Manchester United vs Liverpool saw the Red Devils defy their horrid start to the new Premier League season in a surprising and potentially galvanizing 2-1 victory at Old Trafford on Monday.
Erik ten Hag’s side scored its first goal of the season, picked up its first point and alleviated more than a bit of pressure on the new manager.
Let’s dig into Manchester United vs Liverpool player ratings.
Manchester United player ratings vs Liverpool
David de Gea: 7 — By virtue of Erik ten Hag green-lighting the long ball on goal kicks, De Gea was infinitely better than his disaster performance against Brentford. Credit to De Gea, who has always responded to his critics defiantly
Diogo Dalot: 7 — The Portuguese right back continues to defy previously-held public opinion by simply remaining at Man United, let alone starting and shutting down Luis Diaz in the club’s biggest game of the season.
Raphael Varane: 7.5 — It’ll be hard for Ten Hag to go back to Harry Maguire alongside Lisandro Martinez after seeing the French-Argentine connection nearly keep a clean sheet and limit Liverpool the way they did.
Lisandro Martinez: 7 — He knew absolutely nothing about it, but the Argentine’s goal-line block and clearance of Bruno Fernandes’ nearly humiliating own goal should buy him a bit of time and good grace as he acclimates to Man United and the Premier League.
Tyrell Malacia: 7 — Mohamed Salah was corralled and kept quiet for 90 minutes, which is no easy task, let alone for a player new to the Premier League and known more for his attacking verve.
Christian Eriksen: 6.5 — Eriksen’s deployment alongside Scott McTominay was an interesting, but perhaps necessary, choice by Ten Hag, with Fred and the Scot struggling badly to fulfill the new manager’s wishes on the ball. Once Casemiro is in the team, Eriksen could thrive in the deeper role, but he’ll need plenty of protecting defensively.
Scott McTominay: 6 — At this point, McTominay is only in the starting lineup because he is at the club and someone has to play the position.
Jadon Sancho: 8 — There were flashes of “the Dortmund Sancho” in the first half, including his goal, and it’s clear he’ll terrorize PL defenders whenever he gets them one-on-one. The confidence of scoring against Liverpool, at Old Trafford, should do wonders for the 22-year-old.
Bruno Fernandes: 6 — There’s no one in the Man United team that needs a natural striker to lead the line (more on that in a moment) than Fernandes. He’s borderline unplayable when he’s combing through the middle and in the channels.
Anthony Elanga: 5 — Given the hook at halftime, perhaps due to injury or wanting to push Marcus Rashford out wide, it’s unclear what Elanga offers this United side right now.
Marcus Rashford: 8 — He didn’t offer a ton other than runs in behind the defense (which were rarely, if ever, found) in the first half when playing center forward, but the extra space out on the left (and the ability to link up with Anthony Martial and Malacia) saw him come alive after the break. He should still be central to Manchester United’s rebuild.
(Halftime sub) Anthony Martial: 7.5 — United are so starved for an actual center forward that Martial, who spent the second half of last season out on loan and, again, just happens to currently be at the club, looked like a revolutionary when dropped into the middle of the field. His through ball for Rashford’s goal was simple enough, but the kind of play that, say, Ronaldo likely wouldn’t make in the same situation.
Liverpool player ratings vs Manchester United
Alisson: 5.5 — Rashford’s goal was taken expertly, but it’s also the kind of save that Alisson typically erases to rescue Liverpool in a dire moment.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 6 — When the full backs aren’t bombing forward and tucking into midfield to create massive overloads, it’s tough sledding for the rest of the Liverpool attack.
Joe Gomez: 5.5 — If Virgil van Dijk isn’t able to make every play imaginable in the world, Gomez (and anyone who plays alongside him, will struggle.
Virgil van Dijk: 5.5 — For the entirety of Liverpool’s recent run as PL title contenders, Champions League contenders (and winners) and all the rest, Van Dijk showed once or twice every single why he was the best defender in the world. He allowed Liverpool the
freedom reckless abandon to press and counter-attack the way they have done. The big Dutchman doesn’t appear to be that player anymore, and it’s crippling the Reds right now.
Andrew Robertson: 6 — When the full backs aren’t bombing forward and tucking into midfield to create massive overloads, it’s tough sledding for the rest of the Liverpool attack.
Jordan Henderson: 6 — Without Fabinho in the midfield, it’s very clear that Henderson should be targeted by opposition attacks through the middle of the field. Man United found lots of joy there on Monday.
James Milner: 5.5 — Everyone knows he’s only in the starting lineup due to the rash of injuries up and down Liverpool’s squad, but explaining his ineffectiveness in what felt like a potentially must-win game doesn’t make it go away.
Harvey Elliott: 5.5 — Similar story to that of Milner. Elliott is one for the future with the ability to help in the here and now, but Monday’s game was much too fast and and physical for him to thrive.
Mohamed Salah: 7 — The Egyptian winger was uncharacteristically silent on Monday, as Malacia and Martinez, with a bit more help from McTominay, offered zero time and space. He wriggled free for a late consolation goal, but it was clear that denying Salah the opportunity to take the game over was defensive objective no. 1.
Roberto Firmino: 6 — If Salah is going to be effectively marked out of the game, Firmino has to have a significant influence on the attack and, much like Van Dijk, he’s not that player anymore. Of course, he doesn’t start if Darwin Nuñez isn’t suspended.
Luis Diaz: 5.5 — Diaz was, perhaps, the worst of the three attackers, all of whom were well below par. The combination of a deep defensive line, a harried press in midfield and Liverpool having no midfield play-maker with Thiago Alcantara out injured, made for some miserable attacking play.