'Quiet authority': BBC Sport pundit praises Man United star Raphael Varane
Garth Crooks praises Raphael Varane following his fine performance in Man United's 3-0 victory at Tottenham
Garth Crooks singled out Raphael Varane for being one of Manchester United’s unsung heroes in their 3-0 win at Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.
After missing the humiliating 5-0 loss to Liverpool FC at Old Trafford, summer signing Varane returned to the starting line-up and helped the Red Devils to keep a clean sheet in north London.
Goals from Cristiano Ronaldo, Edinson Cavani and Marcus Rashford helped Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men bounce back from their heavy defeat by the Reds against a below-par Spurs side.
Varane started the game alongside Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof in Manchester United’s defence as he notched up his sixth appearance of the season in the Premier League.
And former Spurs star Crooks believes that the return of Varane to the Manchester United side was one of the key factors in their victory against the Lilywhites.
Picking Varane in his team of the week, Crooks said: “Manchester United might have found a formula that satisfies their immediate needs.
“Three central defenders at the back with Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire either side of Varane might be the answer. He brought a quiet authority to a United defence against Spurs that, in previous weeks, had looked decidedly shaky.
“The France international also provides an element of pace. Maguire is extremely competitive, but slow on the turn. Lindelof is comfortable on the ball and a good support act, but lacks leadership qualities.
“Varane has a little bit of what Lindelof and Maguire don’t have.”
Saturday’s win was Manchester United’s biggest away win at Spurs since February 2007, when they won 4-0 at White Hart Lane.
Varane himself took to social media after the victory in north London to praise the spirit and resilience shown by his team-mates following their heavy loss to Liverpool FC.
Varane posted on Twitter: “Clean sheet, three goals, three points. This is the response we wanted to show!”
Manchester United are back in Champions League action on Tuesday night when they travel to take on Atalanta.