Four shots on target from both sides and a scoreless outcome would normally not describe an exciting, tenacious, open match of football between two top footballing outfits. However, in the case of Manchester United vs Liverpool, the passion and excitement which defined the Old Trafford affair made it quite the spectacle.
An injury-ravaged draw with league leaders Liverpool could be considered a solid result even though it leaves United a point off the coveted fourth position. Gritty and triumphant individual performances gave the Red Devils debatably better chances to win the match, as reflected in today’s ratings.
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David de Gea- 5
Surprisingly, de Gea didn’t have much to do as Liverpool only mustered a single shot on target. Congrats on your 100th Premier League clean sheet!
Ashley Young- 3
Somewhat redeeming himself late in the match with a few impressive interceptions will not detract from the fact that Young could have given away plenty more than he did in the first half.
Chris Smalling- 7
Yet another astute performance from Chris Smalling could be the sign of new life for the defender. He was solid in the air with excellent positioning and earned a second consecutive clean sheet in a big match.
Victor Lindelof- 7
The Swede’s typical calmness on the ball was questioned in no small part due to Klopp’s pressing system, but his defending was undoubtedly brilliant once again and he deserves the praise as much as Smalling.
Luke Shaw- 8
Shaw’s solid form continued with a shutdown of Liverpool’s right flank, as the 23-year-old completely nullified Mohamed Salah’s threat and even prompted the withdrawal of the Egyptian talisman as Klopp’s men searched for a goal. He deserves more credit and, improving his crossing, could be one of the best fullbacks in England.
Scott McTominay- 7
Playing in a deeper role which likely suits him more than Pogba’s position, and definitely suits him more than centre-back, McTominay proved that there could be life after Matic as his performance level in this match was not far off the player for whom he was deputising. He, like Matic, could improve in possession, but his defensive awareness and resistance of pressure deserves immense credit.
Ander Herrera- 6
The Spaniard looked rampant in the opening 20 minutes of the match before facing an unfortunate injury, which could prove awful for United.
Paul Pogba- 7
The midfielder remained the biggest threat on the pitch and all while performing his defensive tasks astutely and efficiently. He deserves credit for a gritty performance that many do not believe he is capable of.
Juan Mata- 5
Mata retained possession well in the opening minutes of the match but, like Herrera, his potential impact on the pitch was ended by an injury which saw him withdrawn in the 24th minute.
Marcus Rashford- 5
Playing 90 minutes while injured can be considered a heroic act from Rashford, whose only other option was to withdraw himself from the proceedings and leave ten United players to fight out the proceedings. He did about as well as he possibly could have and ultimately earned the rest he will be forced into this week.
Romelu Lukaku- 4
Lukaku had two excellent moments; the first was an intricate through-ball from which Jesse Lingard could not escape Alisson, and the second was an in-swinging left-footed cross that flashed across the face of the goal but could not be buried.
Andreas Pereira- 5
Pereira fulfilled his duties on the pitch but was all-in-all ineffective as usual, failing to win duels off the ball and taking far too many risks in possession for an efficient counter-attacking team. He will be worried about his place at the club, and rightfully so; Fred should be starting the next match if Herrera is absent.
Jesse Lingard- 5
Bringing Lingard on in the first place was a mistake from Solskjaer, who had to take him off 20 minutes after his first-half introduction due to injury. The error likely lengthens the attacking midfielder’s layoff, which was expected to end today with an appearance late in the match.
Alexis Sanchez- 6
One of the Chilean’s better cameos for United featured improved retention of possession, the occasional clever move, and the same desire to make an impact.