Edinson Cavani and Cristiano Ronaldo

Ole: Cavani and Ronaldo led by example

Sunday 31 October 2021 13:45

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has praised the way in which Edinson Cavani and Cristiano Ronaldo led the line for Manchester United against Tottenham Hotspur.

The pair started together for the first time since becoming team-mates in the summer, lining up alongside each other up front in the 3-0 win at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Both forwards got on the scoresheet in the victory in north London and appeared to link up well throughout their time on the pitch, with Ronaldo most notably teeing up Cavani for the second goal of the match. 

The duo are now two of the Premier League’s three most senior strikers to start a match this season at 36 (Ronaldo) and 34 (Cavani) and Solskjaer was impressed with how they showed their experience, both in the game, and in the week leading up to the fixture in the capital. 

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“They’re fit lads and of course their experience came through,” Solskjaer told reporters in his post-match press conference. 

“I thought both of them have led the line really well this week - all week from training Tuesday morning till tonight (Saturday) and that’s something we might do later, something we might do the next game. 

“It’s something that worked tonight that’s for sure.”
Asked further about Cavani and Ronaldo’s partnership, the boss gave a fascinating insight into the pair’s work behind the scenes at Carrington this week.

“Both of them have been really, really good. 

“I think Tuesday morning’s training session by Edinson Cavani is probably the best I’ve seen by an individual since I’ve come here and he led the line, he went as a good example for everyone how to go about changing the mood, changing the performance and the two of them, they were told early on they were going to play up front as a two and they’ve been like two peas in a pod.

“They’ve been really close, and it worked today. Two excellent goals by the two of them.”
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A player the front two were able to link up with frequently in Solskjaer’s three-at-the-back system against Tottenham was Bruno Fernandes, who occupied a creative role behind the strikers. 

Fernandes set up Ronaldo’s superb opener in the first half with an equally creditable pass before playing a key role in launching the counter-attack for Cavani’s goal, and United’s second, after the break. 

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Solskjaer also had praise for our no.18’s contribution in his post-match press conference, expressing his delight at the Portuguese midfielder’s influence in helping United find the net.

“He [Fernandes] shows his quality where he plays them passes, great pass for Cristiano’s goal. 

“You know I’ve been on to him about decision making, because of course in some games we’ve been a little bit wasteful and maybe too risky, but that’s Bruno in a [nutshell], he has to be allowed to play that pass if sees a pass, if he sees Cristiano, or sees [Marcus] Rashford, sees Cavani, [Mason] Greenwood. 

“When he sees those players, you have to allow him to play them passes. But he’s getting better at his decision making and that’s good.”