In a thrilling derby game at Old Trafford, Manchester United outlasted Liverpool 2-1.
Liverpool struggled in the first half as The Red Devils flew into a 2-0 lead, but the second half saw Liverpool fly back but United managed to hold onto their lead and pick up a massive 3 points in the race for second. Who were the best and worst players?
David De Gea – 6/10
Solid and composed. Did what he had to do when challenged. Could do nothing about the own goal although he was somewhat amusingly once again beaten at his near-post.
Antonio Valencia – 5/10
Decent enough for most of the match but absolutely obliterated by Mané in the lead-up to Liverpool’s goal. Could have been sent off late on for a rough tackle on the Senegalese.
Eric Bailly – 7/10
Magnificent. Patrolled defence with regal confidence. An inspirational force at the back that returned United back to actually having a solid defence. For 65 minutes. Then he tried to clear a high cross with his left foot, flicking it in at the near-post past De Gea and giving Liverpool a route back into the match. Still, he recovered from this to help shepherd the back-line to see the game out.
Chris Smalling – 7/10
A decent defensive performance from Smalling. Aerially powerful as ever.
Ashley Young – 9/10
An absolutely sensational defensive performance. Constantly put his body in the way, blocking Liverpool’s crosses, passes and even shots. Always in the right position and timed his interventions wonderfully.
Scott McTominay – 7/10
Played with incredible confidence; blocking Liverpool’s route to goal repeatedly with well-timed interventions. His best display for United.
Nemanja Matic – 7/10
Confident and composed. Helped protect his back-line from Liverpool advances through the middle.
Juan Mata – 7/10
Linked with his team-mates so well, helping to overload in the middle and left-flank. Missed a glorious chance to make it 3-0 when he (understandably) attempted a bicycle kick. Worked tirelessly off the ball to help the Red Devils defend.
Alexis Sánchez – 7/10
Pressed like a demon, but used the ball poorly. Still his defensive efforts can’t be overlooked.
Marcus Rashford – 8/10
An excellent performance. Was flying at Liverpool from the first-whistle. Turned Alexander-Arnold inside out for his first goal (wich he sealed with a rasping finish) and showed great instincts to smash home the second as well. Tortured Liverpool but was bizarrely removed as Mourinho switched to 4-3-3.
Romelu Lukaku – 8/10
Magnificent target-man play all afternoon. Physically dominated Lovren and battled well with Van Dijk, pulling the Dutchman all over the park. Superb headed assist for the opener and his control, touch and pass through for Mata to create the second goal was wonderful. Never stopped working and was crucial to his team’s success.
Marouane Fellaini – 7/10
Came on for Rashford after 69 minutes. Added his tremendous physical presence to the middle of the park, helping to block out routes to goal and clear crosses into the box.
Jesse Lingard – n/a
Came on for Mata after 88 minutes.
Loris Karius – 5/10
Came off his line too quickly and got caught for United’s second goal.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 4/10
Tortured all game long by Marcus Rashford. Embarrassed on the opening goal when Rashford turned him inside out with ease. Taken off as Liverpool chased it late on.
Dejan Lovren – 4/10
Couldn’t get near Lukaku. Absolutely brutalised on both goals and he only improved in the second half because United were attacking less.
Virgil Van Dijk – 6/10
Tormented Chris Smalling and United on attacking set-pieces but missed a glorious chance to make it 1-1 just moments before United made it 2-0. Battled well with Lukaku on the defensive end.
Andrew Robertson – 6/10
Some quality attacking forays in the first half. Withdrawn later as Klopp looked the push bodies forward.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 4/10
Nowhere near the dynamic midfielder he’s been lately. Gave the ball away and wasted decent positions with potshots. Taken off on the hour.
Emre Can – 6/10
Largely anonymous in the first half, particularly negligent on United’s second goal when he failed to stop Lukaku’s advances or Mata’s run. However he did step his game up in the second.
James Milner – 5/10
Improved in the second half but still did little to effect the game.
Mohamed Salah – 4/10
Despite his excellent season he could only muster some good touches and couldn’t find a route to goal. Could have gone down under pressure from Young to win a penalty but stayed on his feet. Only got one decent look at goal, a volley in the 95th minute, which he blazed over. He was otherwise firmly within Ashley Young’s pocket.
Roberto Firmino – 5/10
Battled relentlessly to try and bring Liverpool back into the game. Excellent tackling and a couple of lovely passes. Faded badly in the second half, however.
Sadio Mané – 5/10
Uninvolved in the first half but much better in the second half. Gave the ball away repeatedly and nearly always made the wrong decision in the second. However it was his surging run and cross which led to the own goal and he was the one who was pushing it for Liverpool late on.
Adam Lallana – 5/10
Came on for Oxlade-Chamberlain after 61 minutes. Added nothing.
Georginio Wijnaldum – n/a
Came on for Alexander-Arnold after 80 minutes.
Dominic Solanke – n/a
Came on for Robertson after 84 minutes.
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