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EPL 2016/17: Manchester United 1-1 Liverpool: Player Ratings

Manchester United v Liverpool - Premier League : News Photo
Ibrahimovic scored a late equaliser for Manchester United
FEATURED COLUMNIST
Modified 16 Jan 2017
Feature

Last night’s game between Manchester United and Liverpool wasn't like the game at Anfield earlier this season. It was a Liverpool vs Manchester United game that lived up to its billing. Yes, it was short of quality on a few occasions, but the pluck and frenzy of a derby was there to be seen. 

Also Read: EPL 2016/17: Manchester United 1-1 Liverpool - 5 talking points

Zlatan Ibrahimovic's late header cancelled out James Milner's first-half penalty, but Liverpool will be disappointed not to have shut the game out, as they had plenty of chances before the veteran striker popped up with the equaliser. 

Here's how each player fared.


Manchester United 

David De Gea – 7/10

The big Spaniard could do nothing about Milner’s perfectly hit penalty, but was solid whenever he was called upon apart from that. He made a crucial save to deny Firmino a chance to put Liverpool 2-0 up. 

Antonio Valencia – 8/10

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Valencia had a splendid game; he went forward with purpose, and his defensive work was solid. He dealt well with the threat of Origi in the first half. Although Coutinho did cause problems once he came on in the second half, Valencia came through the test unscathed. 

Phil Jones – 6/10

Nothing spectacular, but it was a performance like what was expected from Jones. There were no heart-in-mouth moments and that is a credit to his composure. 

Marcos Rojo – 6/10

Like Jones, the Argentine centre-back was solid. Rojo has a tendency to sometimes be rash and make horrible decisions, but he was perfectly fine in this game as he was measured in his approach.

Matteo Darmian – 6/10

The Italian could have got forward more considering that the Liverpool right-back was an 18-year-old making his first Premier League start. He should have been put under a lot more pressure than he was. 

Michael Carrick – 5/10

Carrick was unspectacular, but that is what the veteran midfielder always is for United. He did his job and helped his side keep possession. He was taken off at half-time, to be replaced by Rooney. 

Paul Pogba – 4/10

It was an off-day for Pogba. He gave away the penalty and was lucky that the referee didn’t deem his tug on Henderson a serious enough offence for him to be carded. 

Ander Herrera – 7/10

Herrera was energetic and always buzzing in midfield. He made challenges with conviction and both Firmino and Lallana were annoyed by the Spaniard’s presence around them. 

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Manchester United v Liverpool - Premier League : News Photo
Paul Pogba had a game to forget

Henrikh Mkhitaryan – 6/10

There were sparks and sudden bursts of life from the Armenian, but largely, he was a peripheral figure. He should have scored midway through the first half, when he was through on goal, but he was denied by Mignolet. 

Anthony Martial – 6/10

He dribbled past Alexander-Arnold a fair few times early in the game, but didn’t make anything of those chances. It was a largely disappointing outing for Martial. 

Zlatan Ibrahimovic – 7/10

He didn’t really make too much of an impression in the opening 80 minutes as he was being well-marshalled by Lovren and Klavan. But when he got the opportunity, he pounced, and put the Red Devils back on level terms with a deft header. 

Substitutes

Wayne Rooney – 5/10

He tried, he grafted, but there was nothing of note that the United captain produced. 

Juan Mata – 5/10

Mata was exactly the same as Rooney. He was energetic but his final ball was not good enough. 

Marouane Fellaini – 7/10

Fellaini made the difference for United. His coming on from the bench encouraged United to pound the Liverpool box with high balls, and it was one of those that led to Zlatan’s goal. 


Liverpool

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Manchester United v Liverpool - Premier League : News Photo
Mignolet was at his best in the Liverpool goal

Simon Mignolet - 9/10

The Belgian had a terrific game. He was decisive, strong and his reflexes were at their peak. Two saves stand out - the one from Zlatan's free-kick in the first half shortly before he saved when he was one-on-one with Mkhitaryan. 

Trent Alexander-Arnold - 7/10

Could there be a bigger trial by fire for an 18-year-old making his first Premier League start for Liverpool? It was a stern examination for the young man and one that he came out of unscathed. He held his own, filling in for Nathaniel Clyne at right-back, and stuck to his task brilliantly. 

Dejan Lovren - 6/10

Most things he had to do, he did. But the problem with Lovren is that even when he is having a good game, he is capable of making a mistake or two. He showed that in the first-half as his weak back-pass to Mignolet was almost pounced on by Zlatan. 

Ragnar Klavan - 6/10

Klavan was solid and won most of the aerial balls. There were one or two lapses in concentration that could have proved costly, though. 

James Milner - 7/10

James Milner battled hard at left-back and gave Mkhitaryan no joy in the first half. He put in some really testing crosses from set-pieces too, which was a pleasant change. What was not a change was the way he tucked away his spot-kick. 

Jordan Henderson - 7/10

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Manchester United v Liverpool - Premier League : News Photo
Henderson marshalled the Liverpool team superbly from midfield

Liverpool had missed their captain in the last few games. He might not be the stereotypical defensive midfielder, but what he is, is important to this Liverpool side. He showed that on the night as he imposed himself on Paul Pogba. 

Gini Wijnaldum - 7/10

Wijnaldum was full of energy and his defensive work deserves applause. He kept the ball moving well going forward and used possession superbly. But unlike two weeks ago against Manchester City, he floundered in front of goal. One header went high after he created the chance with his movement but the big chance was in second-half stoppage time. All he could do was tamely hit it into De Gea's hands. 

Emre Can - 6/10

He was rather clumsy in possession at times, but full marks to him for effort and the running he put in. 

Adam Lallana - 6/10

Lallana was quiet and didn’t impose himself on the game and Herrera must be credited for being solid against him. Sometimes Lallana doesn’t help himself as he tries to be too cute for his own good. 

Roberto Firmino - 5/10

Awful. His decision-making was bad, he didn't dribble well and misplaced a fair few passes. In truth, he seemed to be a couple of yards behind the game. 

Divock Origi - 6/10

Again, he tried hard, but on a lot of times, he found himself isolated on the left wing, meaning he handed the ball straight back to Valencia or Jones. 

Substitute

Philippe Coutinho - 6/10

Coutinho made a difference after he came on for the Reds. He set up Firmino for a big chance that he hit straight at de Gea, and in general, his passing was on point. Encouraging signs for Klopp, as the Brazilian continues his return to full fitness. 

Published 16 Jan 2017, 08:02 IST
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