Man Utd 3-2 Tottenham: Five things you might have missed as Tom Brady watches on & Fred impresses
Manchester United earned a massive three points as they continue their chase for the top four.
Manchester United’s 3-2 victory over Tottenham Hotspur could prove to be a huge moment in the race for the final Champions League spot.
It was a game that was decided by Cristiano Ronaldo’s brilliance, as the Portugal superstar netted a hat-trick and became the highest goalscorer in world football as he netted his 807th career strike.
It was an entertaining affair for long spells, although the start of the second period did dip. While Ronaldo will dominate the headlines, there were plenty of other stories at Old Trafford which may have passed you by.
A number of famous faces from the world of showbiz and sport were spotted in the stands on Saturday, including Lee Mack, Michael McIntyre and England manager Gareth Southgate.
But certainly the man who drew the most attention was former NFL quarter-back Tom Brady, who tweeted before the game that he wanted to see Ronaldo and Harry Kane both score. He got his wish as the two strikers found the back of the net, and the presence of a bona-fide sporting legend caused a real stir online.
Brady also emerged after the match and walked on the Old Trafford pitch, before meeting United’s players.
Fred was phenomenal in the win over Spurs, perhaps his best showing in a United shirt to date.
The midfielder was everywhere, blocking Tottenham passes, driving forward with the ball and even nutmegging Rodrigo Bentancur in the second half.
Fred also produced an assist for Ronaldo’s opener after 12 minutes when he flicked the ball into the striker’s path. That was Fred’s fourth assist of the campaign, an impressive number for a player whose main skill set comes from working back and stopping the opposition.
United honour Frank O’Farrell
Former United manager Frank O’Farrell sadly passed away this week, something the club honoured before the game.
The club’s announcer passed on their condolences to O’Farrell’s family in a pre-match message, although there was no minute’s silence or black armbands.
Pogba’s new look
It’s not the first time Paul Pogba’s haircut has caused a few turned heads at United, and fans have become used to his flamboyant, colourful styles.
However, his latest cut, which debuted on Saturday, is strikingly different. The French midfielder has completely shaved his head and it’s a striking contrast from the looks he has donned in recent years.
How the table looks
Most importantly from United’s point of view, that win moved them back into fourth place and above Arsenal by two points, although the Gunners now have four games in hand.
They’ll actually play three times before United are next in action in the league, with a clash against Leicester City on Sunday, before Liverpool travel to the Emirates on Wednesday, and then Mikel Arteta’s men face a trip to Villa Park on 19 March, a weekend when United’s game is called off due to the FA Cup.
The Red Devils actually don’t play again in the league until 2 April due to the international break and FA Cup pause.
As for Spurs, United are now five points ahead of them in the league, but have played two games more. Crucially, Saturday’s victory means Tottenham would have to win both games in hand if they’re to go above United.
The London club will play those two games in hand before United are next in league action. Spurs travel to Brighton on Wednesday and then host West Ham United on 20 March.