Edinson Cavani and Paul Pogba were the stars of the show as Manchester United came back from behind to beat Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 on Sunday.

After a cagey start the game burst into life just past the half-hour mark, with Manchester United opening the scoring through Edinson Cavani only for the goal to be chalked off for a supposed foul in the build-up in what was another poor refereeing decision. To rub salt in the wounds, Tottenham would break the deadlock immediately after as Son Heung-min became the first player to score home and away against United this season.

Post the half-time break, though, Manchester United were charged up big time and after having tested Hugo Lloris on a few occasions were back on level terms through Fred’s first league goal of the season. Dean Henderson then made a couple of vital saves to deny Son and Harry Kane before Cavani put the Red Devils in front with a brilliant diving header.

Minutes later, the Uruguayan popped up at the other end to make a crucial defensive header and deny Spurs an equaliser before substitute Mason Greenwood added the third in stoppage time to put the game beyond Tottenham. With Leicester losing to West Ham earlier in the day, United have opened up some breathing space in the second spot in the league table.

As for Tottenham, they are now six points behind fourth-placed West Ham United and cannot afford any more slip-ups if they are to finish in the top four. Here’s how we rated the performances of both sets of players at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday evening.

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Tottenham Hotspur

Hugo Lloris: 5.5/10

Made a couple of good saves to stop Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Scott McTominay early in the second half then parried Cavani’s shot straight into Fred’s path for the equaliser. Another top save to deny Fernandes with the scoreline at 1-1. No chance with the diving header, but was beaten at his near post for Greenwood’s goal.

Serge Aurier: 5/10

Had the freedom to get forward but was not able to make the most of it. Failed to pick Cavani up for Manchester United’s second goal. It is scary that he is Tottenham’s best option at right-back.

Eric Dier: 5/10

Made a couple of crucial blocks to deny Rashford and Pogba on either side of half-time. At the same time was guilty of letting Cavani run past him easily on more than one occasion and switched off for the equaliser as he let Fred pounce on the rebound. Could have done better for the third goal as well.

Joe Rodon: 6/10

Making his third successive start, the young Welshman was the best of the bunch for Tottenham at the back once again. Showed aggression, was not afraid to put his body on the line. Can grow into a key player with experience.

Sergio Reguilon: 4/10

Another lackadaisical display from the former Real Madrid man, who offered next to nothing in attack and was poor defensively. Nutmegged by Bruno Fernandes in the lead-up to the second goal and allowed Greenwood to get past him easily for the third goal. Needs to step up.

Tanguy Ndombele: 6/10

Started off brightly, showing good energy in the middle of the park. Started the move for the opening goal with a lovely pass into Kane. Grew visibly tired as the game wore on, though, and as a result, influence waned.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg: 5.5/10

Tried hard to stop attacks but was not always able to cope with the Manchester United midfield, especially in the second half. Could not keep up with Pogba in the lead-up to the Red Devils’ third goal of the game. Looks fatigued, having had very little rest over the course of the season. Still managed to finish with a game-high five tackles.

Lucas Moura: 6.5/10

Got the assist for Son’s goal with a good pass inside the box. Worked his socks off when not in possession, always tracking back but did not always have the quality end product when on the ball.

Giovani Lo Celso: 5/10

Another game wherein he looked like lacking that bit of sharpness when on the ball. Was not shy of putting the hard yards in and went into challenges strongly but offered little in the way of attacking contribution and was the first player to be taken off.

Son Heung-min: 7/10

Made the most of little contact from McTominay leading to Manchester United’s goal in the first half getting cancelled. Then went on to put Tottenham in front with a well-taken finish. Could have had a second if not for some fine goalkeeping from Henderson. Played a game-high three key passes in what was a lively display.

Harry Kane: 6/10

Lovely pass into Lucas Moura leading to the opening goal for his side. Worked tirelessly off the ball but had little in terms of meaningful service to make a difference at the top. Did force Henderson into a good save in the second half.

