Manchester United beat Liverpool 1-0 at Anfield on Sunday with Louis Van Gaal prevailing for the fourth time in a row against United’s bitter rivals.
Wayne Rooney‘s record-breaking goal (his 176th for United in the PL, more than any other player for a single club in league history) delivered a crucial three points for United as they keep up their hopes of finishing in the top four, plus hurt Liverpool’s chances of challenging for UEFA Champions League qualification in the process.
Below is a mark out of 10 for each player who took the field on Sunday, plus a brief review of how they fared.
Simon Mignolet – 6 – Couldn’t do anything on the goal. Few bad clearances but was hardly troubled.
Nathaniel Clyne – 5 – Failed to get forward and seems to be tailing off in second half of the season.
Kolo Toure – 6 – Typically committed and made some important tackles in the second half.
Mamadou Sakho – 6 – See above. Could have been more dominant in aerial challenge that led to Rooney’s goal.
Alberto Moreno – 5 – Like Clyne, failed to get forward as much. Wasn’t tested defensively.
Lucas Leiva – 7 – Snapped into challenges and thread through some lovely balls. Good display.
Emre Can – 7 – Another who forced the issue and forced De Gea into a fine stop.
Jordan Henderson – 6 – Tried too hard at times but was often involved in clever play on edge of the box.
James Milner – 6 – Plenty of hard running, as always, but skied a shot in the first half.
Adam Lallana – 5 – Should have scored early and despite clever link-up play that key pass, shot always seems to evade him.
Roberto Firmino – 7 – Went close in the first and second half, always a threat and United didn’t know how to handle him.
Subs: Jordon Ibe (5- Little time to make an impact), Christian Benteke (4- Should have come on sooner), Caulker (N/A)
David de Gea – 9 (Man of the Match) – Made a good stop from Lallana in the first half and denied Can twice in the second. Superb display. Worth his weight in gold.
Ashley Young – 5 – Injured after 42 minutes. Was struggling to contain Liverpool’s attacks and failed to really get forward.
Chris Smalling – 6 – Did okay. Stood his ground and handled Benteke late on.
Daley Blind – 6 – Few good interceptions and always looking to play out of the back.
Matteo Darmian – 6 – Switched from left to right back when Young went off. Steady Eddie.
Jesse Lingard – 5 – Really didn’t get involved in the game at all. Subbed out in 66th minute for Mata.
Morgan Schneiderlin – 6 – Looked lost in first half. Got on the ball in second to help United grab a foothold.
Ander Herrera – 5 – Same as Schneiderlin. Subbed out in 72nd minute for Memphis.
Marouane Fellaini – 6 – Flicked header came off the bar and fell to Rooney for the goal. Lucky to get away with early stamp. Booked.
Anthony Martial – 6 – Flashed a shot just wide in the second half and caused problems with incisive running into the box.
Wayne Rooney – 7 – When United needed him most he delivered with a cool finish. The talisman is in red-hot form (5 goals in 4 games) despite being isolated for most of this game.
Subs: Cameron Borthwick-Jones (6 – Youngster slotted in and even surged forward late on), Juan Mata (6 – Great cross which led to the goal), Memphis (5 – Little time to have an impact but looked sharp)