Liverpool 1-2 Manchester United: Player Ratings
Manchester United gained the upper hand in the battle for fourth place after they beat their rivals Liverpool, more fearful on the day, 2-1 at Anfield. United started the brighter of the two and scored a well constructed opening goal through Juan Mata.
With Liverpool trailing, Steven Gerrard was sent on as a half-time substitute to change the course of the game. However, within seconds after coming on Gerrard received a straight red card for a delibrate stamp on Herrera.
United took advantage of an extra man to score again. Juan Mata scored from a great volley to virtually seal the game. A late Sturridge strike gave Liverpool hope. Wayne Rooney could have seen the game out in stoppage time, but he missed his penalty.
In the end it did not matter as United won the match to record a league double over Liverpool. Let us look at how the players performed on the night:
Simon Mignolet - 7/10
He could not do much with both the goals. Otherwise, he looked solid at back, especially while collecting or punching crosses. He saved Rooney's late penalty.
Emre Can - 5/10
He initially struggled in the aerial battles with Fellaini. However, he settled as the match wore on and looked decent at back. He gave away a needless late penalty though.
Martin Skrtel - 6.5/10
He looked the better of the Liverpool central defenders and looked assured at the back. He however could be punished by the FA if his late stamp on De Gea is spotted.
Mamadou Sakho - 6/10
He looked decent at the back with the exception of a few odd moments. His passing however let him down on a couple of occasions.
Raheem Sterling - 5.5/10
He looked decent while going forward, but wasn't at the same level while defending. He clearly looked like a makeshift player in the wing-back role.
Joe Allen - 5.5/10
Nothing special by the former Swansea man. He kept the ball moving and defended decently, however he hardly made a notable contribution in the attacking third.
Jordan Henderson - 7/10
Yet another workman like performance from the English midfielder. He was always available to help his defenders and was willing to go forward at every possible moment.
Alberto Moreno - 4/10
He had a torrid evening. He was at fault for the opening Mata goal and was yet again out of position with the second Mata strike. His passing was not good either as he gave the ball away needlessly.
Adam Lallana - 5/10
He struggled to get into the match and when he was provided with a great opportunity in the first half, he missed the sitter. He was replaced at half-time.
Phillipe Coutinho - 6.5/10
He looked better than most of his teammates. His touches were good and he fired in some fearful strikes – without threatening De Gea though. Unfortunately his teammates weren’t at the same level.
Daniel Sturridge - 7/10
He initially struggled to get into the game, but gradually grew in confidence as the match wore on. He grabbed a goal in the second hall to give Liverpool a lifeline.
Steven Gerrard (45') - 0/10 (Flop of the match)
Just 45 seconds after coming on as a substitute, he got himself sent off for an intentional stamp on Herrera. He let his team down in his final clash with the Red Devils.
Mario Balotelli (66') - 5/10
He did battle well for the ball up front, however he coudn't do much with the ball when he had it.
David De Gea - 6/10
With United dominating, he hardly had much to do. He did well when he was called to clear the ball from the back. He could have done well with the only goal scored by Liverpool.
Antonio Valencia - 6/10
Valencia looked shaky in defence, his distribution was not good either. However, he did well to support his attackers.
Chris Smalling - 7.5/10
He was assured in defending. He looked like the leader at the back and closed down the opponents really well.
Phil Jones - 7/10
He formed a good partnership with Smalling and looked solid at the back. His tackling was also good. However he was booked for a silly challenge in the second half.
Daley Blind - 7/10
For the second game running Blind looked solid in his left-back position. He did well in his role and offered good support on his side, however his crossing let him down.
Michael Carrick - 7.5/10
Carrick continued his great form from last week to control the tempo of the game. With his partner willing to go forward regularly, Carrick was happy to sit behind and help his defence.
Ander Herrera - 8/10
He formed great partnership with Carrick to dominate the midfield battle. His passing was good and he regularly tracked back to help his defence. He also grabbed a great assist for the opening goal.
Juan Mata - 9.5/10 (Man of the match)
The little Spaniard scored both United goals. Especially the second goal was a stunner. His overall link-up play with the attackers was equally impressive.
Marouane Fellaini - 7.5/10
He continued his recent resurgence to terrorize the opposition players with his huge physical presence. His passing has also improved in recent weeks.
Ashley Young - 6/10
He defended really well and tracked back to help his defenders, however he did not offer much in attack. He was taken off at the start of the second half with a possible knock.
Wayne Rooney - 6/10
Rooney's overall game wasn't his usual best. His passing was at times wayward. But he battled on his own as the lone striker. He also missed a late penalty.
Angel Di Maria (55') - 6/10
He provided a great assist for Mata's second goal. Apart from it, his overall game was not at his normal level. His passing in the final third was poor as he gave the ball easily when he was at great positions.
Radamel Falcao (83') - N/A
Hardly any time to make an impact.
Marcos Rojo (90') - N/A
Hardly any time to make an impact.