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Ratings: Manchester United 1-2 Manchester City – Premier League 2016/17

Manchester United lost 2-1 to Manchester City at Old Trafford, in the first Manchester Derby between Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola. A defensive error and a lucky bounce allowed Kevin De Bruyne and Kelechi Iheanacho to score goals in the first half, and through many chances, only Zlatan Ibrahimovic could grab a goal in the reverse. Slow and sluggish in the first half, United showed incredible passion and guile to try and get back in the second half, which represented progress of its own.

The real game changer was the substitution of Henrikh Mkhitaryan for Ander Herrera, who changed the game and looked tidy at the base of United’s midfield. With Herrera in the midfield and Rooney out wide, United looked effective, creating chances at will for the likes of Marouane Fellaini, Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford, all of whom could’ve scored at any point in time. Contrary to popular belief, it wasn’t a bad performance from United, and with improved finishing and a high performance akin to the second half, the Red Devils could have a chance of performing to a far higher standard in the next Manchester Derby. The ratings below detail how each player did in individual terms.

Goals: Zlatan Ibrahimovic 42′

Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia, Bailly, Blind, Shaw (Martial 81′); Fellaini, Pogba; Mkhitaryan (Herrera 46′), Rooney, Lingard (Rashford 46′); Ibrahimovic

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Smalling; Mata, Schneiderlin

Bookings: Eric Bailly 45+1′, Zlatan Ibrahimovic 51′, Marouane Fellaini 52′, Wayne Rooney 8

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

David De Gea was world class all game, making outstanding saves when called upon and starting counter-attacks with incredible distribution. Rashford and Herrera almost created a goal from an attack started by De Gea.

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25 Antonio Valencia

Valencia attacked with incredible pace, though he didn’t make an impact on the match. City had some joy on the left, but limited from the wings in general.

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3 Eric Bailly

Bailly and Blind should’ve pressed the players instead of the space for City’s first goal, but barring that error, Bailly played well. Physical, dominant and composed, he looked better than John Stones.

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17 Daley Blind

Blind, along with the aforementioned error, played Iheanacho onside for the first goal. It wasn’t a good display defensively, but he distributed the ball well. United may be slightly better defensively with Smalling, but the side is far better going forward with Blind.

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23 Luke Shaw

Shaw looked bright throughout the game, with marauding runs forward and kept Raheem Sterling out of the game going back. Undoubtedly best left-back in the league, but he made way for Martial in the 81st as United tried to change the game.

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27 Marouane Fellaini

Fellaini had a poor game for ball retention, though he became an outlet when United went route one. United looked much better with Herrera deep in midfield.

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6 Paul Pogba

Another promising performance from Pogba. He dribbled incredibly, slalomed up and down the pitch, and City fouled him so many times. Clattenburg’s officiating, though it probably didn’t impact the outcome, was terrible.

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22 Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Mkhitaryan looked poor and unable to keep the ball throughout the first half, though it was likely due to a lack of fitness. He was replaced by Herrera at half-time.

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10 Wayne Rooney

It was a vintage performance from Rooney, who drove United forward with passion and aggression. He didn’t deserve to start the game after previous performances, but he played well today and created the sole goal.

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14 Jesse Lingard

He seems to have converted into a right-winger and therefore struggled on the left today. Likely there for his defensive nous, it was a disappointing performance from Lingard, who should stay on the right. Replaced by Rashford at half-time.

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9 Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Barring his clinical goal, Ibrahimovic looked relatively poor, flashing volleys and strikes wide all game. His first touch looked a bit poor, but he was controlling long-balls.

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Substitutes

21 Ander Herrera

Replaced Mkhitaryan. Herrera was the best player on the pitch for both sides, by far, for the duration of his cameo. Driving forward, winning the ball and playing some incredible passes, he changed the game for United. It would be good to see him, Schneiderlin and Pogba together against Feyenoord.

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19 Marcus Rashford

Replaced Lingard. Rashford came on and looked instantly better than Lingard, but failed to change the game. Because of all the central outlets, he was forced to play wider on the pitch, and he did well with it but was very far from goal at times.

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11 Anthony Martial

Replaced Shaw. He came on very late, out of position, and looked bright, but didn’t have time to influence the game. I suspect Memphis and Mkhitaryan will start on Thursday.

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