Manchester United turned in a solid but unspectacular 3-1 win at home to Burnley in Thursday’s Premier League clash.
Here are our player ratings:
David De Gea - 5
Burnley only mustered a couple of shots on target, but it wasn’t De Gea’s finest performance. His distribution was a little scattergun; he flapped at a dangerous free-kick in the first-half, and he might have done better with Lennon’s goal. Not terrible, but not up to his usual high standards.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka - 4
A classic Wan-Bissaka performance. He was (mostly) solid defensively, including in situations against Burnley’s key attacker, Dwight McNeil, but he offered very little in attack. United’s chances rarely came from off the right, particularly when Mason Greenwood drifted infield.
Eric Bailly - 5
His clumsy first-touch played a big part in Burnley’s goal, but Bailly was mostly solid. Confident in stepping out and contributing to the build-up play, and good in a dangerous one-on-one situation against Aaron Lennon in the second half. He limped off injured midway through the second half, replaced by Raphaël Varane.
Harry Maguire - 5
Burnley are the type of side you’d expect Maguire to excel against, but he looked unconvincing in his duels with the physical Chris Wood. He should’ve stuck tighter to Lennon to prevent him pulling the trigger for Burnley’s opening goal.
Luke Shaw - 6
A promising return to the starting 11 for Shaw. He looked dangerous early on, curling a great ball over the top for Ronaldo in the first few minutes, and hitting the side-netting after a driving run from deep midway through the opening half. However, he’s going to have to become a more consistent attacking threat if he’s to impress a sceptical Ralf Rangnick.
Scott McTominay - 8
Comfortably the best United player on the pitch. He opened the scoring with a low shot from the edge of the area, and played a key role in Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal with a brilliant long-range effort that Wayne Hennessey could only parry into the Portuguese forward’s path. McTominay was dominant in the centre of the pitch, going toe-to-toe with a physical Burnley side — and invariably coming out on top.
Nemanja Matić - 6
More important than what Matić himself did was what he enabled others to do. His deep-lying role freed McTominay to stride forward and create chances, safe in the knowledge that a shaky centre-half pairing had a midfield shield. To be sure, Matić benefited from the fact that Burnley are a fairly slow, clumsy outfit who tend to build up in the wide areas, but he did little wrong here.
Mason Greenwood - 7
Considering Greenwood is (rightly) regarded as one of United’s most deadly finishers, he’s also a very fine playmaker. He was important in linking United’s attacking play, frequently dropping into midfield and pinging diagonal passes into dangerous areas. People are sure to note that Greenwood has again failed to score, but he’s showing another side to his game in Rangnick’s 4-2-2-2.
Jadon Sancho - 5
Sancho did well for United’s second goal, cutting infield off the left, beating his man, and angling a shot towards the far post — kindly touched in by Burnley defender Ben Mee. However, he was otherwise a little sketchy, too often caught in possession, and too scarcely a serious attacking threat. He worked hard off the ball, but this was another sub-par performance with it.
Edinson Cavani - 6
In some ways a typical Cavani performance. He worked very hard off the ball, and showed touches of class on it — including some fine striker’s instinct in the second half, when he sprung the offside trap from point-blank range, only to be denied by a superb Hennessey save. More important here for his defensive work than his attacking flair.
Cristiano Ronaldo - 7
A decent performance capped by a goal, but not without a couple of mistakes. Ronaldo fluffed a massive chance in the first few minutes, blazing a shot over the crossbar after bringing down Shaw’s smart ball from the left with a superb first touch. He looked United’s most consistent attacking threat, but Ronaldo will look back and think he should’ve scored more.
Raphaël Varane - NA
Diogo Dalot - NA
Fred - NA
Ralf Rangnick - 6
Rangnick was bold with his selection here, making six changes to the side that drew 1-1 with Newcastle earlier in the week. He’ll doubtless be relieved to have reaped the rewards with the victory. However, the sense remains that this new-look United aren’t yet clicking, and it remains to be seen whether this narrow shape is the way forward — particularly for Sancho. Today’s performance has done little to allay concerns we’d had before kickoff.