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Granada 0-2 Manchester United: Red Devils’ player ratings as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men claim a vital away win | UEFA Europa League 2020-21

Manchester United earned a hard-fought 2-0 away win over Granada in their UCL quarter-final first-leg tie
Manchester United earned a hard-fought 2-0 away win over Granada in their UCL quarter-final first-leg tie
Vaibhav Joshi
ANALYST
Modified 09 Apr 2021
Feature

Goals in either half from Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes saw Manchester United register a hard-fought 2-0 away win in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League quarter-final tie against Granada on Thursday.

After an evenly-matched start to the game that lacked clear-cut chances for either side, the visitors took the lead just after the hour-mark through Rashford. The Englishman latched on to a precise lofted ball from deep and clinically slotted a finish past the goalkeeper into the bottom corner.

In the second half, the Manchester United defence successfully withstood a more concerted spell of pressure from the home side. The Red Devils looked to have done enough for a 1-0 win when they were offered a golden opportunity to double their advantage late in the game.

With the game headed towards added time, Fernandes was fouled in the box by Granada substitute Yan Brice Eteki. The Portugal international took the resultant spot-kick himself and was somewhat fortunate to see his weak effort trickle into the goal after the goalkeeper got a hand to it.

This was the final noteworthy piece of action in the game as Manchester United take two vital away goals into the second leg at Old Trafford in a week’s time, even though they will be missing the services of a few key players through suspension.

On that note, here are Manchester United’s player ratings from the game.


Manchester United player ratings against Granada

David de Gea: 6/10

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The Spaniard was kept busy by a series of largely speculative shots from range by the home side. However, he was equal to whatever was thrown at him as he kept a clean sheet on his return to the starting eleven.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka: 7/10

Aaron Wan-Bissaka locked up the right flank with a dominant performance at right-back
Aaron Wan-Bissaka locked up the right flank with a dominant performance at right-back

Manchester United’s right-back was kept on his toes by the dangerous Kenedy. However, he dealt well with the threat offered by the Brazilian and also got forward with great regularity and purpose in an all-round display.

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Victor Lindelof: 7.5/10

While the Swede was calm and composed in defence, his greatest contribution in the game came at the other end of the pitch. He claimed an assist with an excellent pass over the top, which Rashford duly converted for the opening goal.

Harry Maguire: 6/10

The Manchester United skipper put in a commanding performance in defence against the wily Roberto Soldado. He unfortunately received a second-half booking, which means he will miss the second leg of the tie.

Luke Shaw: 5/10

Luke Shaw spent most of the first half doggedly defending the left flank and picked up a booking right before the break in the course of his defensive duties. He was subsequently replaced at half-time and will miss the return leg at Old Trafford.

Paul Pogba: 5/10

Paul Pogba picked up an early booking after the home side’s energetic pressing forced him into a clumsy foul and was forced to walk the defensive tightrope for the rest of the game.

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While the Frenchman was always looking to get Manchester United moving forward, his usually assured touch and pin-point passing were not quite there, and he was replaced by Matic with 15 minutes to go.

Scott McTominay: 5/10

This was a combative and physical performance in midfield from the Scotsman, who formed an effective shield in front of his back four.

However, a first-half booking means that Manchester United will be missing his services in the second leg.

Daniel James: 5/10

The Welshman was making runs throughout the game, forcing the Granada defenders into a series of mistimed tackles. However, he was unable to influence the game in an attacking sense otherwise.

Bruno Fernandes: 6/10

Bruno Fernandes bagged Manchester United
Bruno Fernandes bagged Manchester United's second goal with a late penalty

Manchester United’s midfield maestro was closely monitored by the opposition midfielders, which meant that he was unable to exert his usual influence on the game.

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However, the Portugal international was not to be denied, as he won and subsequently converted a late penalty to give Manchester United a crucial second away goal in the tie.

Marcus Rashford: 7/10

Marcus Rashford opened the scoring with a well-taken goal for Manchester United in the first half
Marcus Rashford opened the scoring with a well-taken goal for Manchester United in the first half

Marcus Rashford looked lively on the left wing from the start and was rewarded for his efforts with a goal that he took expertly to give his side the lead.

He played through the middle after half-time and was taken off midway through the second half as he continues to work his way back to full fitness.

Mason Greenwood: 5/10

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Mason Greenwood led the line in the first half and played out on the right wing during the second. He showed flashes of his talent but looked largely off the pace as he gave the ball away with sloppy passes on occasion.

Substitutes:

Alex Telles: 5/10

Alex Telles replaced the cautioned Luke Shaw at half-time and got forward much more often than his predecessor as the home side pushed forward in search of a goal.

However, the Brazilian’s forays forward meant that he was often caught out at the back and had to throw himself into a couple of last-ditch tackles.

Edinson Cavani: 5/10

Edinson Cavani replaced Rashford in the second half and found chances in front of goal hard to come by, often having to drop deep into his own half to pick up the ball.

Nemanja Matic: 5/10

Nemanja Matic replaced the booked Paul Pogba in the closing stages to add some solidity to the Manchester United midfield, which he did in his usual calm and unhurried manner.

Donny van de Beek: N.A.

Donny van de Beek came on for Greenwood in the final few minutes but hardly got on the ball during his time on the pitch.

Published 09 Apr 2021, 05:53 IST
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