Man United 3 Liverpool 0: Player ratings as David De Gea stars

Player ratings as David De Gea scoops yet another man-of-the-match award

By Joel Durston
Man United
3
Liverpool
0

Manchester United

David De Gea (Man of the Match) Carried on his fantastic form by making himself big and getting the better of three one-on-one situations with Sterling. Also, made good saves in the second half. 9/10

Antonio Valencia Adapted to his left-wing back position superbly. Calm and industrious in defence and threatening going forward, most notably for the first goal where he nutmegged Allen and provided an inch-perfect cut-back for Rooney. 8

Phil Jones Generally solid performance in a back three which could have proved troublesome given the formation and the personnel, which has changed a lot this season. 7

Jonny Evans Made a rash challenge on Coutinho and Liverpool did get in behind a few times, but a reasonable performance. 6

Ashley Young Far from perfect – or indeed what he was like at his best – but much more workmanlike than he has been in many games recently, even in an unnatural wing-back position, and provided a good cross which led to Mata’s goal. 7

Michael Carrick Very composed at centre-half – a position which the natural midfielder is increasingly being asked to play and adapting to – once even, under pressure, taking two Liverpool players out of game with a cheeky backheel. 8

Marouane Fellaini After his playmaking days at Everton and a disappointing start at United, the Belgian seems to be growing into a holding role. He was very physical here without going over the top – as he sometimes does – and started off several moves. 7

Juan Mata Very busy, joined up play very well and had a part in the last two goals. He showed good poacher’s instinct to head in at the back post and then providing a great faked-shot-cum-pass to Van Persie which took Liverpool’s three defenders and even keeper Jones out of the game. 8

Wayne Rooney A good all-round performance in a midfield role he is increasingly adept at – combative with a good range of short and long-range passing, capped off with a good goal. 8

James Wilson The youngster didn’t falter on the big stage but nor did he make a big impression. 6

Robin van Persie His finish and positioning for the goal was good, albeit put on a plate by Mata. And in general he looked far fitter, hard-working – once he even tracked 30 yards back to the half-way line to make a tackle at 3-0 up – and more dangerous than he did at the start of the season. 8

Substitutes

Ander Herrera N/A

Radamel Falcao N/A

Paddy McNair N/A

Liverpool

Brad Jones Didn’t exactly stake a great claim for out-of-form Simon Mignolet’s position. It’s easy to say with the benefit of hindsight, but even without he probably should have stayed on his feet for the first goal, rather than guess which way Rooney was shooting – and guess wrong. Wasn’t at fault for the second, but again committed early when Mata shaped to shoot for the third, meaning he was out of position for Van Persie’s finish. 4

Glen Johnson Went off injured after 25 minutes after not making much impact. 5

Martin Skrtel Struggling to regain his form of a few years ago. Gave Van Persie too much space to flick on the header to Mata for the second goal. 5

Dejan Lovren Continued his poor run of form, not getting a handle on United’s – albeit very impressive – attack. A very poor clearance led to the third goal. 4

Alberto Moreno At fault for the second goal in letting Mata slip in behind. The United player was actually offside, but the lack of the arm up in appeal from Moreno suggested that was more by accident than design. And in general, Valencia controlled that side of the pitch, whether due to winning their battles or Moreno just not being there, as with the first goal. 4

Jordan Henderson Worked hard and did nothing wrong (maybe that’s said too often?). Should have done better with a header after a good run to meet a Sterling cross. 6

Steven Gerrard Sprayed some typically fine long-range passes but never really looked like proving the difference in the fixture like he has so many times before. 6

Joe Allen Nutmegged by Valencia for the goal and beaten easily by him again when he obstructed him and earned a yellow card. Generally did not show enough fight for a midfield like United’s. 5

Philippe Coutinho Showed some attacking threat – as shown by United’s heavy-handed treatment of him – but was lazy in not tracking Rooney back for the goal. 6

Raheem Sterling Worked very hard to create good opportunities, for himself and others – but, though de Gea saved well, you would have liked to have seen score at least one, or at least muster more than mediocre efforts on goal. 6

Adam Lallana Clever work put Sterling through for what probably should have been a goal and showed some good touches. Maybe a little unlucky to be subbed off at half-time. 6

Substitutes

Kolo Toure Could not stem the rot in an unusual back three after coming on for Johnson after 25 minutes. 5

Mario Balotelli A typically mixed bag of a Balotelli performance, of late anyway, including as it did two decent efforts; one audacious one; once putting it straight at de Gea; a few moments of skill; petulantly tugging back two players; disappointed body language; an attempted overhead kick; extravagantly blasting a free-kick straight at the wall. And all in just one half after he came on. At the very least, he still entertains. 5

Lazar Markovic N/A

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