Player ratings: Man United vs. Arsenal – Which players shone?

Leave a comment

MANCHESTER — Manchester United beat Arsenal 3-2 in a pulsating clash at Old Trafford on Sunday as Louis Van Gaal‘s injury-hit outfit battled hard and the title-chasing Gunners collapsed.

[ MORE: 3 things learned ]

Marcus Rashford stole the show with two goals and an assist, while Van Gaal’s antics on the sidelines deserve a 10 out of 10 (especially that dive, it wouldn’t look out of place in an Olympic diving competition) with the Dutchman celebrating a big win in their race for a top four place.

Here’s marks out of 10 on every player.

Manchester United

David De Gea – 7 – Two vital stops and always a calming influence as Arsenal pushed for an equalizer late on.

Guillermo Varela – 8 – Superb positional play and won everything in the air. Youngster also impressed going forward. Growing with each game.

Michael Carrick – 7 – Solid from the skipper who tried his best to hold a makeshift defense together.

Daley Blind – 7 – Few giveaways but some good interceptions. Really hard to criticize any of United’s defenders.

Marcos Rojo – 6 – Put in a decent shift until he went off. Arsenal did have some joy down his flank in first half.

Morgan Schneiderlin – 7 – Sat deep and provided the defense with a good shield.

Ander Herrera – 7 – Scored a goal and battled away at the heart of United’s midfield. Didn’t give Ramsey or Coquelin time to breath.

Juan Mata – 6 – Kept things ticking over nicely but didn’t really get a chance to express himself in attack.

Memphis – 8 – Much more like it. Ran at Bellerin all day long and combined well with Rashford. Has he turned the corner?

Jesse Lingard – 7 – Good looping cross for Rashford’s second and always available even if all his tricks didn’t come off.

STAR MAN – Marcus Rashford – 9 – So close to a 10 out of 10 as he scored twice in the first half and set up the third. Sensational from the 18-year-old on his Premier League debut. Four goals in his first two games for United. Wow.

Subs: Tim Fosu-Mensah (on for Rojo, 55′) – 6 – Debutant all over the place defensively. Never looked like he’d played left back before and probably hasn’t but still, full of fight. Adnan Januzaj (on for Rashford, 80′) – 6 – Full of running when he came on. James Weir (on for Herrera, 90′) – 5 – Yet another debutant, the fifth for United in the last week, didn’t have any time to make an impact.


Petr Cech – 6 – Couldn’t do much on the goals and other than that, did his job.

Hector Bellerin – 5 – Didn’t offer an offensive threat and Memphis worked him hard all day long.

Gabriel – 4 – Lost Rashford on both goals. Slow to react and lucky not to have given a PK away in first half.

Laurent Koscielny – 5 – Again, lost track of Rashford on second goal and looked shaky under pressure.

Nacho Monreal – 5 – Should have put Arsenal 1-0 up early on after Ozil’s sublime flick. Will rue that missed chance.

Francis Coquelin – 4 – Poor outing from the usually reliable Frenchman. Lost midfield battle and awful positioning to allow Herrera so much time for United’s third goal.

Aaron Ramsey – 5 – Like Coquelin, was outbattled in midfield and reacted poorly as he pushed over Herrera. Frustrating afternoon.

Alexis Sanchez – 5 – Non-existent. Is he really fully fit? On this showing no. Varela didn’t have too many troubles with him.

Mesut Ozil – 7 – Scored and grabbed an assist. He continues to deliver but couldn’t take over the game when it mattered most. Shackled.

Theo Walcott – 5 – Another who just failed to get going. Got in out wide early on but Arsenal couldn’t find him often. Better as an impact player these days.

Danny Welbeck – 7 – Scored a header and was Arsenal’s biggest attacking threat. Still looks a yard of full fitness but getting there.

Subs: Olivier Giroud (on for Walcott, 63′) – 6 – Had one header goalwards but struggled for service. Mohamed Elneny (on for Coquelin, 70′) – 5 – Hacked down Memphis and that was about it. Alex Iwobi (on for Welbeck, 83′) – 5 – Didn’t get going, not enough time to impact game.

Premier League Preview: Man City v. Man United

Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images
Leave a comment
  • Man City (3rd) trail Liverpool by 11 points
  • Man United (6th) eight points out of 4th
  • Last meeting: Man United 0-2 Man City

For the first time in recent memory, Manchester City and Manchester United each find themselves failing to meet expectations — by their own respective standards, at least — as they prepare to meet at the Etihad Stadium in the 179th Manchester derby on Saturday (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN and

Man City, the two-time defending Premier League champions, are looking increasingly unlikely to retain their crown for a third straight season but look a surefire bet to finish in the top-four, which is a place for which Man United would bite your hand off as they currently trail leaders Liverpool by more points (22) than they have points of their own (21).

[ STREAM: Every PL match live

The struggles for United have been all about consistency as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s side hasn’t won back-to-back games all season. The Red Devils haven’t won two in a row in the PL since March. On the bright side, United turned in one of their complete performances of the season on Wednesday, spoiling Jose Mourinho’s return to Old Trafford and beating Tottenham Hotspur 2-1. Marcus Rashford scored both goals and Solskjaer couldn’t rave enough about his 22-year-old forward after the game. From start to finish, United were the better team and looked in majority control, which isn’t something they’ve been able to say often in 2019.

As for City, they’ve simply been “not good enough” without ever actually being “bad” this season, given Liverpool’s scintillating form (14W-1D-0L thus far). Realistically, City likely need to pick up all 69 remaining points this season, and even then they might still come up short.


