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Player Ratings: Manchester United 0-1 Arsenal

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Hate to see it.

Manchester United v Arsenal - Premier League Photo by Paul Ellis - Pool/Getty Images

Starters

David de Gea: 6/10

Active in the box with catches and punch outs. Denied Thomas Partey’s rocket shot that was shot right at him. Left out to dry by Paul Pogba’s poor tackle in the box and, ultimately, conceded a penalty.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka: 5/10

Aaron Wan-Bissaka did Aaron Wan-Bissaka things. The only time we need to write more than that in these player ratings is when he does something exceptional or has a rare stinker. He did neither of those things today.

Victor Lindelöf: 5/10

Decent performance from the Swede. Can hang his hat on not giving up a goal from open play to the Gooners.

Harry Maguire: 5/10

Did well in defense with Lindelöf to not concede a goal in the run of play to an active Arsenal attack. Had a couple opportunities to get his big head on the ball in front of Arsenal’s goal but never put those attempts on target.

Luke Shaw: 5/10

Offered an outlet out wide when United tried to break down Arsenal. Whipped in more than a few crosses but most were snuffed out by Arsenal defenders. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Fred: 4/10

After a 10/10 performance against RB Leipzig, the pastor came back down to Earth with an erratic performance in the center of the park. Tempered by a professional yellow card in the 22nd minute, Fred found himself in some hairy spots that could’ve yielded a second yellow if Mike Dean were more vindictive. Subbed off in the 63rd minute for Nemanja Matić.

Scott McTominay: 4/10

Suffered from the same erraticism as his partner, Fred. I would love to see this man develop some kind of finesse to couple with the effort he displays.

Paul Pogba: 3/10

His first league start since Oct. 4 did not inspire much confidence as the DVDB hive are surely blowing Twitter up as I type this. Had some active moments in the attack, but his forwards didn’t offer him a lot to create. His ugly — and dare I say — lazy tackle on Hector Bellerin gave a penalty to Arsenal that they didn’t necessarily deserve, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang punished United for Pogba’s indiscretion.

Bruno Fernandes: 4/10

Tell me in the comments if you’ve read the word erratic too many times. But this was an erratic performance from Bruno. He didn’t have much help from his forwards, but he also didn’t offer much either with his own passing or positioning.

Marcus Rashford: 4/10

Delivered a magnificent pass to Greenwood. Blasted a low-percentage shot that clanged off the back of McTominay. Couldn’t tell you much else that he did.

Mason Greenwood: 4/10

Had a low-percentage chance on goal that Bernd Leno easily saved. Unfortunately, Greenwood did not have a spectacular finish to paper over the deficiencies that he still has as a very young forward. He struggled to hold up play when necessary and didn’t look particularly comfortable with Rashford as his strike partner. Clearly the absence of Martial hurt the duo’s ability to have an effect on the match. It’s ok for a 19-year-old to struggle when he’s out of position. It’s on the manager for putting him in the situation.

Substitutes

Nemanja Matić: 6/10

Steady presence in the midfield to help United build up play better. Made a forward run that could’ve drawn a penalty for United had Dean been more agreeable. For better or for worse, he was probably one of the most effective attackers for United in the second half despite playing a holding role.

Edinson Cavani: 5/10

Given only 15 minutes to turn around United’s tepid attack. I did enjoy his WWE body slam late in stoppage time. I have to imagine he gets a longer look than Greenwood or Rashford if OGS returns to the diamond.

Donny van de Beek: 5/10

Had an enterprising albeit low-chance opportunity that ricocheted off an Arsenal defender that was saved by a combination of Leno’s face and the post. Ultimately, like Cavani, not given enough time to change the match in favor of the Reds.

Manager

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: 3/10

What works in Europe doesn’t necessarily work in the Premier League. In today’s Premier League match, the diamond didn’t work and that’s on Ole. Plan A didn’t work and there wasn’t anything that could be discerned in the second half that constituted as a Plan B. OGS was suckered into a staring contest with Mikel Arteta where both managers waited for the other side to make a mistake. To take a phrase from my fellow staff writer and podcast partner, Pauly Kwestel, too much respect was given to Arsenal when United should just do what they do well and force the away team to adapt.

This was a game that United needed to win both to sustain the momentum of two good Champions League performances as well as reset the narrative of the 1-6 loss to Tottenham. Instead of answers, this match only provided more questions.