Manchester United pulled off their first win after 3 consecutive draws last night. It wasn’t the easiest victory, but José Mourinho will be happy to take 3 points after a relatively barren stretch of matches. United looked sloppy and careless in the first 45 minutes but came out in the 2nd half an exceedingly better team. United dominated the game, opened up gaps in Everton’s defence and scored two exceptional goals. Anthony Martial scored a brilliant curled effort from outside the box to find the top corner in the 57th minute and Jesse Lingard sealed the win for United with another sublime strike in the 81st minute, finding Jordan Pickford’s top corner once again. Everton attempted to possess the ball and attack United but they just couldn’t find their feet. They managed some purposeful passes and a few shots but Sam Allardyce’s side didn’t manage a single attempt on goal throughout the entire game. United were really taking control as the Everton players made tackles and constant fouls which underlined their frustration and how good United were playing.
Here are my player ratings from the encounter on New Years Day…
David De Gea – 6
Didn’t have much to do all game as he faced 0 shots on targets, but he did what was asked of him when called upon. Fairly easy game for the Spaniard.
Victor Lindelöf – 7
Ashley Young is serving a 3 match ban and Antonio Valencia is injured, so Lindelöf was moved from center back to fullback. He scrambled to cope with Yannick Bolasie in the first half. Improved as the game went on and moved the ball well when in possession. Also delivered some decent crosses into Everton’s area which no-one could get on the end of.
Phil Jones – 7
Yet again, another solid performance from one of United’s best players this season – been quite consistent in his performances this year and has managed to stay mostly injury-free as well. Cleared everything that came his way and put in some decent defensive challenges too.
Marcos Rojo – 8
Flashbacks from his quality performances last season. Strong tackles unlike his last few games where he’s been rash. Looking to be a reliable player again. Committed a superb last-ditch sliding tackle to prevent what could have been an Everton goal.
Luke Shaw – 8
Looks to be back to full fitness and has played an important few matches for Manchester United over the past month. Running up and down the pitch with ease, providing width as well as another option option going forward on the overlap.
Nemanja Matić – 5.5
Despite his solid start to the season in an United shirt, his performance wasn’t the best, making some careless passes and errors. Seems like he’s less suited in the 4-3-3 which he’ll have to modify if Mourinho is to choose 4-3-3 as United’s long-term formation. However, he was a calming presence in the midfield which gave Pogba the license to roam.
Ander Herrera – 6
Not many fans expected him to start but he did the job. Looked more creative than usual and pressed effectively. Not to take this away from him, he still lacks the quality to break the lines with his passing hence why United need to sign a central midfielder.
Paul Pogba – 9.5
Astonishing MOTM performance from United’s captain. Didn’t look the sharpest in the 1st half, but came out in the 2nd half a whole different player. Dominated the midfield completely, pressed throughout the half and was looking to create gaps in Everton’s team, which he did so successfully with 2 assists. Drifted out to the left side whenever he had the opportunity and utilized his dribbling and passing skills excellently.
Juan Mata – 7
Moved the ball ably, looked innovative and played a vital part in United keeping the ball in build-up play. Wasn’t terrified to look for a shot.
Anthony Martial – 8
Clinical when he got his chance. Couldn’t do much in the 1st half due to being isolated. Some nice link-up play with Pogba and Lingard, making some threatening runs in-behind but didn’t manage to make use of them. Played a big part in the win until he was taken off by Rashford.
— mufcgif (@mufcgif) January 1, 2018
Jesse Lingard – 8
Absolutely exquisite finish which found the top corner and sealed the game for United – deserved a goal after creating a couple of good attempts which were saved by Pickford. Provided his usual threat with his movement and opened the gate for others. Only player who really looked a threat in the first half and has looked a danger for the past month.
— mufcgif (@mufcgif) January 1, 2018
Marcus Rashford – 5
He didn’t do anything notable but didn’t make any mistakes either. Fairly positive minutes for Rashford.
Daley Blind – N/A
Axel Tuanzebe – N/A
*Ratings only for players who played 10+ minutes.
Featured Image: Evening Standard