Manchester United crashed out of the Carabao Cup on aggregate score despite beating Manchester City 1-0 in the semi-final second leg at the Etihad.
Coming on the back of a 3-1 win in the first leg, Manchester City started out in a rampant fashion once again, but some excellent goalkeeping by David de Gea kept Manchester United in the game. And against the run of play, the Red Devils managed to pull a goal back through Nemanja Matic’s ferocious strike in the 35th minute.
Manchester City thought they had equalised through Raheem Sterling not long after, but the Englishman’s goal was chalked off for offside as United went into the half-time break with their lead intact. Harry Maguire had a great chance to get United level on aggregate, but headed over while Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero had a goal ruled out for offside.
Things became difficult for Manchester United after Matic was sent off in the 76th minute for a second bookable offence and while they did manage to hold out for a win on the night, they ended up getting eliminated from the Carabao Cup on aggregate scoreline. And here’s how we rated the performances of the Manchester United stars on the night.
David de Gea: 8/10
It was the Spaniard’s sheer brilliance that kept Manchester United in the game after Manchester City’s dominating start. Pulled off two spectacular saves to keep Aguero out, while denying Riyad Mahrez with another great stop in between.
Reacted well to charge out and clear as Aguero looked to pounce on an underhit backpass from Victor Lindelof. Continued his good work in the second period, making a fine stop to deny Kyle Walker’s swerving effort from distance. Has to be one of de Gea’s best performances in the past year.
Victor Lindelof: 5/10
Looks much more comfortable when playing in a back three and battled well to help Manchester United a clean sheet, although he was dragged out of position at times by the City attackers regularly. However, he put his teammates under pressure at times with poor passing, with one such moment almost playing Aguero in.
Harry Maguire: 7/10
A mixed bag of a performance from the Manchester United captain, who made several important interventions and recoveries throughout, including a crunch tackle on Sterling when he was through on goal. However, Maguire was guilty of missing a decent chance to score in the second half, while he presented a chance for City to score with a poor pass in his own box.
Luke Shaw: 6/10
Starting as part of the back three for Manchester United, the England international was caught out early on as Aguero peeled away from him to guide a header at goal, but de Gea came to his rescue. Grew solid with time though, showing good positional awareness, while also making a few overlapping forward runs as well before being subbed off.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka: 6.5/10
Had a battle at his hands against a lively Sterling, but stood tall for most parts, showing his penchant for strong, sharp tackles. But, he once again let his team down with his attacking play, as he wasn’t always able to beat his man when rushing forward – something that he needs to improve desperately. Booked late on for a frustrated challenge.
Started off poorly, losing the ball in dangerous areas a tad too much, but grew into the game with time in what was another energetic, tireless display in the middle of the park. Good set-piece delivery leading to Matic’s goal and Maguire’s chance but fired a late free-kick from a great position straight into the wall. Perhaps, Juan Mata would have been the better option to take it.
Nemanja Matic: 7/10
Showing that the old dog still has plenty of tricks left. Looked Manchester United’s most accomplished player against Manchester City’s early onslaught, showing his defensive awareness to thwart the opponents while moving the ball out from the back with some neat touches and sharp passes. Scored the only goal of the game with a thunderous volley.
Could have gotten a higher rating if not for his sending off in the second period, although the first yellow card he picked up was a tad harsh. Still, should have exercised more caution knowing he was already walking the disciplinary tightrope.
Brandon Williams: 6.5/10
The youngster had his task cut out against the dangerous Mahrez and for most parts Williams defended well on the night, although that meant his attacking output was cut into. Nevertheless, a diligent display from the academy graduate in a pressure game against the arch rivals.
Jesse Lingard: 3/10
A weak-link in the Manchester United side, Lingard did little of note on the night apart from winning the free-kick that led to Matic’s goal. Constantly conceded possession with poor, heavy touches in the attacking half. One such situation forced the mild-mannered Solskjaer to go on a foul-mouthed rant on the touchline in the second half. Was hauled off soon after.
Mason Greenwood: 3/10
A quiet outing for the Manchester United prospect, who failed to get into the game. Taken off at the half-time break for Daniel James due to a knock.
Anthony Martial: 3/10
Struggled to make any sort of contributions on the night despite going up against a makeshift Manchester City defence. Saw a lot of the ball, but was unable to make the most of it, with his hold-up play letting Manchester United down on a number of occasions. Worked up a couple of half-chances for himself, but failed to convert. Marcus Rashford was a huge miss for the Red Devils.
Daniel James: 5/10
Replaced the injured Greenwood at half-time. His pace provided an outlet, but James struggled to make any sort of impact on the game.
Andreas Pereira: 5/10
Thrown on in place of the ineffective Lingard. Was a slight improvement on the man he replaced, but still was unable to make any meaningful contribution to the team’s cause.
Juan Mata: N/A
Came on for Shaw for the last ten minutes. Not enough time to make an impact, especially with Manchester United a man down.