutiny from the White Hart Lane faithful and the 90 minutes did him no favours.
Spurs failed to register a single shot on target as they blazed nine wide of the mark and were jeered off – by those who stayed – down the tunnel.