Man City: OUT – Sergio Aguero (thigh), Aymeric Laporte (knee), Leroy Sane (knee), Oleksandr Zinchenko (knee)

Man United: OUT – Anthony Martial (hamstring), Eric Bailly (knee), Marcos Rojo (undisclosed); QUESTIONABLE: Paul Pogba (ankle), Nemanja Matic (groin), Diogo Dalot (groin)

Projected lineups

Man City: Ederson — Walker, Otamendi, Fernandinho, Angeliño — Rodri, De Bruyne, Silva — Bernardo, Jesus, Sterling

Man United: De Gea — Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Young — Fred, McTominay, James, Mata, Lingard — Rashford

What they’re saying

Pep Guardiola, on the derby: “It’s Man United. I respect what they’ve done for English football, European, and world football. United have huge history and their quality is always there but we must try to beat them. We play against a good team, try to follow the performances we’ve put in and try to win the game. You know my opinion on the title race.”

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, on his derby memories: “It took many years before I played a Manchester derby myself. Of course, Man City are a better team now than when I was playing. … Confidence is a strange thing in football; you can get performances and results like Wednesday night and it boosts it so much. And I know our boys will be up for it. 24 hours less recovery time [than City] shouldn’t matter, you go on adrenaline.”


The win over Tottenham was impressive, no doubt about it, but City remain a challenge of an entirely different class, no matter what their points total says. If the title is well and truly gone for Guardiola’s side, then retaining superiority in Manchester will have to suffice. City 3-1 United.

Klinsmann gets first point as Hertha Berlin manager

Photo by Jan-Philipp Burmann/City-Press via Getty Images
Leave a comment

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) Jurgen Klinsmann claimed his first point since returning to coaching as his Hertha Berlin team let slip a two-goal lead to draw with Frankfurt 2-2 in the Bundesliga on Friday.

[ MORE: Chelsea transfer ban reduced; can sign players in January ]

Hertha was clinging to a 2-1 lead in the 86th minute when Sebastian Rode hammered the ball in from a corner for Frankfurt to deny the Berlin team the win.

Hertha is in the relegation playoff spot in 16th and winless in its last six league games, while Frankfurt is 10th.

Dodi Lukebakio gave Hertha the lead with a shot through Frederik Ronnow’s legs. That goal was assisted by Marko Grujic, who later made it 2-0 with a header from a free kick.

However, Frankfurt almost immediately replied with a header of its own from Martin Hinteregger, the Austrian defender with five Bundesliga goals.

[ MORE: Brendan Rodgers signs new contract at Leicester ]

Frankfurt’s fans expressed their disapproval of the video assistant referee after it ruled out two goals for the hosts. There was a rare disallowed own goal when Hertha goalkeeper Thomas Kraft palmed a cross into his own net but was found to have been pushed while jumping.

Klinsmann took over Hertha last week on a temporary deal until the end of the season, after Ante Covic was fired with the team under threat of relegation. Klinsmann hadn’t coached since being fired in 2016 by the United States, and last worked at a club in 2009 at Bayern Munich.

Nigel Pearson appointed new Watford manager

Photo by Plumb Images/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Nigel Pearson has been appointed new manager of Watford and been handed a very straightforward — but tall — task for the remainder of the season: avoid relegation from the Premier League.

[ MORE: Chelsea transfer ban reduced; can sign players in January ]

Pearson takes over from Quique Sanchez Flores — who only took over from Javi Gracia in September — who left his post at Vicarage Road with the Hornets sitting 20th out of 20 teams in the PL table, already seven points adrift from safety. Pearson’s contract runs through the end of the season.

The 56-year-old Pearson, who last managed in the PL with Leicester City in 2015, was most recently in charge of Belgian side OH Leuven before he was fired in February.

[ MORE: Brendan Rodgers signs new contract at Leicester ]

Pearson won’t take charge of Saturday’s game against Crystal Palace (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET, on NBC Sports Gold). Interim manager Hayden Mullins will see out the week’s preparations and manage the team before handing the reins to Pearson on Sunday.

Prince-Wright’s Premier League picks

Leave a comment

Matchweek 16 is here in the Premier League as things are heating up very nicely ahead of the festive season.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

If you, like me, love to dissect all the games and predict what the score will be and which team will win, I encourage you to get involved in the comments section below. Let’s have a bit of fun.

Okay, so I’ve consulted my crystal ball and here’s how we see things panning out. Listen carefully, because this is very specific.

While you can download the NBC Sports Predictor app (below) and play the Premier League Pick ‘Em game yourself to predict the scores and win the prizes.


With the first section labelled “basically, free money” for the picks I think are dead certs. The section labelled “don’t touch this” means if you’re betting I advise you to stay clear, while the “so you’re telling me there’s a chance” section are the long shots. If it is better odds you are after, those are the picks to go for.


Tottenham 3-0 Burnley – (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Gold) – [STREAM

Bournemouth 1-3 Liverpool – (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM] 

West Ham 3-1 Arsenal – (Monday, 3 p.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM


Newcastle 1-1 Southampton – (Sunday, 9 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Gold) – [STREAM]

Man City 2-2 Man United – (Saturday, 12:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM]

Watford 1-2 Crystal Palace – (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Gold) – [STREAM


Everton 2-1 Chelsea – (Saturday, 7:30 a.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM

Aston Villa 2-2 Leicester City – (Sunday, 9 a.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM]

Brighton 2-1 Wolves – (Sunday 11:30 a.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM]

Norwich 2-0 Sheffield United – (Sunday, 9 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Gold) – [STREAM