Manchester United 2-0 Manchester City: Player Ratings as Red Devils complete league double over local rivals | Premier League 2019-20
- How each of United's players performed in a vital win for the Red Devil's European ambitions this season.
Goals in either half from Anthony Martial and Scott McTominay helped Manchester United record a 2-0 win over their local rivals Manchester City, and keep pace with their rivals in the race for Champions League places. The Red Devils reverted to the three-at-the-back formation that has served them well in big games throughout the season, which turned out to be the right call as they succeeded in nullifying City’s considerable attacking threat and also in scoring a couple of crucial goals.
The opener came about from a clever free-kick routine that caught the City defence sleeping, with Bruno Fernandes chipping the ball over the wall for Anthony Martial to volley home on the turn. The visitors, who were missing Kevin De Bruyne in their midfield, enjoyed long spells in possession without much reward as the well-marshalled United defence succeeded in keeping them at bay. In the dying stages of the game, McTominay pounced on an errant throw from City goalkeeper Ederson and stroked the ball into an empty net from a long way off to seal the win.
On a night when United displayed exactly how to devise and implement a well-thought-out game plan against a strong opponent, here are the player ratings for the Red Devils:
David De Gea: 8/10
David de Gea put any hangover from his clanger at Goodison Park last week with a faultless display in the derby, pulling off a couple of smart saves as City piled on the pressure. Despite the rain pouring down, the Spaniard was sure-footed with his distribution as well and was instrumental in launching a few United attacks as well.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka: 8.5/10
Deployed in an unfamiliar right wing-back role on the night, Wan Bissaka turned in a dominant display. While his reputation as one of the league’s best defenders in one-on-one situations was enhanced by how he dealt with the threat of Raheem Sterling, he also silenced some of the critics who had criticized his attacking prowess in the past by making several probing runs upfield.
Harry Maguire: 9/10
Seemingly weighed down by the weight of his record transfer fees at the start of the summer, Harry Maguire has grown into the United shirt and has been an integral part of the run of clean sheets that the Red Devils have put together. The Englishman was rock solid in the centre of a back three and marshalled Sergio Aguero exceedingly well throughout.
Victor Lindelof: 8/10
The Swede has formed a solid partnership with Maguire in the heart of the United defence and showed more evidence of the same with another assured performance. The more fluid of the two centre-backs, Lindelof roamed around the backline putting out fires here and there, and played a crucial role in United’s clean sheet.
Luke Shaw: 9/10
Perhaps United’s most improved player this season, Luke Shaw has slotted seamlessly into the role of the left-sided centre-back in a back three of late. He made several crucial interceptions all night and even set off a number of United attacks. His intensity didn’t waver even after he moved up into left-wingback, as he shut the door on a number of City moves late on.
Brandon Williams: 6/10
City had clearly earmarked the youngster as a potential weak link and targeted United’s left flank all evening, initially through Bernardo Silva and later on through Mahrez. Although Williams showed great determination and didn’t hold back in any tackles, his inexperience showed at times as City got the most joy when they ran at him. Subbed off with just over 10 minutes to play.
Nemanja Matic: 8/10
The veteran midfielder was given a clear role at the start of the match - sit in front of the back three and repel any City advances through the centre. The Serbian used every bit of his considerable experience while acting as an extremely effective defensive shield, snuffing out a number of City attacks.
The Brazilian turned in another one of his trademark all-energy displays and harried City’s midfield all over the park. Although slightly loose in possession, he made up for it with a number of important interceptions as he wins more and more favour with the United faithful following a rocky start to his career in England.
Bruno Fernandes: 8/10
United’s big-money January signing showed several touches of class throughout, the most telling being his clever free-kick that led to Martial’s goal. Despite United being content to sit back and allow City to have the ball, the Portuguese international was a dangerous outlet on the counter until he was taken off late on.
Daniel James: 7/10
The speedy Welsh winger was a constant menace for a City backline that featured limited mobility, using his pace to get behind on a number of occasions. Although his decision-making could use a little polishing, Daniel James was one of United’s main outlets in the latter stages of the match as City committed more and more players forward.
Anthony Martial: 8.5/10
The Frenchman has really come into his own as the leader of the United frontline in the absence of Marcus Rashford and capped off another fine display with a crucial goal. Even though opportunities were few and far between for the home side, Martial showed great awareness when it counted the most and was a willing runner all evening even as City dominated possession.
Eric Bailly (Williams, 78’): 7/10
The no-nonsense Ivorian was thrown on late in the piece to replace Brandon Williams, who had been coming under increased pressure as the match wore on. His pace and physicality gave United a much-needed boost as he played his part in keeping the clean sheet intact.
Scott McTominay (Martial, 78’): 8/10
The Scotsman is still finding his way back into the starting lineup following a lengthy injury layoff and capped an accomplished cameo with the goal that sealed the win. Acting as a hindrance in midfield after he came on, McTominay made full use of an errant throw from Ederson and put the game beyond doubt with an unerring finish.
Odion Ighalo (Fernandes, 88’): 7/10
United’s other January arrival was sent on with just a few minutes to go and played his role as target man quite well, taking down more than a few hopeful punts upfield from United’s tiring defenders. The boyhood United fan would have no doubt enjoyed playing a part in a derby win.
Published 09 Mar 2020, 00:51 IST