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Manchester United 3-2 Tottenham Hotspur: Cristiano Ronaldo scores hat-trick in thriller

By Simon StoneBBC Sport at Old Trafford
Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo quadrupled his goal tally for 2022

Cristiano Ronaldo scored his first Manchester United hat-trick in 14 years as Tottenham were defeated in a thrilling encounter at Old Trafford.

The brilliant Portuguese put United ahead twice before heading home the winner from Alex Telles' corner nine minutes from time, the 807th goal of his career.

Tottenham twice responded to Ronaldo's efforts, through a Harry Kane penalty and a Harry Maguire own goal.

But it was Ronaldo who had the final word, completing his first United treble since January 2008, in a 6-0 win over Newcastle.

The result was a major confidence boost for United before Tuesday's Champions League last-16 second leg against Atletico Madrid.

It also moves them back into the top four and keeps Tottenham in seventh, although Arsenal - two points behind in fifth - remain favourites to clinch the final Champions League berth as they have four games in hand.

There were reports that Ronaldo is now the Fifa-recognised all-time top goalscorer, surpassing Josef Bican's 805 goals but there are doubts about the Czech-Austrian's figure - which includes reserve games.

Man Utd 3-2 Spurs: Ronaldo is never a problem - Pogba

The Ronaldo show

The debate around Ronaldo's value to this United team has been going on from the moment their season started to unravel barely a couple of weeks after his much-heralded return.

At 37, it is clear his best days are behind him.

Yet he remains capable of such moments of brilliance that it is hard to see how this present squad would benefit from him not being there.

His opener was a prime example.

Fred's deft flick to the side helped considerably but Ronaldo's two precise touches teed up the right-footed shot that flew over Hugo Lloris and into the top corner.

The second was further evidence of Ronaldo's ability to exploit weakness. He timed his run to perfection as Jadon Sancho made the most of Sergio Reguilon's struggles within the Tottenham defensive line to deliver the low cross that his vastly experienced team-mate turned home with ease.

And if anyone was likely to get a winner, it was United's number seven.

When he did, Ronaldo was immediately replaced to a standing ovation that was totally deserved.

LWLWLWL - Tottenham's consistent inconsistency

Tottenham's season was summed up by Antonio Conte's reaction to what he thought was a first-half equaliser from Ben Davies.

As the ball hit the net, there was wild celebration. Then the assistant's flag went up and Conte was stopped in his tracks.

Tottenham's past seven results have alternated between wins and defeats - with three victories punctuating four losses. And their tendency to wobble let them down again here.

Having gone behind, they worked their way back into the game once - and there was never much doubt Kane would drive home the spot-kick after Telles had handled in the area. But the manner in which they went 2-1 down three minutes later highlighted obvious deficiencies, with Reguilon switching off on the far side of the pitch.

Tottenham then got back into the game a second time, and deserved to, even if Maguire scored for them.

But such is Spurs' inconsistency, few would believe they can genuinely overhaul Arsenal to seal a top four berth even if, mathematically, they still have a better chance of doing so than United.

