Manchester United started off 2018 in fine form after beating Everton 2-0 at Goodison Park. The two goals are both candidates for goal of the season in their own right – Anthony Martial opened scoring through a sublimely crafted goal, while Jesse Lingard powered a screamer to double United’s lead. Here are our player ratings.
David De Gea: 6
The Spaniard will be happy to start off 2018 with three points and a clean sheet. He was largely untested for the majority of the game but was comfortable with whatever Everton threw at him. Distribution at times uncharacteristically off target but nevertheless a fine performance.
Victor Lindelöf: 6
Mourinho opted to put Lindelöf at right-back, showing massive confidence in the young Swede with the more experienced Darmian left on the bench. He did his job dutifully, without ever looking too flustered. Everton rarely attacked United’s backline with any explosive pace or trickery.
Phil Jones: 7.5
Another solid performance from Jones who, when fit, is United’s rock at the back and essential to the team’s success. He paired up nicely with Rojo and controlled his back four excellently. He made some good headed clearances.
Marcos Rojo: 7.5
Rojo looks to be fully recovered from his injury problem last year and put in another good performance. His tackle on Niasse in the first-half to prevent a great scoring opportunity was world-class.
Luke Shaw: 6.5
Got forward well to support Lingard and Martial. Had some venturing runs, while preventing Vlasic from influencing Everton’s attack. Solid performance.
Nemanja Matić: 5.5
Another slightly tired performance from Matić. He was sloppy in possession, often giving the ball away to set up an Everton attack. Broke up the midfield effectively as usual, but he offered nothing going forward and looked labored when distributing.
Ander Herrera: 6
A good showing from the dogged Spaniard. He worked his socks off in the midfield as usual and was all over the field trying to break up play and maintain United possession. Gave the ball away on occasions but got much better as the game went on.
Paul Pogba: 8.5 (Man of the Match)
Paul Pogba was United’s standout player and wins the first man of the match honors in 2018. The United captain grabbed both assists on the night, as he looked to get forward more and influence the game higher up the field – something that he has been lacking at in the last couple of matches. His impact on the game was evident and he almost got on the scoresheet with a left-footed approach in the first-half that whistled past Pickford’s post. Masterclass.
Juan Mata: 7
Another start for Mata who has cemented a key role in Mourinho’s tactics. A good performance could’ve been a great one had it not been for the woodwork and Pickford.
Jesse Lingard: 8
Lingard has definitely been United’s surprise player this season. After being benched for the majority of the opening games, Lingard is now one of the first names on the team sheet. Once again, he proved his excellence, being a constant menace all evening. His energy and determination was the drive the Reds often needed in a stalemate of a game. His goal was a thing of sheer beauty.
Anthony Martial: 8
Martial was given the nod ahead of Rashford this evening and did not let his manager down. After a slow start in the first half, he managed to find his way into the game more effectively and opened United’s scoring with a wonderfully placed shot finding the top corner from just outside the box.
Marcus Rashford (Sub, 77’): 6
Lively when he came on and helped see the game out.
Daley Blind (Sub, 87’): N/A
Too late for rating.
Axel Tuanzebe (Sub, 90’): N/A
Too late for rating.
José Mourinho: 7
Alternated United’s lineup and it paid off. His side were in control all game and never looked like losing this potentially tricky match-up against a much improved Everton side.