Luke Shaw

Player Ratings from Man City 1-2 Manchester United

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It was even closer than it looked, but Manchester United held on to defeat Manchester City 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

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It’s a significant jolt for the Red Devils and boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who bewildered City’s backs with lightning quick counters.

Were it not for Ederson, it might’ve been the sort of result that raised worldwide eyebrows. Heck, it probably is, anyway.

Here’s how the players fared as City out shot its guests 22-11 and held onto 71 percent of the ball only to lose the match.

Manchester City

Ederson — 7 — Kept City in the match early, but would’ve liked to have gotten his paw to Martial’s goal.

Kyle Walker — 7 — Quite effective at both ends, including a great intervention in the first half.

John Stones (Off 59′) — 6 — Not involved in either conceded goal before leaving with injury.

Fernandinho — 5 — Not his day.

Angelino — 6 — Lively, but will have wanted to do better on Martial’s goal.

Rodri (Off 86′)– 7 — City’s best player, with four interceptions, more tidy passing, and decisive wins in some big 50-50 challenges.

David Silva — 7 — Four key passes and two shots on target as a promising part of the attack.

Kevin De Bruyne — 7 — A fairly brilliant performance that would normally have netted an assist or two; Five key passes to go with 117 touches.

Bernardo Silva (Off 65′) — 5 — Conceded a poor penalty to Rashford; Won some duels but didn’t manage shot on target.

Raheem Sterling — 6 — Lively, but not his starring self.

Gabriel Jesus — 5 — A pretty terrible day filling in for Sergio Aguero.

Subs

Pep’s subs made a difference, led by goal scorer Nicolas Otamendi (59′). who gets an 8.

Riyad Mahrez (65′) — 7. Ilkay Gundogan (86′) — N/A


Manchester United

David De Gea — 6 — Four saves, one of them great, but failed to claim the corner that became Otamendi’s goal.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka — 8 — United got it right when they splashed the cash to bring this one from Crystal Palace. Might’ve saved a goal off a bad Lindelof giveaway.

Victor Lindelof — 7 — A couple of very dicey moments including a bad giveaway, but overall played his part.

Harry Maguire — 7 — Eight clearances, three interceptions, two tackles, and a blocked shot but to blame along with De Gea for the goal.

Luke Shaw (Off 89′) — 6 — A little wobbly and weary as the match wore on, but credited with six clearances.

Fred — 7 — Had a banner day offensively, dribbling well in tight spaces (4-for-4). Amazing he kept his composure while being racially abused and pelted with objects. Reprehensible.

Scott McTominay — 9 — Outstanding. Won 12 of 15 duels, drew five fouls, and made three interceptions to go with three tackles.

Daniel James — 7 — An efficient day, with some early moments of attacking power.

Marcus Rashford — 7 — Coming into his own.

Jesse Lingard (Off 89′) — 5 — Did very little on the day, one of the only odd and unrewarded decisions from Solskjaer

Anthony Martial (Off 74′) — 7 — Did well to get his shot away for United’s second goal, but that really his only moment of influence on the match.

Subs 

Andreas Pereira (74′) — 5 — Pretty poor from the Brazilian, who had a petulant foul or two on the day.

Ashley Young (89′) — N/A; Axel Tuanzebe (89′) — N/A.

Woodward insinuates new contracts at Man United down to transfer struggles

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Ed Woodward rarely speaks publicly as he leads Manchester United through a season of struggles, but his most recent words have given further ammunition to those who criticize the squad talent level.

Speaking after the 2-2 draw with Aston Villa while piled more pressure on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Woodward was asked about the multitude of new contracts given to players at Manchester United rather than attempting to upgrade positions of weakness. His answer seemed to admit transfer window failings and that contract extensions were fallback options.

“It’s hard enough to get three players done in a transfer window,” Woodward said. “To get six or seven done is extremely difficult if you are getting proper talent. If you choose to churn every player because they are not good enough and you’re not extending contracts, you are putting yourself at risk of execution. Sometimes you have to take a broader view.”

Manchester United has signed players like Phil Jones, Andreas Pereira, Juan Mata, Anthony Martial, and Ashley Young were all extended in the past calendar year, and all those players have at times heard noise about their Red Devils’ futures. Luke Shaw and Marcos Rojo also received new contracts last fall. The club has also given extensions to David De Gea, Marcus Rashford, Scott McTominay, and Victor Lindelof, although those players have been far less criticized for their performances on the pitch.

It doesn’t help that the few players offloaded this summer have performed well overseas, as Romelu Lukaku has built a strong partnership with Lautaro Martinez at Inter Milan while Chris Smalling has helped Roma to one of the best defenses in Serie A.

