Alan Shearer

There are some people who think that Manchester United would be better off without him.

I said a few weeks ago that United would be worse off than they are if it wasn't forRonaldo.

They beat Spurs because of him. His performance was so good that it was staggering.

He has been doing this for years and years now, he has 59 hat-tricks, which is ridiculous, but this was a response to his critics and all three of his goals were special in their own way.

A textbook header to complete his hat-trick

You can argue that Eric Dier was at fault for the first goal of the night, because you cannot allow a player that much space to shoot from distance.

You still need incredible skill and technique to be able to do what he did and find the top corner, even if Spurs look at how poor they were defensively.

Cristiano Ronaldo's first goal against Tottenham, after 12 minutes
Ronaldo's first goal came after 12 minutes when he let fly from outside the area to put United 1-0 in front

His second goal was just as satisfying as his first. I scored from three yards just as much as I did from 30.

He is in the right place to put the tap-in away because of his desire and his intelligence, because of his understanding of the game, and because of the fact that it is a tap-in.

Cristiano Ronaldo's second goal against Tottenham, after 38 minutes
Ronaldo's second goal came after 38 minutes when he converted a Jadon Sancho cross to put United 2-1 up

His third goal was my favorite, because he had to get every part right.

It was all perfect, from the way he reads the flight of the cross to the way he attacks it and times his jump, it was all perfect.

You have to be stronger than everyone else in those situations, because attacker against defender is always one versus one. The man who was trying to hang on to him had to get away from him, and then read the cross and get the contact to guide it in.

He made it look like he did it in about two seconds.

Cristiano Ronaldo's third goal against Tottenham, after 81 minutes when he leapt to head home an Alex Telles corner
He completed his hat-trick in the 81st minute, and scored the 807th goal of his career, when he leapt to head home an Alex Telles corner and put United 3-2 up. In total, he had eight shots against Spurs - five were on target.

United's defence is the same old story

If United don't get a top-four finish, you can't blame the player because they have a lot of work to do.

If it wasn't for him, they wouldn't be in a position to challenge for the top spots in the league.

Despite the end result, we saw that they are terrible at times, and we saw that again against Spurs.

Yes, United deserve some credit for the way they responded to what happened to them in the derby last weekend and this was a huge result for them, but they had no control of the game and it was the brilliance ofRonaldo that got them over the line.

Ronaldo hat-trick 'his best performance' - Rangnick

They were a mess behind him. I don't think their struggles are just down to Harry, they are a poor unit defensively, and he is having a hard time at the moment.

There are other issues for the man. Marcus Rashford had another quiet game and he doesn't seem to be enjoying his football or being out on the pitch at the moment.

It has been a tough season for him, and he is having a hard time. I don't know why, but he hasn't got the zip to his game that we are used to seeing, and we know is in there. It is up to Rangnick and his coaches to find out why.

Graphic showing Man Utd's starting XI v Tottenham: De Gea, Dalot, Maguire, Varane, Telles, Fred, Matic, Pogba, Sancho, Rashford, Ronaldo
Ronaldo returned to United's starting XI against Spurs after missing last weekend's 4-1 defeat by Manchester City

Two teams in the race for fourth

With 10 games of the season to go, we have got a proper title race on our hands between Manchester City andLiverpool - and who gets fourth place is going to be very interesting too.

Spurs are still in the mix, but their form is not good enough, they have gone win-lose, win-lose, win-lose in their past six matches, and that will not get them a spot in the top flight.

Snapshot of 3rd to 8th place in the Premier League: 3rd Chelsea, 4th Man Utd, 5th Arsenal, 6th West Ham, 7th Tottenham & 8th Wolves

You don't know which Spurs team will show up the next week, will it be the one that played so well against Manchester City or the one that was so bad defensively at Old Trafford?

Fourth place is probably between United andArsenal because of the inconsistency that will cost them. I think it is going to be very close between the two games between now and the end of May.

Alan Shearer was talking to Chris Bevan.

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