Manchester United scored four goals again with Romelu Lukaku on the scoresheet; it seems to be the same old script coming from José Mourinho’s side. Marouane Fellaini, Marcus Rashford, and Juan Mata all performed brilliantly as we give you our Player Ratings from today’s win.
David De Gea: 6.5
The latest clean sheet from De Gea equals Manchester United’s best clean sheet record at the start of a Premier League campaign. They have kept teams off the scoresheet in the opening six of seven games this year, with De Gea being instrumental in that record. He was rarely troubled by Crystal Palace’s woeful offense, but he did make a smart save to deny Bakary Sako in the first half when the score was still 1-0.
Antonio Valencia: 6.5
The skipper showed his quality both offensively and defensively in this match up. Crystal Palace’s only real threat came from their set-pieces, limited partly because of the work the back four did to prevent their opportunities. Solid performance.
Chris Smalling: 6.5
On his first start for United in the Premier League, Smalling proved a valuable replacement for Eric Bailly. He dealt with the aerial threat that Crystal Palace posed from their set pieces. Strong and stable.
Phil Jones: 7
Jones looks like he has overcome his years of injury problems, which have plagued his chances of consistency at Manchester United. He led the United backline in this game, clearing up any half-chances that Palace had. He was strong in the air to prevent any chances from corners and crosses too.
Ashley Young: 7
Another assist and a clean sheet for Young who is enjoying a stellar start to the season. His delivery has become a key weapon in the United offense, giving the likes of Fellaini and Lukaku perfect opportunities. He looked shaky at times defensively, with some rash challenges that may have warranted a card early on. Nevertheless, a good performance from Young.
Nemanja Matić: 6
A slightly more subdued performance from the Serbian in this fixture. He struggled connecting passes in the first half and uncharacteristically gave the ball away at times. His work rate and ability to break up the play did not waiver though, resulting in a solid defensive performance.
Marouane Fellaini: 8.5 (Man of the Match)
With Paul Pogba sidelined for longer than initially thought, Mourinho has relied heavily on the Belgian. Often criticized in past years, Fellaini is proving an important addition to this United squad, offering a different dimension both offensively and defensively. He two goals capped off an impressive performance today, where he was essentially the engine in United’s center.
Juan Mata: 7.5
Juan Mata began his 200th Premier League appearance with an early goal. Finding space in the middle of the box after some wizardry on the left hand side from Rashford, he calmly slotted the ball past Wayne Hennessey to give United the lead in the second minute. Throughout the game he was calm on the ball, and assertive when going forward.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan: 6
Mkhitaryan looked slightly sluggish on the field today, when compared to his fine recent form. We can look at the long travel during mid-week as a reason behind his performance. He was subbed after 66 minutes, and with the international break approaching, the rest could do him well.
Marcus Rashford: 8
Rashford’s grinding out consistent, excellent performances and being rewarded with starting in this attack-minded XI. He was explosive from the opening whistle; winding down the left-hand side, he cut the ball to the line, leaving the hapless Ward isolated; he then found the composure to pick out Juan Mata for the opening goal. His second assist came from a free-kick: superbly executed to find Fellaini on the back post.
Romelu Lukaku: 7
Romelu is at it again. It’s seven in seven in the Premier League for the Belgian, who is making a habit of scoring. It wasn’t his best game in a United shirt, missing a couple of chances that could’ve made the win even more impressive. Nevertheless, he never gave up, a theme that his work-rate off the ball matches with his goal tally. Now tied with Andy Cole’s record, he will look to break it when United travel to Anfield after the international break.
Jesse Lingard (Sub, 66’): 6
Lingard is struggling to make enough of an impact to warrant a start in this impressive United line-up. However, he provides great energy coming off the bench. This work-rate, energetic runs forward, and potential to provide goals and assist make United’s attack hum effectively for 90 minutes.
Anthony Martial (Sub, 72’): 7
Came on for Rashford after 72 minutes. Having the likes of Martial on the bench, allows Mourinho to have constant attacking speed and threat. Martial grabbed an assist in the short time he was on the field, latching on cleverly to a through ball and crossing selflessly to provide Lukaku with the final goal.
Ander Herrera (Sub, 77’): 6
After performing well midweek, Herrera was unlucky not to make the starting XI. He came on for Mata after 76 minutes so had little chance to make a lasting impact on the already won game.
José Mourinho: 8
This could’ve been a tricky game for the Reds. The match-up on paper may have read for an easy United win, but travelling back from a late Wednesday night Champions League game in Moscow can always provide problems. Mourinho shaped up a familiar starting IX, with plenty of power, explosiveness and control. His substitutes offer the team fresh, fast, and skillful legs, adding the likes of Martial and Lingard to the game.