Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer claimed that midfielder Scott McTominay was ‘unplayable’ during their 3-0 triumph over Tottenham on Saturday afternoon.
The pressure was on to produce a performance after last weekend’s 5-0 mauling by Liverpool, and McTominay was central to United’s success in north London.
While the Scotsman got on with the dirty work in midfield, Cristiano Ronaldo took care of stealing the headlines as a stunning volley opened the scoring.
Strike partner Edinson Cavani then got in on the action with a deft chip, before Marcus Rashford came off the bench to produce a composed finish.
Although Solskjaer fielded an unfamiliar five-at-the-back formation, McTominay battled hard in midfield to shut Tottenham out.
Manager Nuno Espirito Santo has come under renewed pressure due to the nature of Spurs’ performance, with the likes of Harry Kane effectively absent for the full 90 minutes.
When quizzed on how United benefitted from the change of system, Solskjaer claimed: “Solidity, we got experience together with Cristiano [Ronaldo] and Edinson [Cavani].
“We got more control and we probably got a man of the match performance from Scott McTominay.
“I thought he was outstanding out there and, for me, unplayable.”
It is a bold claim made by the United boss, but one which McTominay will surely relish amid speculation that the Red Devils are keen to bolster their defensive midfield options.
If true, that would put either himself or Fred at risk, and his impressive showing at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium should go some way to making sure his spot is safe.
Solskjaer fielded an experienced side on Saturday to try and grind out a result after Liverpool’s massacre at Old Trafford had prompted fierce scrutiny.
That move seemed to pay dividends, and a new strike partnership involving Cavani and Ronaldo could be something for United fans to look forward to over the coming weeks.
Having found a winning recipe, at least briefly, the Norwegian may have shaken off rumours linking Antonio Conte and Zinedine Zidane to the United hotseat.
With tough fixtures against Atalanta and Manchester City just around the corner, however, the Red Devils are by no means out of the woods yet.
Still, Solskjaer found enough reason to reflect positively after the game.
“The old men led from the front. They [Cavani and Ronaldo] played well together and have loads of respect for each other,” he said.
“I was told that’s the oldest team I’ve picked for Man Utd and it was time for it.”