Early on, Manchester United looked a different team from the capitulating impostors that took the pitch at Goodison Park on Sunday. But it didn’t last. Manchester City began to turn the screws on United before halftime and served up more of the same after the break. It all added up to a deserved 2-0 derby defeat for the Reds, sending their crosstown rivals back atop the Premier League table with three games to play.
That makes seven losses in the last nine for United. According to The Guardian, that’s the club’s worst run since 1962. Ugly stuff. The best news of the night — other than Liverpool’s tears — is the continuing meltdown at Arsenal. United might still get back into the top four yet.
David De Gea: 5
Two great first-half saves — on a long-range Bernardo Silva screamer and Raheem Sterling from in tight — kept the match scoreless at the break. Leroy Sane’s goal, though, simply must be saved. Another huge error from DDG.
Ashley Young: 5
Big improvement on recent performances, but Young remains the weak link of United’s backline. Not fast enough and no longer dangerous on crosses and free kicks.
Matteo Darmian: 5
Surprisingly solid after months out of the first team. Makes you wonder why Darmian hasn’t played more in 2019. It’s not like United are overflowing with reliable defenders.
Chris Smalling: 5
Held up well in his individual battle with Sergio Aguero. Somewhat lucky that his first-half deflection didn’t end up in the back of De Gea’s net.
Victor Lindelöf: 7
Not troubled by the City attack and classy on the ball in his rare moments forward. In a disappointing season, Lindelöf is clearly someone to build around.
Luke Shaw: 4
Beaten on Bernardo Silva’s opener. Shaw added another yellow card to his ever-growing collection in his first game back from suspension.
Andreas Pereira: 6
Faded as the match went on, but Pereira played well in a surprise start.
The Brazilian doesn’t offer enough going forward to keep making careless giveaways in midfield. Fred excels when he keeps it simple. There wasn't enough of that tonight.
Paul Pogba: 6
A lively first-half of dangerous diagonals and attack-launching interceptions. Not quite the same after the break. At 1-0 down, Pogba stepped up for a free kick at the top of the box and blasted it right into the wall.
Jesse Lingard: 6
City’s plan to play the ball out from the back perfectly fits Lingard’s pressing style. He worked hard, ran tirelessly, but will be remembered for a horrible miss in the second half with the derby still hanging in the balance.
Marcus Rashford: 6
His pace troubled the City backline all night — Vincent Kompany, in particular. Created a wonderful chance for Lingard that went begging. Oozes quality, even if the end product is still a work in progress.
Romelu Lukaku (Sub, 72’): 5
Forced a save from Ederson at a tight angle. His other shot, though, was poor.
Alexis Sánchez (Sub, 83’): N/R
Didn’t see much action.
Anthony Martial (Sub, 83’): N/R
Victim of a tactical foul on his first touch of the night.