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Manchester United vs Tottenham, Cristiano Ronaldo, latest, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, scores, news, results, reaction

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Cristiano Ronaldo finally opened up on Manchester United’s ‘tough week’ after scoring and assisting in a 3-0 win over Tottenham as the Red Devils rebounded from a humiliating 5-0 defeat to Liverpool.

Coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s job was in serious doubt following the thrashing at Old Trafford, before turning things around with a pair of key tactical changes. The first was pairing Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani up front together for the first time. The duo, with a combined age of 70, both scored.

And Ronaldo delivered a blunt message to critics after an ‘unbelievable performance’, saying he’s used to the criticism and that he ‘knew that we would answer’ after the Liverpool drubbing.

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“We knew before the game that we had a tough week,” Ronaldo told Sky Sports.

“We had results that we didn’t expect, the team was under pressure and a little bit sad, but we knew today that we would answer. We played good. My job is to help the team with my experience, goals, assists and I did today – feel so pleased for that.

“In terms of the team, it was an unbelievable performance. I hope this time we changed the page. It’s not only the coach that many people point out, it’s the players as well. I believe that something happened for a reason and we have to be happy this afternoon.

“It’s normal [criticism], the club is so big. The criticism is so big, it is always there. It doesn’t bother me, I know that one day we are perfect and another day we are crap. Sometimes life is like that and we have to pass through the bad moments.”

Solskjaer didn’t shy away from the hurt of last weekend’s record home defeat to their bitter rivals.

“That’s always going to be in the history books – one of the darkest days. A dark spot on our CV,” added Solskjaer.

“We’ve got a hard week again. Champions League game then (Manchester) City. We’ve got to digest this one and be ready for Tuesday (against Atalanta).”

A switch to a back three, aided by the return of Raphael Varane from injury, also helped Solskjaer’s men register just a second clean sheet in 22 games.

“We’ve built this performance on hard work, discipline and keeping the ball away from our goal,” said Solskjaer.

“We worked on this this week. The boys were brilliant, they took it on board. “Raphael Varane is a top player. He reads the game well. He’s quick and so experienced. To get him back is massive for us.”

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The signings of Ronaldo, Varane and Jadon Sancho were expected to turn United into title challengers this season.

Instead, they are eight points adrift of Premier League leaders Chelsea after 10 games, but did move up to fifth thanks to a first league win in five games.

The impact of Ronaldo’s arrival on the balance of the team has been questioned. But there is little doubting the five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s finishing as he volleyed in his seventh goal in 11 games since returning to the club, to settle United’s nerves.

Ronaldo then turned provider for Cavani to double United’s lead with a deft chip over Hugo Lloris in the second period.

“The experience came through,” said Solskjaer. “I was told that’s the oldest team I’ve picked for Man Utd and it was time for it.

“I’ve been here three years and Tuesday’s training performance by Edinson Cavani was the best training performance anyone has put in here.

“They played well together, they have loads of respect for each other. We have loads of talented players but they have to learn from those two. The work rate they put in, the quality they put in is second to none.”

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