EPL 2016-17: Manchester United 1-1 Stoke City: Player Ratings
Manchester United’s frustrating Premier League campaign continued as they were held to a 1-1 draw at home against Stoke City. Jose Mourinho’s men should have been at least two goals up at half-time, but an inspired performance from Stoke keeper Lee Grant meant that the visitors were still in the game at the break.
United finally found the breakthrough in the 69th minute courtesy a brilliant curling effort by substitute Anthony Martial, but the home side’s joy last only 14 minutes as Joe Allen smashed the ball into the net from close range to equalize after it gently bounced off the crossbar. The point lifts Mark Hughes’ men off the bottom of the table to 19th place.
Here’s how each player fared in the match.
David De Gea – 5/10
United’s wall between the sticks was not tested much throughout the match, with tame Stoke efforts falling into his hands whenever United were posed with a threat. However, he should have done better to parry away Glen Johnson’s shot, which eventually resulted in Stoke’s equalizer by Joe Allen.
Antonio Valencia – 5/10
Valencia had a few good moments where his pace and power down the flanks troubled the Stoke left back Erik Pieters. But the final ball always eluded him and he was unable to contribute much to United’s creativity going forward – something he had a part in in abundance during the first three matches of United’s campaign.
Erik Bailly – 6/10
Bailly was an assured presence in defence for United for the majority of the match, although he did have a few moments of insecurity on the ball in the face of Stoke attacks, particularly in the beginning of the second half. His effort and commitment to prevent the Stoke goal cannot be doubted, even with the ball unfortunately bouncing off his body to hit the crossbar from Walters' attempted cross.
Daley Blind - 6/10
Blind did what was asked of him, as he was comfortable with the ball at his feet and pinged balls into the midfield regularly for Pogba and Herrera to orchestrate attacks. However, similar to the other full back Valencia, he offered little going forward.
Chris Smalling – 6/10
Manchester United’s captain was guilty of not reacting quickly enough to block Glen Johnson’s shot which resulted in Stoke City’s goal. He only managed to deflect the ball into De Gea’s palms, apart from which he dealt with the aerial threat of Arnautovic well.
Paul Pogba – 5/10
Just when will it start coming good for the world’s most expensive player? After a promising start, he faded away in the game, and wasted all the goal scoring chances that came his way. Should have scored the winner for United but his header only found the crossbar after Rashford’s powerful cross.
Ander Herrera – 6.5/10
The Spanish midfielder delivered his usual terrier like performance in midfield, tenacious in his tackle and always a threat from long range. However, he was lucky to stay on the pitch after his studs-up challenge on Joe Allen went unpunished. He was Substituted in the 82nd minute for Memphis Depay.
Jesse Lingard – 5/10
Lingard had United’s best chance in the first half when he met a fast paced low ball with his toe barely two metres away from the goal. Stoke keeper Lee grant pulled off the save of the match to deny Lingard, who’s creative game was otherwise stifled well by the Stoke defence. Substituted for Anthony Martial in the 65th minute.
Juan Mata – 7/10
Along with Marcus Rashford, he was the only creative spark in Manchester United’s team today. His calm and composed nature on the ball and incisive passing should have seen a better end product by Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who had one of his less memorable games in a United shirt. Substituted for Wayne Rooney in the 65th minute.
Marcus Rashford – 7.5/10
Rashford embodied Manchester United’s grit on the pitch. The youngster could have had a couple of assists to his name had Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba converted the chances he made for them. Deserved to be on the winning side today, as he terrorised the Stoke full backs with his pace down the wings.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic – 5/10
The match could have turned out much differently had Zlatan slotted the ball past Lee Grant in just the opening stages of the game, but his low effort at the near post was a sign of things to come. He missed other crucial opportunities and summed up Manchester United's frustrations in front of goal. A forgettable game for the Swede.
Anthony Martial – 7/10
An inspired substitution in place of Jesse Lingard in the 65th minute, Martial gave United the lead with a brilliant curling effort just moments after coming on to the pitch. He troubled Glen Johnson on the left wing, but was eventually left frustrated. Could contest for a starting spot in the next match.
Wayne Rooney – 5.5/10
The Manchester United captain was brought on with the intention of being a creative spark as Stoke legs began to tire, but provided little different in place of Juan Mata. His horizontal passes did not help Manchester United’s cause.
Memphis Depay – N/A
Depay was brought on for Herrera in the 82nd minute.