Premier league football is back once again following the international break and the game week began with one of its most exhilarating encounters when Liverpool welcomed age-old rivals Manchester United at Anfield this afternoon. United, the league leaders (jointly with city rivals Manchester City who are just ahead on goal difference), were yet to lose a game whereas Jurgen Klopp’s side only managed one single win in last seven outings. The Saturday afternoon fixture, thus, was a critical outing for both outfits and the game deserved all the hype it generated for past few days.
The match, however, ended in goalless despite Liverpool’s dominance as Mourinho’s deep defensive strategy worked out in his side’s favour.
Below are the Manchester United players rated from this scoreless outing.
David De Gea: 8
United’s saviour once more. He had to do a few routine stops but exceptionally denied Joel Matip from close range with a majestic save to maintain a clean-sheet.
Antonio Valencia: 7.5
Did not offer much offensively as he usually does but did well to keep contain Philippe Coutinho by not allowing him enough space to find a through or shoot from distance.
Chris Smalling: 7
Started the in place of injured Eric Bailly but delivered a commendable display with his blocks, tackles, and interceptions. Helped his side to bag another clean-sheet.
Phil Jones: 7
Lost possession dangerously in once occasion, the English international, however, was pretty solid otherwise and never allowed Liverpool enough space to break their defensive resilience.
Matteo Darmian: 6.5
Started the game in place of Ashley Young who was shifted to his usual right-wing slot. Darmian struggled against Salah’s pace and Gomez’s crosses but did not allow them to cut inside and create goal-scoring opportunities.
Nemanja Matic: 7.5
Matic had a fine long-range effort in the first half which just went over the bar. The Serbian concentrated on screening his backline otherwise and made some crucial blocks and interceptions to break Liverpool’s movements.
Ander Herrera: 6.5
Mostly spent time on defensive responsibilities and failed to create enough chances for the attackers. Herrera, nevertheless, responded well to Mourinho’s strategic display and helped his side to gain one away point from this fixture.
Ashley Young: 6
Young started on the right-wing and dominated Alberto Moreno initially with his runs and smart one-twos. But he slowly lost control of the game and mostly spent his time covering Valencia who was focused on containing Philippe Coutinho. Was taken off and replaced in the closing seconds of added time by Victor Lindelof.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan: 5.5
Mkhitaryan started the game as United’s ‘number 10’ and failed to create enough opportunities for Romelu Lukaku who remained isolated throughout. The Armenian did not have enough supplies from midfield and his quiet evening ended when he was replaced by Jesse Lingard.
Anthony Martial: 6.5
Martial struggled against Joe Gomez except for one smart one-two with REomelu Lukaku that exposed Liverpool defence but the Belgian failed to score. Martial, however, helped his side defensively and was taken off and replaced by Marcus Rashford in the second half.
Romelu Lukaku: 5
The Belgian hitman had an afternoon to forget. He had one opportunity to break the deadlock in the first half which was stopped by the Liverpool custodian Simon Mignolet. Lukaku was vastly isolated otherwise.
Jesse Lingard: 5.5
Lingard came in place of Mkhitaryan. Mourinho injected the fresh pair of legs and pace high up the pitch, but the player could not make any noteworthy contribution.
Marcus Rashford: 5
Rashford replaced Martial but was well contained by Gomez and could not create enough chances from the left-hand flank.
Victor Lindelof: NA
Played too little to warrant a rating.