Ole Gunnar Solskjær hailed his side’s performance after Manchester United eased the pressure on their manager with a clinical 3-0 victory against Tottenham.
Goals from Cristiano Ronaldo, Edinson Cavani and Marcus Rashford saw United bounce back from their 5-0 defeat to Liverpool and earn Solskjær some breathing space. The manager was in danger of being sacked after the humiliation last Sunday and he was a relieved man after his switch to a 3-4-1-2 system proved inspired at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
“Every game when you win you’re so happy,” Solskjær said. “We’ve come in on Tuesday morning and worked really hard this week on tactics and mentality and getting everyone ready for this difficult game. We’ve put a shift in but it’s been pleasing to work with the players. You almost have to have been in a dressing room to know the difference between winning and losing.
“I’ve stayed away from most of the noise. You know what’s happening out there. You know you have to put a performance out. Every time you lose a game it’s the worst feeling. You just want the next game. We needed a week to put in this performance. It was important to work on fitness, mentality and we changed the tactics. It’s nice to have four days to do that.”
United, who moved up to fifth, were excellent. Solskjær was rewarded after bringing in Cavani as a partner for Ronaldo, who opened the scoring with a stunning volley. “Both have led the line really well,” Solskjær said.
“That’s something we might do in the next game, it’s something that worked tonight, that’s for sure. Both have been really good. Tuesday morning’s training session by Edinson is probably the best I’ve seen from an individual since I’ve been here. The two of them were told early on they’d play up front as a two. They’ve been like two peas in a pod.”
United visit Atalanta in the Champions League on Tuesday and host Manchester City next Saturday. Solskjær will need the improvement to last. “The performance was really good from the start,” he said. “It was great to go over to the fans to celebrate.
“The club is so big and the criticism is always there. For me, it doesn’t bother me because I played 18 years in football so I know that one day is perfect and another day we are crap. I know that and we have to deal with that.”
It was a deflating evening for Spurs, who did not manage a shot on target. Their manager, Nuno Espírito Santo, was jeered after replacing Lucas Moura with Steven Bergwijn in the second half and the Spurs fans also called for the chairman, Daniel Levy, to go.
Nuno is under pressure after only 10 league games in charge, with Spurs slipping to eighth place after a second successive defeat, but the former Wolves manager vowed to turn his side’s fortunes around.
“It’s frustrating,” Nuno said. “The expectation for this game was for a good performance. I am only thinking about the next training session. The booing from the fans is understandable. It’s up to us to change the mood.”