EPL 2016/17: Manchester United 0-0 West Bromwich Albion, Player ratings
Manchester United were never going to have an easy time against Tony Pulis’ defensively resolute West Brom, especially with the Baggies coming off their 3-1 win over Arsenal before the international break. However, the Red Devils hit a massive speed breaker in their fight for the Premier League’s top four with a 0-0 draw against the side from Midlands, their 8th draw in 12 games at Old Trafford and their 11th draw of the season.
The draw leaves the Red Devils four points off fourth-placed arch-rivals Manchester City, despite both having played the same number of games. However, the hosts were playing without a banned Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ander Herrera, injuries to Paul Pogba and Juan Mata among others, they still tried their best to penetrate the West Bromwich back-line, which refused to budge even after the end of the match.
David De Gea: 6/10
One of the quietest days since he joined Manchester United for the Spanish International and the 26-year-old was warmly applauded by the United faithful amid renewed interest from Real Madrid.
Antonio Valencia: 7/10
The Ecuadorian got forward plenty of times and delivered his fair share of crosses. Invariably no-one was anywhere near the ball to meet it and most of his crosses were cleared by West Brom’s back four.
Eric Bailly: 6/10
The centre-back looked out of sync at times with his partner, Marcos Rojo. Became much more imposing in the second-half and used his strength well against the West Brom’s forward line.
Marcus Rojo: 7/10
The Argentine was guilty of the odd rash tackle or two and was eventually booked by the referee. However, Rojo looked comfortable with Eric Bailly at his side and together they should become United’s new central defensive axis.
Ashley Young: 6/10
The Englishman was defensively astute but struggled to have an impact whenever he did venture forward. The West Brom back four did very well and dealt with his crossing easily.
Michael Carrick: 4/10
The midfield pivot was anything but as Carrick struggled to make an impact in the game, misplacing his share of passes. The 35-year-old struggled to set the tempo of the game and it is performances like these that might convince Mourinho that his time is up.
Marouane Fellaini: 6/10
The Belgian did his best and attempted to offset Michael Carrick's timidity with prompt passing and surprisingly lasted 90 minutes without getting booked. Fellaini put himself about at both ends and should have made the most of his follow-up strike in the 55th minute.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan: 5/10
The Armenian produced a neat, buoyant performance in a role that is not perfectly suited to his skills, moving the ball around positively but only fell short when it came to beating Ben Foster. However, the 28-year-old did spurn a great chance in the second half.
Jesse Lingard: 7/10
The winger was easily United’s liveliest player going forward as he roamed across the pitch with plenty of energy and desire, torturing Nyom time after time, with his runs. He reproduced his form again at Old Trafford after a good game at the Hawthorns and was home side’s most creative player during times they lacked creativity.
Anthony Martial: 7/10
The 20-year-old brought in his share of a sense of desire and menace on the left-hand side but somehow never managed to compose himself in front of goal. The Frenchman needs to become much more consistent if he wants to become a regular in Mourinho’s starting eleven.
Marcus Rashford: 6.5/10
The Englishman looked to stretch the West Brom defence throughout the game and displayed an admirable work-rate against a Tony Pulis back-four. But his movement in the box still needs to improve, although he was denied by Foster twice, including a brilliantly taken free-kick.
Wayne Rooney: 4/10
The 31-year-old came on to change the course of the game but did little to change the match and was largely invisible.