Monday, 9 December 2019

Man City 1-2 Man Utd: Player ratings

Man Utd upset the applecart and derailed Pep Guardiola's title ambitions with a stunning victory in the derby. The result revived the Reds own aspirations and silenced the critics of United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Every player was immense, and our player ratings reflect that. Without further ado, we run the rule over those in red at the Etihad.

David de Gea - 7

Remarkably in an away derby at the home of the champions, De Gea had little to do. His opposite number Ederson was by far the busier of the two keepers, with De Gea mainly having to deal with shots from distance. He made a crucial, match winning save from Riyad Mahrez at 2-1 in the dying moments, clawing the ball away rather than back into the danger area. Great save!

Aaron Wan - Bissaka - 9.5

The Spiderman lived up to his name in an incredible performance on his Manchester derby debut. At one point, he even popped up on the left wing to make a tackle and win the ball back. Astonishing. One of the best players in world football in Raheem Sterling was forced to the fringes and rendered almost anonymous. Is there a better defender in the Premier League than this guy? A monstrous effort. Simply sensational. Blocked, tackled, headed, intercepted and shut down everything that was thrown at him. Magnificent. Colossal. Immense.

Harry Maguire - 8

Maguire will be disappointed with the goal we conceded, as he possibly should have picked up Otamendi who had a free header from the corner. That aside, Maguire enjoyed a steady, solid and commanding game at the heart of the defence. Showed leadership qualities and held the defence together as part of a simply immense collective display.

Victor Lindelof - 8

Immense. The Iceman channelled his inner Nemanja Vidic as he blocked everything, organised those around him and made a match winning block to deny Kevin de Bruyne. Read the game superbly and stood strong as United came under siege. Lindelof has had his critics but he was brilliant here. Shackled Gabriel Jesus superbly.

Luke Shaw - 7

Solskjaer's major selection headache was who to pick at left-back and he got it right. Although Shaw felt the pace a bit late on and got taken off, I thought he did well. He worked hard, got stuck in and did his best to support Marcus Rashford down the left. He made six clearances and two interceptions as United kept Guardiola's much vaunted attack quiet. An admirable effort.

Fred - 9

Goodness, was that really Fred or was it some sort of Roy Keane/Michael Carrick hybrid? What a performance from the Brazilian. I've been his biggest critic but he was good against Tottenham and even better here. Strong and tenacious, he put a shift in, stormed forward and did his bit defensively, linking the play to devastating effect. Tackled, pressed and passed with supreme confidence. Up against Rodri, David Silva and De Bruyne, he seized control of the midfield area and even at one point nutmegged the former to set up an attack. The ball seemed attracted to him like a magnet at times. Magnificent. Subject of some sickening racial abuse, he dealt with it very well too.

Scott McTominay - 8

Having this lad alongside him elevates Fred to another couple of notches. It's no co-incidence that our two best performances of the season - arguably our two best under Solskjaer - have come with the return of Lord Scott of McSauce. Solskjaer came to the Etihad with a gameplan and it worked to perfection. McTominay is a crucial part of that plan. An unsung hero in the side, McTominay worked like a trooper, won tackles, fought like a lion and did everything asked of him. He knows what this game means. A counter-attacking gameplan means you need a holding midfielder and McSauce did that superbly. Disciplined in front of his defence, his gamesmanship sucked the life out of City. What a player.

Daniel James - 8

Could have had a hat-trick in the first half and showed bravery and maturity beyond his years as United ripped City to pieces. It was his performance against City for Swansea in an FA Cup tie that reportedly persuaded United to sign him. He replicated that here. An absolute bargain at £15m. He chased every ball, lead the charge on the counter attack and even dropped back to help Wan - Bissaka in defence. He got an assist for Anthony Martial and was unlucky not to score himself. Excellent again.

Jesse Lingard - 7

Solskjaer picked a team built on pace and energy and Lingard was the man for the job. He's difficult to mark here. I don't think he was brilliant by any means, but by the same token he didn't do anything wrong either. Had a chance to score himself and was involved in the build up to Martial's goal. His energy and movement caused City problems and I still think he offers more off the ball than he does on it. He was the target of racial abuse from the Manchester City section but didn't rise to bait and kept his head in the firepit. Solskjaer got this one right.

Marcus Rashford - 9

A player in the form of his young career. A constant threat down the left, City could not get near him and he continued his fine run with the opening goal from the spot. Hit the bar with a clever lob, pulled the strings with patience and precision from the left, and no longer feels the need to desperately force himself on a match. He's unplayable right now and one of the most in form players on the planet. We never would have said any of this a few short weeks ago, so it's testament to the way he's playing. Immense again.

Anthony Martial - 8

On his return from injury, this was the very best of Martial. As is his wont, he drifted in and out of the game but still made his mark and was a constant menace on the break in the first half. Martial scored what turned out to be the match winning goal, even though Ederson should have done better. Gave Fernandinho no end of problems with his pace and trickery, in fact City could hardly lay a glove on him. Looked to have the stomach for the fight. He was taken off - perhaps understandably tiring - 15 minutes from the end but did everything he was asked to do.

Subs - Andreas Pereira (for Martial 74) - 6

Just not convinced by him. The only thing he really did of note was get booked seconds after coming on. Don't think United would have won this game had he started. Don't rate him.

Axel Tuanzebe (for Lingard 89) - N/A

Came on in the dying moments as Solskjaer shut up shop. No rating

Ashley Young (for Shaw 89) - N/A

Replaced Shaw in a like for like change in the last few minutes. No rating

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer - 9

In front of his former mentor Sir Alex Ferguson, this was a tactical masterpiece straight out of the great man's vintage. Outclassed Pep Guardiola emphatically, and deserves huge credit for a gameplan and team selection that was spot on. Did everything right. Would have been a 10 had we not conceded a goal. So pleased for him.

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