Manchester United brought an end to Liverpool’s perfect start to the Premier League season, as they held the league leaders to a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford.
Set up in a three-man defence, Manchester United did well to stifle Liverpool for most of the first half and were able to get their noses in front in the 37th minute, when Marcus Rashford applied the finishing touches to a fine cross from Daniel James.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side survived a scare on the verge of half-time as Sadio Mane’s goal was ruled out for handball by VAR. Post the break, the hosts sat back and allowed Liverpool to come at them, while trying to hit them on the counter. But, the tactic failed to work as Adam Lallana stole an equaliser in the 85th minute to salvage a point for Liverpool.
Manchester United will have been disappointed to yield their advantage so late in the game, but given their form in the lead-up to the clash, a point will be welcome. Here’s how we rated the performances of Solskjaer’s men against their arch rivals.
David de Gea: 6/10
Shrugged off the injury he had picked up on international duty to start for Manchester United. The Spaniard was surprisingly not called into action a lot and was relegated to a couple of routine stops from speculative efforts. Not a lot he could have done to keep Lallana’s equaliser out.
Victor Lindelof: 5/10
Returning to the starting XI, the Swede had a few problems dealing with Divock Origi’s pace early on. Slightly fortunate to have not been penalised for a potential foul on the Belgian in the buildup to Rashford’s goal, Lindelof was bailed out by VAR again after he was beaten way too easily by Mane, leading to Liverpool’s chalked off goal. Should have done better to stop Andy Robertson’s cross for Lallana.
Harry Maguire: 7/10
The most solid defender for Manchester United on the field, Maguire put in an authoritative display against the Premier League leaders. Made the most clearances in the game as he held things together at the back and ensured that Liverpool had little sight of goal for most of the game. Could not stop the Reds from equalising though.
Harry Maguire made 10 clearances against Liverpool, twice as many as any other player on the pitch.
Solid. 🙌🙌🙌🙌 pic.twitter.com/YSWNEZuEFX
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) October 20, 2019
Marcos Rojo: 6/10
A late inclusion in the lineup after Axel Tuanzebe picked up an injury during warm-up, Rojo had a few dodgy moments at the beginning, but grew into the game as time went on. But, he was culpable for the equaliser as he failed to stop Robertson’s cross from reaching Lallana.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka: 6/10
Back into the team after missing three matches, the Englishman, starting as a wing-back, did well to stifle Robertson from romping forward and was defensively sound for most parts. Could have done better going forward, though, as he did not put in a lot of crosses for his teammates to attack. Guilty of allowing Robertson to cross for the equaliser.
Scott McTominay: 7/10
The Scotsman has been one of United’s brightest prospects this season and it continued to show against Liverpool at Old Trafford. Energetic and purposeful as always, McTominay pressed the Reds persistently and set James off on his way in the lead-up to the goal. Passed well for most parts and was at hand to make a few important interventions.
Having gotten another opportunity to prove himself, the Brazilian underwhelmed once again. There was no lack of effort, as he covered a lot of ground, but Fred failed to make any meaningful contributions going forward while he was sloppy in possession on many occasions. A year and a half into his tenure at Manchester United, Fred is still struggling to justify his £52 million price tag.
Ashley Young: 6/10
The Manchester United captain worked hard as the left wing-back and did well to keep Trent Alexander-Arnold pinned down in his own half for most phases of the game. Like Wan-Bissaka, he could have done more in the attacking side of things though and lost his focus leading up to Lallana’s late equaliser.
Andreas Pereira: 6.5/10
Playing in the hole behind the two forwards, the Manchester United academy graduate looked at home and was a lively presence on the field. Got into good positions on a few occasions in the first period, but was let down by his decision-making. His energy and work-rate on the day were very impressive. Looks much better playing centrally than on the flanks.
Marcus Rashford: 7.5/10
Rashford put an end to his goal drought for Manchester United, converting James’ cross with a good finish. Looked lively and much more confident than he has in recent weeks, as he asked questions of the Liverpool backline with his turn of pace and aggression. Subbed off to a rousing ovation from the supporters. Hopefully, this performance sparks a better run of form for Rashford.
Daniel James: 7.5/10
The summer signing continues to be Manchester United’s biggest threat in the final third. Dragged the Liverpool defenders around with his speed and movement and set Rashford up brilliantly for the opener with a splendid cross. James is proving to be quite a shrewd investment for the Red Devils.
Anthony Martial: N/A
Came on for Rashford to mark his return after an eight-week long layoff. Did little of note as Manchester United were on the backfoot for the last phase of the game.
Brandon Williams: N/A
Late substitute for Pereira.