Ronaldo hat-trick 'his best performance' - Rangnick

Player of the match

Cristiano RonaldoCristiano Ronaldo

with an average of 8.65

Manchester United

  1. Squad number7Player nameCristiano Ronaldo
    Average rating

    8.65

  2. Squad number25Player nameSancho
    Average rating

    7.22

  3. Squad number1Player namede Gea
    Average rating

    6.55

  4. Squad number17Player nameFred
    Average rating

    6.52

  5. Squad number19Player nameVarane
    Average rating

    6.39

  6. Squad number21Player nameCavani
    Average rating

    6.22

  7. Squad number36Player nameElanga
    Average rating

    6.16

  8. Squad number20Player nameDiogo Dalot
    Average rating

    6.12

  9. Squad number27Player nameAlex Telles
    Average rating

    5.97

  10. Squad number2Player nameLindelöf
    Average rating

    5.82

  11. Squad number31Player nameMatic
    Average rating

    5.76

  12. Squad number6Player namePogba
    Average rating

    5.61

  13. Squad number10Player nameRashford
    Average rating

    5.26

  14. Squad number5Player nameMaguire
    Average rating

    3.56

Tottenham Hotspur

  1. Squad number7Player nameSon Heung-Min
    Average rating

    5.64

  2. Squad number10Player nameKane
    Average rating

    5.62

  3. Squad number21Player nameKulusevski
    Average rating

    5.62

  4. Squad number1Player nameLloris
    Average rating

    5.03

  5. Squad number30Player nameBentancur
    Average rating

    4.90

  6. Squad number3Player nameReguilón
    Average rating

    4.82

  7. Squad number2Player nameDoherty
    Average rating

    4.75

  8. Squad number33Player nameDavies
    Average rating

    4.73

  9. Squad number4Player nameRomero
    Average rating

    4.73

  10. Squad number15Player nameDier
    Average rating

    4.65

  11. Squad number27Player nameLucas Moura
    Average rating

    4.62

  12. Squad number5Player nameHøjbjerg
    Average rating

    4.40

  13. Squad number23Player nameBergwijn
    Average rating

    4.11

  14. Squad number8Player nameWinks
    Average rating

    4.05

Line-ups

Man Utd

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1de Gea
  • 20Dalot
  • 19Varane
  • 5Maguire
  • 27Telles
  • 31MaticSubstituted forCavaniat 80'minutes
  • 17FredBooked at 34mins
  • 10RashfordSubstituted forElangaat 68'minutes
  • 6PogbaBooked at 85mins
  • 25Sancho
  • 7Cristiano RonaldoSubstituted forLindelöfat 83'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Lindelöf
  • 3Bailly
  • 4Jones
  • 8Mata
  • 14Lingard
  • 21Cavani
  • 26Henderson
  • 29Wan-Bissaka
  • 36Elanga

Tottenham

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 1Lloris
  • 4Romero
  • 15DierBooked at 30mins
  • 33DaviesSubstituted forBergwijnat 87'minutes
  • 2Doherty
  • 30BentancurSubstituted forWinksat 88'minutes
  • 5Højbjerg
  • 3Reguilón
  • 21KulusevskiSubstituted forLucas Mouraat 78'minutes
  • 7Son Heung-Min
  • 10Kane

Substitutes

  • 6D Sánchez
  • 8Winks
  • 12Emerson Royal
  • 14Rodon
  • 22Gollini
  • 23Bergwijn
  • 27Lucas Moura
  • 42White
  • 44Scarlett
Referee:
Jonathan Moss
Attendance:
73,458

Match Stats

Home TeamMan UtdAway TeamTottenham
Possession
Home43%
Away57%
Shots
Home10
Away10
Shots on Target
Home6
Away3
Corners
Home4
Away5
Fouls
Home8
Away7

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Manchester United 3, Tottenham Hotspur 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Manchester United 3, Tottenham Hotspur 2.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Harry Winks (Tottenham Hotspur).

  4. Post update

    Paul Pogba (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Substitution

    Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Harry Winks replaces Rodrigo Bentancur.

  6. Substitution

    Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Steven Bergwijn replaces Ben Davies.

  7. Booking

    Paul Pogba (Manchester United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  8. Post update

    Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Paul Pogba (Manchester United).

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Manchester United. Victor Lindelöf replaces Cristiano Ronaldo.

  11. Goal!

    Goal! Manchester United 3, Tottenham Hotspur 2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United) header from the centre of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Alex Telles with a cross following a corner.

  12. Post update

    Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Sergio Reguilón.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Manchester United. Edinson Cavani replaces Nemanja Matic.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Lucas Moura replaces Dejan Kulusevski.

  15. Post update

    Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Alex Telles (Manchester United).

  17. Post update

    Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Hugo Lloris.

  18. Post update

    Attempt saved. Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Jadon Sancho.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Rodrigo Bentancur (Tottenham Hotspur).

  20. Post update

    Anthony Elanga (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

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