Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hailed the performance of midfielder Scott McTominay in the 3-0 win at Tottenham.
The 24-year-old Scotland international put in a commanding performance in the middle of the park as United posted the perfect response to last week’s humiliation at home to Liverpool.
McTominay spent time out of the team earlier in the season with a groin issue but looked back to his best against Spurs.
“Man of the match for me, by a mile,” Solskjaer said of his performance. “That’s the Scott we’ve seen a few times before. He’s had his injury, operation this season but today I thought he was absolutely brilliant, won his tackles, drove forward, kept the ball simple, switched play, headed away set-plays. Absolute top.”
It was an easy victory for United in north London as goals from Cristiano Ronaldo, Edinson Cavani and Marcus Rashford eased the pressure on Solskjaer.
Rashford, who came off the bench to score with an accomplished finish in the final 10 minutes, said that it took a couple of days for United to get over events at Old Trafford last week, but that they were deserving of their win.
“It was a difficult week,” Rashford told the club’s official website.
“The only way to respond is to win the game and get three points. I thought we did that well today but also the way that we executed the manager’s plans was really top.
“We were always connected throughout the game, even when it got a little bit stretched towards the end, we stayed tight as a unit and made it difficult to score against us.
“Against a team with as many quality players as these have, you have to be switched on at all times and I thought the lads at the back did exactly that, and the midfielders put a shift in, the forwards scored the goals.
“It’s a little bit unusual for us not having a midweek game, but I think we used it terrifically.
“We had to clear our heads from a terrible result against Liverpool and sometimes that can take a couple of days itself, and just focus throughout the week on playing against Tottenham and getting the three points, so I think we got what we deserved today.
“I think it was a confident performance, we defended well, we were compact, we were tight. The main thing was that we were all together on the pitch.”
While the pressure eased on Solskjaer, it turned right up on Spurs counterpart Nuno Espirito Santo, who faced chants of ‘You don’t know what you’re doing’ from unhappy Tottenham fans.
Spurs could have moved into the top four with a win, but five wins and five losses from their opening 10 games show they lack the consistency to be real contenders for Champions League qualifications.
Style is also a problem as they have now failed to have a shot on target in two hours and 16 minutes of Premier League action.
“It’s frustrating, disappointed,” Nuno said. “The expectation for this game was good. We wanted to perform well to try and do better.
“You can have the right message, the right idea and things don’t go [to plan]. It’s not because of the message or understanding of the message.
“It’s the game of football. We started well, we had the ball and didn’t hurt too much.
“We had a goal that was not [allowed]. We conceded in a situation that we knew could happen and lost the momentum. Second half, we go again with the message, but it is what happens on the pitch.”