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Ratings: Ander Herrera one of the better players against Hull

Manchester United struggled once again to a 0-0 draw with Hull City, as a lack of attacking impetus consigned the Red Devils to a likely damning draw. Yesterday, the entire top four dropped points, affording United a massive opportunity to reduce the gap with key opposition, but Hull had different ideas, setting up a diligent defence and trying to prevent United from playing football. For the first 75 minutes, it worked, as United couldn’t do anything in the final third until the latter stages of the match. Hull’s gritty resistance for the final fifteen minutes was enough to earn a draw against a poor attacking United side.

Save for Ander Herrera, every attacking United player will be disappointed with their inability to influence the match. Herrera was fantastic carrying the ball into midfield, and he showed the impetus needed from the rest of the team to win the match, but Paul Pogba struggled with a few missed chances and Michael Carrick could not pick out passes due to the tight, physical nature of the match. Marcus Rashford fashioned some good opportunities but missed a good chance, as enjoyable as his energy was throughout the match. Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Wayne Rooney, and Juan Mata, however, were completely marked out of the game, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic was poor up top for the first time in a few months.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

Had nothing to do.

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25 Antonio Valencia

Quality performance once again, moving up the wing and creating many chances for his teammates. The best right-back in the league this season, by far.

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4 Phil Jones

Had a few important moments to accompany a routine defensive performance. Replaced by Smalling.

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5 Marcos Rojo

Emerging as a leader at the back, he had a few shaky moments due to being paired with Jones’ but he distributed the ball superbly throughout the match.

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17 Daley Blind

Easily United’s best left-back, and played a very solid game in both aspects of play today.

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16 Michael Carrick

Abject performance from Carrick, who didn’t offer anything at all for the duration of his 45 minutes on the pitch. Seems to need a few weeks off, because Mourinho burned him out playing him in useless matches through December. Replaced by Rooney.

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21 Ander Herrera

United’s player of the season, and if he doesn’t win it, there are some sketchy games being played. Passionate, carried the ball well, accurate, forward passing, high tempo, great tackling and interceptions.

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22 Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Unless he is playing horribly, he shouldn’t be substituted because he is good in every phase of play, but I forgot Mkhitaryan was on the pitch for stretches of the match. Replaced by Mata.

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6 Paul Pogba

Solid creative performance, but missed a guilt-edged chance to put United ahead, and the Red Devils paid the price.

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19 Marcus Rashford

His energy makes everything better, but he isn’t effective on the wings because he’s mostly effective striking the ball instead of passing it.

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9 Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Terrible performance from Ibrahimovic today. Not to take away from his season, but perhaps he could do with a pacey strike partner at times.

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Substitutes

Wayne Rooney

Replaced Carrick. Useless substitution. What was Martial thinking? The only thing Rooney impacted was the referee’s increasing infuriation with United players through the match.

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12 Chris Smalling

Replaced Jones. Offered more moving forward than Rooney, but made Jones look world class with his constantly shaky defending.

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8 Juan Mata

Replaced Mkhitaryan. Had some good moments, but couldn’t stamp his name on the scoresheet after a series of incredible saves from Jakupovic.

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