Premier League player ratings [Manchester United]: Manchester United 2-1 Liverpool

Manchester United strengthened their chances of finishing in the runner-up spot as they secured a 2-1 triumph over arch-rivals Liverpool in the Premier League on Saturday.

The visitors were fancied by many to push for the victory, but Jose Mourinho put in another tactical master-class which nullified the threat of the Reds’ attack.

Marcus Rashford, who had made his first Premier League start since Boxing Day, took a couple of early chances to give United a 2-0 lead within the 24th minute.

From then, United were resolute with their defending, and barring an Eric Bailly own goal during the second half, they managed to restrict Liverpool to efforts from outside the box.

Player Ratings:

David de Gea: The Spain international had a safe afternoon between the sticks, and probably deserved a clean sheet. His distribution was top-class throughout the game as United opted for a long-ball strategy from the back – 6.5/10

Antonio Valencia: The skipper had a rough time handling the right side of the defence, where Andrew Robertson and Sadio Mane found space. Would be disappointed with Mane’s cross for the equaliser which he could not intercept – 6/10

Eric Bailly: Bailly made his maiden league start of 2018, and came up with a top-class defensive performance. The Ivorian was solid for 65 minutes prior to his own-goal, and retained his focus to restrict any further damage – 7/10

Chris Smalling: A much controlled performance from the previous outing at Selhurst Park. The Englishman stood his ground, and barely allowed the Reds attack to have a clear sight on goal, barring one corner – 7/10

Ashley Young: Did an exceptional job of restricting the Premier League’s top goal-getter in Mohamed Salah. He was also fluent with his delivery to Alexis Sanchez whilst launching a counter-attack – 7/10

Nemanja Matic: The Serbian appeared to gain his confidence after his match-winning streak versus Palace. Matic was a glowing presence with his interceptions and forced Liverpool to take a wider route – 7/10

Scott McTominay: McTominay had the pressure upon him to deliver after an injury to Paul Pogba, and he managed to step up to the plate. The Anglo-Scot produced a truly inspiring performance in the first-half, but had to grind it out during the second – 7/10

Juan Mata: The Spaniard was not in the best of form, but nevertheless moved the ball quickly with precision on the attack. Should have notched United’s third goal after a wonderful cross from Alexis Sanchez – 6/10

Alexis Sanchez: Sanchez was offered a free role in the United attack front, and the Chilean managed to make a series of accurate passes during the game. Should have earned an assist at the least but Mata missed a glorious scoring opportunity – 7/10

Marcus Rashford: Rashford has had a tough time on the break of late, and he did not disappointed with his rare start in 2018. The youngster had the better of Liverpool’s Alexander-Arnold and netted a quick brace to put United at an early advantage – 7.5/10

Romelu Lukaku: The Belgium international has been brilliant with his link-up play of late, and was hugely influential with a headed assist for Rashford’s opener. The Belgian was also indirectly involved in Rashford’s second after winning a physical battle with Dejan Lovren – 7/10

Substitutes:

Marouane Fellaini, Jesse Lingard, Matteo Darmian

 

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