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Manchester United

How did Manchester United’s players rate in their 1-0 win over Manchester City?

Manchester United ensured safe progression to the EFL Cup quarter-finals with a 1-0 win over Manchester City at Old Trafford last night. Juan Mata scored the game’s only goal early in the second half, and on the balance of chances it was a fair result on the night. Jose Mourinho picked a full strength team (injuries permitting), while Pep Guardiola made wholesale changes and gave chances to young pair Aleix Garcia and Pablo Maffeo.

Their performances were the highlight of the evening for the visitors, who controlled much of the first period but ran out of ideas in a flat second half. It was important for Man United to bounce back after their heavy defeat at Chelsea, and eases some of the external pressure on Mourinho. That said, there is still plenty of work to do and their near neighbours look a more advanced team at this moment in time. We looked at how United’s players rated in yesterday’s narrow derby win.

David de Gea- 6/10

Had precisely zero shots to save, even though City carried a threat in the first 45 minutes. They had a handful of counter attacking opportunities, but failed to pick the right pass to test the Spanish stopper.

Antonio Valencia- 7/10

Opposition managers must fancy their chances when they see a natural winger’s name at full back on the team sheet, but Valencia gives very little away in practice. One rash first half-challenge aside, the Ecuadorian was very solid and dealt well with Jesus Navas’ pace when he switched wings.

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Marcus Rojo- 6/10

Alarm bells were ringing among United fans on social media when they saw Rojo paired alongside Daley Blind at centre back, but he got through the night without any glaring errors. Still not a player you feel Mourinho will fully trust, but a decent night’s work for a player short of minutes.

Daley Blind- 6/10

Had some horrible moments at Stamford Bridge on Sunday but had a steady game tonight. Especially in the second period, he was positionally astute as United sat deep and stopped City creating very much. However, his lack of pace does leave United very vulnerable if they lose possession in midfield.

Luke Shaw- 5/10

Had a very tough time in the first half as City switched the play to Navas on several occasions, and the former Sevilla man had the beating of him. Much improved in the second half, Shaw showed greater aggression but was helped by the fact Navas switched wings which was an odd move from Guardiola.

Juan Mata- 7/10

Scored the winning goal with a well taken, if straightforward, left-footed finish into the bottom corner. Struggled to get into the game in the first period, but in a team not blessed with technically assured passers of the ball his presence is needed at this moment in time.

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Michael Carrick- 6/10

A competent performance from a player many believe should be playing a great deal more. Carrick is certainly United’s most natural holding midfielder, and the type of player who will allow Paul Pogba to play with greater freedom. One sweeping ball over the top in the first half was a highlight, and showed good discipline in the second period.

Ander Herrera- 7/10

Didn’t quite hit the heights of his performance at Anfield last week, but was United’s most dynamic and energetic player. Sometimes it looked as if he was pressing on his on with little support, but stuck to his task well all night. Difficult to envisage him out of the team at present.

Paul Pogba- 6/10

Some brighter moments in the second half, and probably should have scored when put through by Ibrahimovic but Willy Caballero made a fine save to his credit. Played in his ideal role tonight as a ‘free eight’ in central midfield, but needs to simplify his game a touch. Showed greater strength in his duels in the second half.

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Marcus Rashford- 6/10

Is performing an unfamiliar role on the left-hand side, and hasn’t quite got the Midas goalscoring that we have seen previously as a consequence. Hesitated when played through by Ibrahimovic in the first half, but produced a lovely dribble in the second period. Not quite flying as he was a while back, but still looks United’s most vibrant attacking threat.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic- 6/10

A mixed night for the former Barcelona and Juventus forward. Had some comically bad moments in the first 45 minutes, giving away a square pass inside his own half before falling over the ball minutes later. Lovely through ball to release Rashford though, and a classy touch to get away from Nicolas Otamendi and play in Pogba. Showed good persistence on the goal too, so Ibrahimovic can feel he did his job. Could possibly do with a rest though.


Morgan Schneiderlin- 6/10

Came on and stiffened things up in central midfield as United saw the game out without any scares.

Jesse Lingard- 6/10

Introduced for the cramp-stricken Rashford, Lingard did a brief defensive shift for the final 10 minutes or so.

Featured image: All rights reserved by arif_shamim

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