Sports Desk, Oct 30 (EFE).- Manchester United needed a big match from Cristiano Ronaldo on Saturday and the five-time Ballon d’Or winner responded with a goal and an assist to lead the Red Devils 3-0 over an uninspired Tottenham Hotspur.
With coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s position in jeopardy after a string of poor results culminating last weekend with a 5-0 humiliation at the hands of Liverpool, the 36-year-old Portugal international displayed the magic that made him a global star during his first stint in the Premier League with United in 2003-2009.
Spurs had the first chance when the ball came to Heung-min Son after a free kick, but United goalkeeper David De Gea was never tested as the South Korean striker fired over the cross-bar.
The London side appeared to go ahead in the 28th minute with Eric Dier’s header off a Son cross before the VAR review detected that Cristian Romero was offside.
The deadlock was broken in the 39th minute, when Ronaldo scored his 480th goal in club football with an assist from countryman Bruno Fernandes.
Cristiano thought he had goal No. 481 three minutes into the second half, but the offside flag was up and VAR confirmed the judgment of the linesman.
Ronaldo got the ball to Edinson Cavani alone in front of Lloris in the 64th and the Uruguayan scored to make it 2-0.
Marcus Rashford, who came on for Cristiano with 20 minutes left, added a third goal in the 88th and the hosts were booed off the pitch after the final whistle at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
United improved to 17 points and moved up to 5th place. Spurs are eighth on 15 points.
The other Manchester team did not fare as well on Saturday, losing 2-0 at the Etihad to Crystal Palace.
After putting Palace up with a goal in the 6th minute, Wilfried Zaha was on the verge of getting another in first-half stoppage time when City defender Aymeric Laporte brought him down with a desperate challenge.
The referee showed Laporte a red card for denial of a scoring opportunity and City had to play the entire second half with 10 men.
Gabriel Jesus brought the defending champions level in the 60th minute only to see the goal disallowed for an offside.
Conor Gallagher scored with two minutes left in regulation to seal the win for 13th-place Palace.
City, on 20 points, are third in the table, 2 points behind Liverpool and 5 behind Chelsea, 3-0 winners Saturday against Newcastle United.
Reece James had a brace for the Blues and Jorginho converted a penalty as the Magpies fell to 19th in the table.
Fresh off their triumph over Man United, Liverpool jumped out to a 2-0 advantage against Brighton & Hove Albion at Anfield and seemed poised to add to their total until Enock Mwepu clawed back a goal for the Seagulls in the 41st minute.
Leandro Trossard got the equalizer for the visitors in the 65th minute and the sides shared the points.
Brighton improved to 16 points, good enough for seventh place.