Player Ratings V Manchester United

Author: . Published: at 12:08pm

Written by @georgelewiss97

Lukasz Fabianski: A relatively quiet afternoon for the stopper was sparked into life by Marouane Fellaini’s powerful downwards header, but Fabianski somehow managed to claw it from the line and tip it around the post. Whilst this save will rightly occupy the highlights reel, perhaps most impressive was his command of the box when dealing with countless high crosses from the opposition, exuding calmness and proving to be a reassuring presence between the sticks. 8/10

Pablo Zabaleta: After last week’s fantastic performance against Chelsea, it was hard to envisage how the Argentinian could improve upon it, but he might have managed it. He bulldozed his way down the right flank in the early stages, providing the assist for Anderson and setting the tempo for a relentless start. The puzzling formation deployed by the visitors meant he was only exposed by Anthony Martial’s pace on one occasion, and he coped with Luke Shaw effortlessly; undoubtedly Zabaleta’s best performance for the club to date. 9/10

Fabian Balbuena: After his horror-show on his home debut against Bournemouth, it seems scarcely believable that the Paraguayan is playing at such a high level on a regular basis. Given the visitors’ reliance on crosses, the centre-back pairing had no option but to remedy their problems when defending from wide positions, and they managed this aspect of the game effectively. Only on one occasion did Balbuena lose his man, and thankfully Fabianski was able to bail him out, but this partnership is truly flourishing. 8/10

Issa Diop: If Jose Mourinho praises an opposition player then you know you’ve done something right, and this is exactly the case for the Frenchman. He showed all the qualities a top centre-half possesses; pace, power, and, perhaps most importantly, an impeccable ability to read the game. He dealt efficiently with Romelu Lukaku, a regular scourge for the Irons, and was towering in the air when he needed to be whilst also stepping off when realising the ball wasn’t there to be won. There is still a collective susceptibility from corners, but Diop was simply majestic throughout, exemplified by a stunning tackle on Lukaku halfway through the first-half. 9/10

Arthur Masuaku: I will concede I was a tad too harsh on Masuaku last week, and luckily the nervy moments today were few and far between; a slightly clumsy challenge on McTominay wasn’t enough to warrant a penalty but it nevertheless left a few hearts in mouths. After a shaky 15-minute spell at 2-0 in the second half, including Rashford’s goal which he could’ve gotten out quicker to, he collected himself and excelled when the score went to 3-1. He dealt with one deep cross excellently and started counter-attacks with some cutting passes regularly; though the intent is admirable, sometimes a clearance will suffice, for it would be far less stressful. All in all though, a fairly solid display. 7/10

Declan Rice: The youngster, along with the captain, bossed the early passages of the game as he sprayed the ball to both wings. He again showed his natural ability to read the game, stifling the one opposition player in Pogba who had any ounce of creativity. Though he tired a tad in the later stages, as he was bypassed by Fellaini and Lukaku, Rice is proving a valuable player in the pivot role. 8/10

Mark Noble: Simply put, the skipper was by far the best player on the pitch and put in the best individual display for the Irons this season. He covered every blade of grass, won the ball high up the pitch on numerous occasions – and it would have been even more had the referee allowed any hint of physical contact. He retained possession as well as he always has done, but with added forward passes today; his vision directly led to the third goal whilst also setting Zabaleta away for the first goal. He has always raised his levels in games such as these, but this might have been a new high. For the time being at least, this has silenced the doubters, and we are undeniably a better team when he starts. 10/10

Pedro Obiang: After a quiet game against Chelsea, Obiang was back to the levels of the Everton match. He supported Anderson well in attack, and was combative in the middle of the pitch. In tandem with Rice and Noble, the Spaniard help to maintain a solid shape that was resolute without the ball but, crucially, fluid with it. After a summer when it looked likely he would leave, what a pleasant surprise it is to see this upturn in form from him. 8/10

Andriy Yarmolenko: Though not quite at his best throughout, the Ukrainian was industrious in the opening stages and linked with Zabaleta well. His superb close control allowed him to get into a position for the shooting attempt that led to the fortuitous second goal, and it’s a marvel how dangerous he is considering how one-footed he is. He tired significantly in the second half, and should’ve been taken off sooner, but he tracked back diligently when physically able. 7/10

Felipe Anderson: Though not as eye-catching as his display at Arsenal, this was arguably the Brazilian’s best display to date. His flick for the goal was absolutely delicious, and his passing was good throughout. Most heartening was his willingness to track back, as he supported Masuaku when attacks were concentrated on that side, and blocked numerous crosses to great effect. He almost had another assist when a delightful pass was inches away from Arnautovic, and his link up play is now improving greatly. 8/10

Marko Arnautovic: It seems weird to say that the Austrian was quiet in a half which saw the team lead by two goals, but he made up for this with a sensational display in the second half. In the face of constant fouling, he held up the ball fantastically and bullied the opposition centre-halves, finally getting his deserved goal as he made a great run. A standing ovation again when departed the field, a testament to his unwavering consistency. 8/10

SUBS:

Robert Snodgrass: Seeing the Scotsman chase the ball was a surprising yet welcome sight, and it highlights his commitment to the cause. Few would have expected he receive a standing ovation when clattering into someone, but it proves that all us fans require is a bit of effort and passion, and though not the quickest or most talented member in the squad, Snodgrass embodies this and is proving to be a valuable player. 7/10

Michail Antonio: N/A

Grady Diangana: N/A

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