“It’s a multi-year squad evolution analysis,” Woodward said, seeming to brush squad decisions off as more than just the struggles faced this season.

Astana’s comeback sinks young Man United

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Manchester United lost 2-1 at Astana, as the youngest starting lineup in Man United’s European history battled hard and took the lead but lost to the Kazakstani champions.

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Jesse Lingard gave United the lead as the likes of Mason Greenwood, James Garner and Angel Gomes impressed as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer have seven players their United debuts throughout the game. Second half goals from Shomko and an own goal from Bernard gave Astana the win, as Tahith Chong missed a glorious chance for United to double their lead just before Astana struck twice.

Despite the defeat United still have a chance of finishing in top spot in Group L heading into their final group game against AZ Alkmaar at home, while Astana had no hope of qualifying before the game but secured the biggest victory in their history.

Early on Mason Greenwood had a powerful effort on goal which was pushed away, as United’s young side started brightly.

Two of their more experienced campaigners combined for the opening goal as Luke Shaw fed Lingard, captaining United for the first time, who smashed home to end his run of 28 games without a goal for the Red Devils.

Lingard sent another effort wide soon after and another deflected just over, as Astana took their time to get into the game.

The hosts started the second half well as Bernard almost sliced one into his own net and then Maevski went close.

Shaw then did superbly to set up a glorious chance for Tahith Chong at the back post but he shanked his effort over the bar with the goal gaping.

Moments later Astana made United pay for that miss as Shomko drilled home a low effort into the far corner to send the home fans wild.

Moments later they were celebrating again as a cross from Antonio Rukavina deflected off Bernard and in to turn the game on its head.

Sigurjonsson and Murtazaev both went close as Astana pushed hard to put the game to bed, but their goalkeeper Eric pulled off a tremendous save to deny a fantastic free kick from Angel Gomes.

Eric denied Mason Greenwood with another flying save as Astana were pinned back late on as United’s youngster finished with a flourish but tasted defeat in Kazakhstan.

LIVE, Europa League: Youthful Man United face Astana

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Manchester United take on FC Astana in Kazakhstan on Thursday (kick off, 10:50 a.m. ET) as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has named a starting lineup which has an average age of 21.6 years old.

[ LIVE: Europa League scores  ]

14 teenagers are among United’s 18-man squad for the UEFA Europa League Group L game, as they’ve already reached the Round of 32 and a win against Astana would secure top spot.

Ethan Laird, Di’Shon Bernard and Dylan Levitt all make their first team debuts for United, while Luke Shaw makes his return after suffering an injury in August.

Jesse Lingard captains the team with veteran goalkeeper Lee Grant and defender Axel Tuanzebe among the handful of more experienced players.

Click on the link above to follow all the action from Astana, and we will keep up to date here at ProSoccerTalk.

Cancer survivor Taylor among 10 youths in Manchester United’s UEL team

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Manchester United is in Kazakhstan for Thursday’s fifth match day of the Europa League group stage.

Well, some of Manchester United is there.

The Red Devils only sent two players with more than 20 club appearances to the away match, as United has already qualified for the knockout stages.

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Those players are Luke Shaw and Jesse Lingard, with most of the bunch being quite young, though 36-year-old goalkeeper Lee Grant is going to get his first start for the club. He played 20 minutes in a League Cup match last season, but hasn’t started a senior match since his time at Stoke City ended in 2018.

“It’s a great chance for me to give Lee his first start for the club. It’s hard with young kids to give them enough games against men, professional games. We’ve got the EFL Trophy but, for me, this is a great chance to see them all together.”

Mostly, though, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is getting a look at his youngsters.

Many of the names will be alien to most fans, but Max Taylor may stand out from the pack. The 19-year-old is in the team just over a year removed from a diagnosis of testicular cancer and prescription of chemotherapy. From Manchester Evening News:

“He’s an inspiration for all the players. You can see when he’s out on the pitch there’s no fear anymore, he’s had fear in his life, when you’re on the football pitch you should enjoy yourself and I hope we can see him progress in his career. It’s a chance for us to give him extra motivation as well.”

Salient points, indeed.

United had to add spots in its team predictor app in order to accommodate Thursday’s crew, and a result on a frigid night in Kazakhstan would be remarkable.

Here are the numbers for 10 “new” players, via ManUtd.com:

41 – Ethan Laird
47 – Arnau Puigmal
49 – D’Mani Mellor
51 – Matej Kovar
52 – Max Taylor
54 – Ethan Galbraith
58 – Di’Shon Bernard
59 – Largie Ramazani
63 – Dylan Levitt
71 – Teden Mengi