UEFA Europa League 2016/17: Manchester United 3-0 AS Saint-Etienne, Player Ratings
Manchester United survived a stern test from AS Saint-Etienne as they came out victorious in what was a flattering 3-0 scoreline at Old Trafford. The French side played quite brilliantly in the first half and gave the Red Devils a run for their money putting the home side under pressure early on.
After weathering the storm, the home team began creating chances with Paul Pogba running the show. There was no doubt as to which of the brothers had a better game as the 23-year-old United midfielder dominated proceedings in the midfield for much of the game.
St Etienne can count themselves unfortunate as the referee awarded two decisions that were soft and ultimately led to goals. However, they had their fair share of chances and failed to capitalise on the opportunities that they created and paid the price.
Here are how the players fared:
Manchester United (4-2-3-1)
Sergio Romero (Goalkeeper): 7/10
Romero had some nervous moments early on in the game as the Manchester United defence were in shambles. However, he helped his side keep a clean sheet with some important claims later on.
Antonio Valencia: 7.5/10
After an intense first half, Valencia settled in well and helped his side dominate the game in the second half. The right-back was a willing runner to assist in attack as Manchester United searched for goals.
Chris Smalling: 7.5/10
Smalling was solid at the back for United as he made important tackles and headed clearances to snuff out any danger in the penalty box. He made a couple of crucial blocks too.
Eric Bailly: 7/10
Bailly's start to the game was as horrible as it has been for him in a United shirt. However, he did pick himself up and made some great blocks and interceptions during the rest of the match.
Daley Blind: 7/10
Blind had only to focus on defending than attacking with Martial running riot on the left flank. He did a good job and cut out much of the attack from St Etienne's right wing.
Ander Herrera: 6.5/10
Herrera did not have one of his usual sturdy games as he was prone to a few mistakes throughout the game. Fortunately for him, none of those mistakes were punished. His yellow card means he will miss the second leg in France next week.
Marouane Fellaini: 6/10
Fellaini played only the first half as he was taken off after Mourinho chose to make a tactical change at half-time. The Belgian was not able to really get into the game and gave the ball away a few times.
Juan Mata: 7/10
Mata could have scored his third goal in three games had he finished from Paul Pogba's brilliantly-clipped ball. He made a few good runs behind the opposition defence but could not make much of it.
Paul Pogba: 8.5/10
Paul Pogba displayed multiple facets of his game as he put in an all-round display in midfield with his passing, chance creation and defensive contribution. He should have scored in the second half when he hit the crossbar as he was left unchallenged to head on goal.
Anthony Martial: 8.5/10
Martial harassed the St Etienne defenders on a constant basis and had the better of them on almost every occasion. He was unlucky to not have got on the score-sheet owing to some great saves by Ruffier.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic: 9/10
Ibrahimovic's season only keeps getting better as he got his first hat-trick for Manchester United. His first and third goals could be debatable as there was minimal contact in both cases before the referee gave a free-kick and a penalty respectively. Irrespective of that, he held up the ball well and brought his teammates into play around him.
Jesse Lingard: 6.5/10
Lingard came on for the second half as Mourinho looked to add more mobility in midfield. He came close to scoring late on with low, curled effort from outside the box.
Marcus Rashford: 7/10
Rashford made an immediate impact after coming on as a substitute as he ran past the St Etienne defenders and his deflected cross fell kindly to Ibrahimovic.
Ashley Young: NA
Young came on for the last five minutes and did not have a lot of time to make an impact.
St. Etienne (4-4-2)
Stephane Ruffier (Goalkeeper): 7.5/10
Ruffier was brilliant for the visitors throughout the match as he made some crucial saves. He could not have done anything much about the three goals conceded.
Kevin Malcuit: 6/10
Malcuit had a really tough time as he had the task of keeping Martial out as a result, he was not able to offer much while going forward.
Loic Perrin: 6.5/10
Perrin put in a solid performance for much of the first half as he thwarted quite a few Manchester United attacks. He should have organised his defence better for the first free kick.
Kevin Theophile-Catherine: 6.5/10
Theophile-Catherine played some really good balls to his forwards during the first half that caused a lot of problems. However, he had to do much of the defending in the second half. He might have been unlucky to have conceded a penalty that was a harsh call.
Florentin Pogba: 6/10
Florentin, the older brother of Paul, had a tough time marking the Manchester United wide players as they made life difficult for him by cutting in as well as running behind him. He did not maintain great positioning.
Jorge Intima: 6/10
Jorginho showed some great moments of promise but lacked a dangerous final ball. He could have earned a penalty in the first half when he was clipped by Blind.
Jordan Veretout: 6.5/10
Veretout got stuck in against all the Manchester United players and tried to give them less space to move around the pitch. He was unlucky to have deemed to have fouled Ibrahimovic for the free kick that led to the first goal.
Vincent Pajot: 6.5/10
Pajot did much of the dirty work for St Etienne in the midfield. He could have had a goal to his name in the first half. In the second half, he made a few fouls and was even booked.
Kevin Monnet-Paquet: 6/10
Monnet-Pacquet started the game well as he sent in a few threatening balls early on. As the game wore on, the impact from him grew lesser. He had a couple of shots that could have been taken better to work the keeper.
Henri Saivet: 6.5/10
Saivet had a number of attempts on the opposition’s goal. Two of his best ones came in the first half when he should have done better but fired wide on both occasions.
Romain Hamouma: 7/10
Hamouma was full of running in the first half and was the main source of all the intense attacking from St Etienne early on in the match. He had a few blocked shots that could have ended up in the back of the net on another day.
Nolan Roux: 6/10
Roux probably had the best chance to equalise for St Etienne after coming on as a sub. His attempt to chip Romero landed on the roof of the net and could have changed the complexion of the tie as it was 1-0 to United at the time.
Ole Selnaes: 6.5/10
Selnaes made a great contribution after coming on as he brilliantly found Roux free in the box.
Robert Beric: 6/10
Beric came on for the last 10 minutes following an injury to Florentin Pogba. He had less time to make an impact and had to try and keep the United forwards at bay.