Manchester United remain unbeaten in Russia after beating CSKA Moscow 4-1 in an impressive away display in the Champions League group stage. Romelu Lukaku scored twice to extend his excellent start to the season and maintain United’s perfect in Europe. Here are the player ratings for last night’s game.
David De Gea: 7
De Gea provided heroics for United with an excellent save in the sixth minute to deny Alan Dzagoev; the game could have been a lot different if the Russian side were allowed to equalize. He pulled off another smart save in the first half and dealt with most of the attacking threat from CSKA. It would have been an impressive 8 for the Spaniard if it had not been for the last minute consolation goal, which went in too easily.
Ashley Young (C): 6.5
His recent performances have warranted Young the captaincy in the absence of Valencia and Carrick. He put in a solid showing this evening, coping well on the left-hand side. He came off shortly after the hour mark for Darmian, after the 3 points were sealed.
Victor Lindelöf: 6
It was a better performance from the Swede this evening. He looked more composed on the ball and swept up most danger thrown at him. More games are needed for the summer signing, who may still take time to adjust; the Champions League group stage may be the platform for him to gain that experience.
Eric Bailly: 6
Solid in the backline again. Very rarely put a foot wrong on and off the ball. However, he will be disappointed to have let Kuchaev get the better of him in the last minute to score CSKA’s only goal.
Chris Smalling: 6
Smalling proved a solid replacement for Phil Jones. The formation changed from the usual back four to a make-shift 3-4-3, though the fluidity of the attacking play made it hard to comprehend at times. The England center-back was calm on the ball throughout. A good performance on the road.
Daley Blind: 6
The Dutchman had a very stable game for the Red Devils. Organized and competent on the ball, it was an established performance. He didn’t venture forward too much, even in his slightly advanced role; though he proved his worth with sensible possession and good defensive work.
Nemanja Matić: 7
The Serbian has offered Manchester United a link that they missed last season. His ability to screen the defense was showcased today, covering ground, breaking play and linking simple passes. This game could have been a challenge for Matić, without the usual Fellaini, Pogba and Carrick by his side. However, he showed his class, regardless of the new formation.
Ander Herrera: 6.5
Herrera performed confidently as he filled in the midfield gaps that have been ravaged by injury. Throughout the game he linked the play from front to back effectively. Herrera’s commitment to the team can never be questioned, and the energy he supplies is invaluable.
Henrik Mkhitaryan: 8
Potentially one of his best games this season; Mkhitaryan was the key center of Manchester United’s attacking dominance. He was a constant threat, finding pockets of space and exploiting Moscow’s woeful backline. He won the penalty that Martial converted through clever play and tactful shielding of the ball. The Armenian missed a good chance to score in the first half, but found his goal as he pounced on Martial’s initial effort, slotting past Akinfeev in goal.
Anthony Martial: 9 (Man of the Match)
The Frenchman is making it hard for Mourinho not to play him every week; two assists and a goal make him our Man of the Match. His assists in the first half, both finding Lukaku, were crafted with some tricky feet and excellent service. He calmly slotted his penalty to the bottom right corner with assured confidence. Martial was fantastic throughout the game, offering constant speed, skill and creativity. He should have grabbed a third assist as a winding run ended with a beautifully weighted pass, which Lingard almost converted. A great performance.
Romelu Lukaku: 8.5
It was hard not to give Lukaku Man of the Match. He terrorized the Moscow backline this evening, scoring twice to make it 10 goals in nine appearances for the Reds. His poacher like runs and powerhouse ability is a mixture that has torn defenses apart this season; Moscow was another defense that fell under his sword. With the quality of delivery he received, he could’ve scored three or four.
Jesse Lingard (Sub 60’): 6.5
Lingard came on after 60 minutes for Mkhitaryan. He almost scored shortly after coming on, after Martial released a ball into his path, unfortunately Akinfeev came up with the impressive stop to deny him. Good energy and creativeness on the field.
Matteo Darmian (Sub, 67’): 6
Came on for Ashley Young in the 67th minute. Offered some reassurance and solidity in the backline. Good performance.
Marcus Rashford (Sub, 72’): 6.5
Came on for the impressive Martial after 72 minutes. Rashford did not have time to inflict any further damage on the ravaged Moscow backline.
José Mourinho: 8
Mourinho faced a United midfield depleted of resources because of injury. He intuitively changed formations, from the traditional four back to a 3-4-3, which was free-flowing offensively, yet structured defensively. He produced a professional performance in Europe in a difficult atmosphere in Russia. This United team is proving effective, efficient, entertaining and has all fans craving more.