A Marcus Rashford inspired performance gives Manchester United a 2-1 win over Liverpool at Old Trafford. In the 200th meeting between the two famous clubs, United’s impressive defending and brilliance of their young forward was enough to edge their rivals.
Marcus Rashford was superb, Chris Smalling was a rock and Ashley Young gave Salah a difficult afternoon, here are our player ratings:
David De Gea: 6
The Spaniard was not called on to make his trademark game-winning saves, largely thanks to the impressive defensive display in-front of him. His handling was clean and he made some key clearances in the box from set-pieces later in the game.
Antonio Valencia: 6.5
Will be disappointed that Mane got the better of him for Liverpool’s goal, aside from that the captain was solid at the back.
Eric Bailly: 7
A defensive error that led to an own-goal marred what was a superb performance from Bailly this afternoon. In his first start for three months, Bailly looked up to speed immediately, reading the play and displaying sensational athleticism.
Chris Smalling: 7.5
Arguably his best performance this season. Smalling was a rock at the back and won everything in the air. He showed much more composure around the box and improved incredibly on some ropy performances of late.
Ashley Young: 8
One of the only defenders in the Premier League to make Mohammed Salah look like an average player. Young used his experience and expertise to quieten the in-form Egyptian. He got forward at the appropriate times and was essential in seeing the game out.
Scott McTominay: 7.5
Improved drastically from his poor performance at Selhurst Park. McTominay looked vastly more collected in possession and his work-rate defensively was key component in silencing Liverpool’s attack.
Nemanja Matić: 7
A return to his solid self. The Serbian was disciplined and dogged defensively, working alongside the young McTominay to reduce chances into the visitors’ front three.
Juan Mata: 6.5
The tricky playmaker almost scored his second scissor-kick against Liverpool; finding himself in space in the box, he didn’t quiet connect with the cross and the ball squirmed wide of the goal. Mata worked tirelessly for the rest of the game before coming off in the last moments for Jesse Lingard.
Alexis Sánchez: 7
Praised more for his defensive work than his attacking ability in this game. The Chilean struggled at times to create for the Reds, perhaps due to a knock he seemed to sustain in the first-half. However, he recovered and put in a good performance.
Marcus Rashford: 9 (Man of the Match)
Marcus Rashford made an immediate impact in his first start of 2018. The speedy forward cleverly latched onto a Romelu Lukaku header and displayed terrific agility to cut back onto his right before dispatching a powerful strike past Karius.
His second proved his goal-scoring ability, showing excellent composure after the ball fortuitously fell to him in the box. He gave Alexander-Arnold a torrid time throughout the game and always looked threatening before being replaced by Fellaini.
Romelu Lukaku: 7
The big Belgian dominated Dejan Lovren in the air this afternoon; his assist for Rashford epitomizing this. Worked industriously for the whole game, providing relief via his hold-up play at key moments in the game.
Marouane Fellaini (Sub, 69’): 6
Fellaini executed his role efficiently in the game, winning several important aerial duels to maintain United’s lead.
Jesse Lingard (Sub, 87’): N/A
Too late for a rating.
Matteo Darmian (Sub, 96’): N/A
Too late for a rating.
José Mourinho: 7
Set-up his team to stifle an opposition who have been explosive offensively this season. His defensive tactics hampered Liverpool’s chances while the decision to start Rashford paid off.