Liverpool 0-1 Manchester United - Player Ratings
Wayne Rooney's late goal masked a poor performance from the visitors, while Liverpool would be disappointed to come away empty handed
Louis van Gaal maintained his unbeaten record against United’s arch-enemy by sneaking out a 1-0 win against Liverpool at Anfield. Jurgen Klopp will be livid with his team for failing to kill the game when they had numerous chances to do so.
Wayne Rooney’s thunderbolt settled this blue-chip fixture as Manchester United did a double for the second consecutive season over Liverpool. The win brings the Red Devils within two points of the top four and leaves Liverpool languishing in ninth place.
Here are the player ratings from the game.
Simon Mignolet – 6/10
The Belgian hardly had any action till he conceded an absolutely belter of a goal in 78th minute. He was highly unlucky to concede after such a evening but that’s football.
Nathaniel Clyne – 7/10
The English right-back was brilliant in first half when he absolutely bossed Anthony Martial but he loosened up a bit in the second half which allowed the Frenchman a way back into the game. All in all, it was a good performance by the Liverpool man.
Kolo Toure – 7/10
The revenant under Brendan Rodgers has been turned into an overnight hero by Jurgen Klopp. The Ivorian was rocksolid and kept Wayne Rooney under check for most of the game.
Mahmadou Sakho – 7/10
Sakho was imperious for Liverpool for the entire duration of the game. His reading of the game today was impeccable as the nipped quite a few Manchester United attacks right in the bud. He was one of the main reasons why United didn’t have a shot on the target for 78 minutes of the game.
Alberto Moreno – 7/10
The Spaniard did everything his gaffer had asked for. He literally bullied Jesse Lingard and also was a crucial attacking outlet for his team as well.
Lucas Leiva – 6.5/10
Lucas was a soothing presence in Liverpool’s midfield which helped the hosts in dominating the centre of the park. He was huffing and puffing in the last quarter of the game but overall it was a decent day in office for the veteran.
Jordan Henderson – 6/10
The Liverpool captain was at his selfish best today as he wasted a plethora of opportunities. He lacked his usual eye for goal as well as his vision to pick out the perfect pass for his teammates. It was a lacklustre display from the Englishman.
Emre Can – 7/10
Can did well to split Manchester United open but unfortunately couldn’t get his way past David de Gea. The German was at the top of his game today and he’d be gutted to return empty-handed going by the chances he had.
James Milner – 7/10
He was brought in to keep Anthony Martial in check and did exactly what the doctor had ordered. He also gave Darmian numerous scares in the first half but somehow like his other teammates lacked the cutting edge in the final third.
Adam Lallana – 6.5/10
He was effervescent in the first half but fizzled out in the second. He was rightly taken off in second half as he hardly had any impact on the game.
Roberto Firmino – 6/10
After impressing one and all against Arsenal, the Brazilian flattered to deceive against the enemy. He was at his unscrupulous best with his wayward finishing. Had he been half as clinical as he was against the Gunners, Liverpool would’ve ran riot today at Anfield.
Jordan Ibe – 6/10
The youngster replaced Lallana to inspire the slacking Liverpool frontline but the occasion got better of him. The academy graduate looked awed by the occasion and therein had hardly any impact on the game.
Christian Benteke – No Rating
The Belgian giant was invisible for his entire duration of the game.
Steven Caulker – No Rating
The new boy played far too few minutes to have an impact on the game.
David De Gea – 8/10
If not for him then this would’ve been a shameful evening for the Mancunians. The Spaniard was by far the best player on the pitch and his performance speaks for himself.
Ashley Young – 5/10
He looked out of his depth every-time he was being pressurized by Lallana/Milner. He was vulnerable defensively as well as he frequently conceded acres of space behind his lines.
Chris Smalling – 6/10
The Englishman was pedestrian for majority of the game until he upped his game in the last quarter when Liverpool threw the kitchen sink at them. ‘Mike’ would count himself lucky that his display didn’t cost his team the game.
Daley Blind – 6/10
Blind was pretty much unidimensional for the entire 90 minutes. He somehow played the game into Liverpool’s hands by hoofing the ball to Wayne Rooney whenever he had time and possession. Gladly, he held his defensive lines to keep wayward Liverpool forwards at bay.
Matteo Darmian – 6.5/10
He was very uncomfortable at the left flank in the first half but he found his groove in the second half when he shifted back to his familiar flank. He tactfully managed the influence of Lallana and Ibe in the second half.
Morgan Schneiderlin – 6/10
More often than not, it was his inability to recycle the possession in midfield which let Liverpool dominate the game. And this is what cost the visitors dearly as he they were pummelled by the home team in the centre of the park.
Marouanne Fellaini – 6/10
Despite his large frame, the Belgian was barely visible on the field till he won the all important header out of thin air to set up Wayne Rooney’s winner. This sums it up for him.
Jesse Lingard – 5/10
United’s promising youngster had a hard baptism for the first team on enemy territory. He was unable to wriggle free from the clutches of Alberto Moreno for his entire stay on field. It was a poor day in office for the Englishman.
Ander Herrera – 6/10
The fan favourite failed to ignite the creative spark in the hole behind Rooney as United had created barely any chances throughout the game. And it seems in hindsight, Louis van Gaal was right to take him off instead of Fellaini.
Anthony Martial -6.5/10
He has been United’s go-to man throughout this season and today was no different. All of United’s promising chances came from Martial’s left flank.
Wayne Rooney – 6.5/10
He has somehow regained his poaching abilities and today, he showed his prowess when it mattered the most. Although, his overall performance was hardly impressive as he looked a bit sloppy.
Cameron Borthwick-Jackson – 6.5/10
The 18 year old got his first taste of this epic derby and he passed the litmus test with good grades. He looked composed and solid down the left in comparison to Darmian in first half.
Juan Mata – 6/10
He may seem as an inspired substitution but apart from that winning cross he barely did anything noteworthy. Sadly, the change of year hasn’t brought a change in fortunes for the Spaniard.
Memphis Depay – 6/10
It was an ordinary performace from the Dutch prodigy. He looked like Nani of David Moyes era and that sums up his evening.