The Manchester Derby is always a huge game, but it has been a while since this fixture had so much weighing on it. On this occasions, nothing but a win for either side would have helped, and the pressure in the build-up to the game was massive.
However, City clearly took it in their stride and were dominant throughout. They eventually ended up as the victors, with goals from Nicolas Otamendi and David Silva sealing this edition of the classical encounter.
Here are the player ratings from the game:
David De Gea – 7
Did well to keep out a Sane shot in the first half. Could do nothing about Silva’s or Otamendi’s goals as both were a consequence of poor defending.
Antonio Valencia (C) – 6.5
City tended to go down Young’s wing a lot more as opposed to Valencia’s, and that is hardly a surprise given how solid he was to prevent Sterling and Jesus from having much of an impact in the first-half.
Chris Smalling – 6
Looked composed for most of the game but had an absolutely shocking involvement in both goals. Horrible defending from set pieces and it ended up costing United.
Marcos Rojo – 6
Looked decent while he was on the pitch, but was taken off at half-time after a nasty collision with Silva in the first half led to a bloody head. Mourinho will hope it isn’t too bad.
Ashley Young – 6.5
Played well and tried his best to get the game moving on, but City were insistent on slowing it down. Booked for taking out his frustrations on a City player in the dying moments of the game.
Nemanja Matic – 6.5
Solid when on the ball, using his physical presence to keep the opposition from stealing it off him. However, he wasn’t helped by Herrera’s shocking performance, and struggled to set up play as a result.
Ander Herrera – 4.5
Interceptions were key, but woeful performance otherwise. Could not hold on to the ball at all and that hurt United more than anything. A number of erratic challenges here and there too. As usual, went down way too easily as well, and deservedly got booked for it. Very poor.
Marcus Rashford – 6
Rather confined display until his late equalizer in the first half. Struggled to get chances to run at City’s defense due to their dominance and his side’s inability to keep a hold of the ball for long periods of the game. Very alert to capitalize on Delph’s error, and will be happy to have scored his second derby goal.
Jesse Lingard – 6
Did well to press City when they were on the ball and was a constant bubble of energy on the counter attack. Pogba’s absence had an effect on his game too though, and he wasn’t able to make many deadly runs through the channels because he was always picking up the ball just inside his own half.
Anthony Martial – 6.5
Had a lot of the ball and was a threat on the counter attack. Had the beating of Walker
Romelu Lukaku – 5
Hardly got many chances to score, as has been the theme over the last few weeks. However, Lukaku tried his best to show off the other facets of his game, and constantly attempted to press City’s back line when they had the ball. Poor clearance led to City’s second goal. Really should have scored the equalizer right in front of goal, but hit his shot straight at Ederson and lost United the game.
Victor Lindelöf – 7
Came on for Marcos Rojo at half-time and was superb. City threw wave after wave of attack till they got their second but Lindelöf was solid and showed great awareness in dangerous situations. Very positive couple of weeks for the Swedish defender, and will definitely try to keep building his confidence levels step by step.
Juan Mata – 6.5
Marvelous one touch pass out wide led to Lukaku’s late chance, but the Belgian absolutely fluffed it. Mata was there on the rebound, but the ball was too high for him to direct, and Ederson was there to save it again. Should have started the game.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic – 5.5
Did nothing after coming on for Lingard. Basically became the target man, but was an irritating presence to the flow of the game, constantly running into offside positions and fouling players.
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Ederson – 7
Lovely double save to keep out Lukaku and Mata, though both shots were straight at him. Those were the only real saves he had to make all game.
Kyle Walker – 6
Not his best game. Beaten several times by Rashford, Young, and Martial, and was booked within the first five minutes of the game.
Nicolas Otamendi – 6.5
Wasn’t troubled as much but did his job brilliantly when called upon. Took his volley for the winner beautifully, but was only allowed to be in that position by an unfathomably ridiculous piece of defending by United.
Vincent Kompany (C) – 6
Looked okay for the first half, but reportedly picked up an injury and was withdrawn at the interval.
Fabian Delph – 5.5
The one City player that struggled. Terrible mistake led to Rashford scoring the equalizer in the first half, and he almost repeated the error when he let Rashford in again, but nothing came from that attack.
Fernandinho – 7
Lovely. Orchestrated the midfield with his passing and was crucial in periods of the game where United began to attack. Solid display.
Kevin De Bruyne – 8
Offered way too much space and was allowed to hold on to the ball and influence comfortably. Ran the game, making the most of the freedom afforded to him. Lovely performance.
David Silva – 7.5
Like De Bruyne, Silva was superb. Danced around United for much of the first half but was lucky to score the opener with a decent finish that came about through a shocking piece of defending.
Raheem Sterling – 6.5
Rather quiet performance from the Englishman. United did very well to shut him out of the game.
Leroy Sane – 7.5
Great player on the ball and such a joy to behold when he dribbles past 2 or 3 defenders at once. So confident and so talented
Gabriel Jesus – 6
Invisible. Had two shots early in the game that very were timid and straight at De Gea. Didn’t do much else.
Ilkay Gundogan – 6.5
Was surprisingly brought on for captain Kompany, who went off injured. Put in a decent shift in the center of the pitch.
Bernardo Silva – 6
Did nothing, as expected. Just brought on to waste time.
Manchester United fan, Wayne Rooney is his role model. Passionate writer who has written for several sites in the past. He’s also an aspiring pianist and creates background music for BlameFootball’s Youtube channel.