SUBSTITUTES

Moussa Sissoko: 4/10

Replaced Lo Celso at the hour mark as Tottenham sought to gain control in midfield. Offered very little as United continued to dominate.

Erik Lamela: N/A

On for Ndombele with little over ten minutes left.

Gareth Bale: N/A

Late substitute for Moura.

Manchester United

Dean Henderson: 7/10

Not a lot he could have done to stop Son’s opener but pulled off two fine saves with his legs in the second period to keep out the South Korean as well as his partner-in-crime Harry Kane, reaffirming his status as the new No. 1 for Manchester United.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka: 6.5/10

Caught out of position for Tottenham’s goal in the first half. Buckled down after that and was steady in defence and also had a few positive moments going forward, forcing a save from Lloris. Finished with one key pass, four tackles and a match-high five interceptions.

Victor Lindelof: 6/10

Good positioning, composed on the ball and confidently strode out of the back when presented a chance. However, Lindelof was at fault for Spurs’ goal as he could not deal with Kane’s pass in the build-up, which eats into his rating.

Harry Maguire: 7/10

The Manchester United captain marshalled his England teammate, Harry Kane, well for the most part on Sunday evening. One iffy moment led to him making a rash challenge and a booking. Otherwise, Maguire was solid at the back and a threat in the air. Finished with four interceptions and four aerial duels won.

Luke Shaw: 7/10

One or two moments when he was caught out but solid in defence for the most part as he did not allow Lucas and Aurier much joy on his side. Was a key attacking outlet as usual, completing each of his three attempted dribbles while playing in two key passes as well. Impressive performance against his former (tor)mentor Mourinho.

Scott McTominay: 6.5/10

Looked up for the challenge from the word go and was aggressive from the start, perhaps a bit too much at times as he was booked very early for a foul on Ndombele. Adjudged to have fouled Son leading to United’s goal being cancelled out in the first half. Tested Lloris early in the second half and ensured his team stayed on top after the break.

Fred: 7/10

Back into the starting XI, the Brazilian endured a scratchy first period wherein he made a few errors on and off the ball. Much more purposeful after the break as he played Cavani in for a chance before pouncing on the rebound to pull United back on level terms. Made four tackles, two interceptions and a key pass in an all-round display.

Marcus Rashford: 5/10

Shunted out to the right flank, the England international did not look comfortable and was hardly involved in anything positive for United. Did play a part in the build-up to Fred’s goal. Looks to be feeling the after-effects all the knocks he has picked up of late and could do with some rest. Made way for Greenwood in what proved to be a game-changing substitution.

Bruno Fernandes: 6/10

As has been the trend of late, the Portuguese tried and tried, but little worked for him. However, despite being well below his best, Fernandes was involved in the build-up to United’s first two goals, with his cheeky pass to Greenwood in the lead-up to the second particularly standing out. Also drew a fine save from Lloris. Another player who could do with a rest.

Paul Pogba: 9/10

When he gets going, he is absolutely unstoppable. Showed his quality against Mourinho & co. with a stunning display wherein he was involved in almost everything positive that Manchester United conjured up.

Beautiful pass to Cavani in the lead-up to the cancelled goal in the first half and was critical to the comeback in the second. Got the assist for Greenwood’s goal after a driving run from the left. Has really turned things around since that outburst from Mino Raiola towards the end of last year.

Edinson Cavani: 9/10

El Matador was in full swing on Sunday evening as he constantly got the better of Eric Dier with his smart runs in behind. Lovely finish to open the scoring but was denied the goal by some questionable officiating. Did not get bogged down as he played a huge role in United’s comeback.

It was his shot that was parried into Fred’s path for the equaliser before he produced a fine diving header to put United in front. Then made a crucial defensive header to protect his team’s lead.

SUBSTITUTES

Mason Greenwood: 8/10

Replaced Rashford with less than twenty minutes left and turned the game on its head. Produced a stunning cross for Cavani’s goal before finding the back of the net himself with a powerful hit. Slowly getting back to his best.

Nemanja Matic: N/A

Stoppage time replacement for Fernandes.

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