Manchester United 2-1 Liverpool: Player Ratings
How each player fared in the high-voltage clash between arch-rivals Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford
Manchester United survived a late flourish to overcome Liverpool at Old Trafford and move five points clear of their rivals in second place in the Premier League.
Marcus Rashford - making his first league start since Boxing day - scored twice in under 10 minutes to give Jose Mourinho's side a comfortable advantage at the break. Liverpool came out all guns blazing in the second half and were fortuitously rewarded for their intent as Sadio Mane's low cross was inadvertently back-heeled by Eric Bailly into his own net. The hosts deployed more bodies at the back since and saw the game out amidst nervy moments in injury-time.
We rate each player's display at Old Trafford in what was a pulsating game:
David de Gea - 7
De Gea had no time to react to Bailly's sliced heel but still got a fist to it. He made a number of routine stops in the first half and crucially punched away a couple of opposition corners to safety.
Antonio Valencia - 6.5
The full-back kept Mane in check for around 70 minutes and helped his defenders out in the dying stages. He was probably fortunate not to concede a penalty when a cross from 15 yards out struck his arm.
Eric Bailly - 7
Bailly - who hadn't started a league fixture since November due to injury - will be remembered for his unfortunate back-heeled slice that ended up in his own net and gifted Liverpool a lifeline. Apart from that, he was strong and focused at the back and showed immense determination to carry on after an injury he sustained shortly after conceding the goal.
Chris Smalling - 7
Smalling had one of his better performances than recent weeks, getting his positioning right and putting in vital interceptions to prevent Liverpool from executing that final pass. His miscommunication with de Gea that culminated in the concession of an un-necessary corner was his only flaw in the game.
Ashley Young - 8.5
Young had one job - to put a lid on Mohamed Salah - and he did commendable work. The veteran gave the Egyptian star no room whatsoever, blocking his approaches into the box and giving him no opportunity to shift goal-side onto his favoured left-foot. It was a tigerish defensive display.
Nemanja Matic - 7.5
The Serbian quietly did his business, nullifying Liverpool's midfield with a series of tackles and interceptions. The likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and James Milner were regularly left frustrated as they ran into an uncompromising Matic.
Scott McTominay - 7.5
The young midfielder impressed yet again, complementing Matic to cut out any gaps that Liverpool's midfield trio of Can, Milner and Oxlade-Chamberlain may look to exploit in order to supply the dangerous front-three. He displayed immense desire in dispossessing opponents and moving the ball in the other direction to get United on their way.
Juan Mata - 7.5
Mata's touches and vision to predict his team-mates run and provide passes was immaculate. He was the focal point of most United attacks in the first-half, helping Sanchez and Rashford move into spaces while the wily Spaniard plied his trade in the attacking third.
Alexis Sanchez - 6.5
Sanchez was once again proved to be guilty of trying too hard, taking more touches than necessary and losing his balance in the process. His work-ethic was top-notch as always, pressing opponents to win possession back for the Red Devils.
Marcus Rashford - 8
Rashford announced his return to the starting line-up with a brace that put United in control of proceedings. The first goal was a touch of individual brilliance, taking Trent Alexander-Arnold out of the game with a sharp turn that allowed him the space to get a fierce shot away and past the reach of Karius. The second goal was slightly lucky, the ball falling into his path after rebounding off van Dijk before drilling it first time into the corner. His over-aggressive tackle to get him booked was his only negative.
Romelu Lukaku - 7.5
Lukaku was pivotal in both goals, initiating both goal-bound attacks with towering headers from de Gea's goal-kicks. His performance overall was positive, running with purpose into the Liverpool defence and looking for team-mates to feed. His contribution in attack as well as defensively in the latter stages was exactly what Jose needed from his number nine.
Marouane Fellaini - 7.5
Fellaini was brought on with the score on 2-1 for an obvious task - wind down the clock by using his physical prowess to hold up the ball and attract Liverpool players into their own half. His defensive headers were excellent and helped United hold on.
Jesse Lingard - N/A
Lingard was sent on in the 89th minute.
Matteo Darmian - N/A
The Italian defender came on with 10 seconds remaining.