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Ratings: Paul Pogba sticks one finger up to the media

Manchester United cruised to a 4-1 win over Fenerbahce after two penalties began an attacking rally that put Fenerbahce’s defenders. The match marked the visit of two notable players, the first Martin Skrtel, former Liverpool player who was hated for famously being charged for violent conduct on David de Gea. The second, though, was Robin van Persie, the best player in Manchester United’s 20th title win and a hero, so much so that his goal was celebrated by the Old Trafford fans. It was a great day with some very good football, particularly in midfield, where Michael Carrick and Juan Mata played clinical games while Paul Pogba stole the headlines with a brace.

Fenerbahce isn’t a bad side by any means, but they didn’t look nearly up for it, which shows just how much United has improved in the last couple of months. Disappointment surrounded the Red Devils after three consecutive losses, but ever since, United has gone six matches unbeaten, with four wins and two draws to slightly raise the shadows at Old Trafford. However, only one of said four wins has been in the Premier League, with victories over Northampton, Zorya Luhansk and Fenerbahce watering down the overall impact of United’s positive results. That being said, United fans were treated to one of the best performances in weeks, and today’s player ratings reflect that.

Goals: Paul Pogba (pen) 31′, 45+1′, Anthony Martial (pen) 33′, Jesse Lingard 48′

Assists: Jesse Lingard 45+1′, Wayne Rooney 48′

Manchester United: De Gea, Darmian, Bailly, Smalling (Rojo 46′), Shaw, Carrick, Pogba (Fosu-Mensah 75′), Lingard (Memphis 66′), Mata, Martial, Rooney

Substitutes Not Used: Romero, Fellaini, Rashford, Ibrahimovic

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

Made a good save late in the match when called upon. Didn’t have much to do otherwise.

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36 Matteo Darmian

He’s solid defensively and offers so much energy, which makes me question whether or not he does individual crossing drills in training. If he worked on it, he could be the best fullback in the Premier League.

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12 Chris Smalling

Wasn’t really challenged by the threat of van Persie. Replaced by Rojo, presumably to keep him fit for the Chelsea clash.

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3 Eric Bailly

Did nothing wrong, and didn’t have much to do. Stepped up when called upon, but ultimately conceded a goal.

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23 Luke Shaw

Still seems to be recovering from his injury, both psychologically and physically. Blind is relieving him at left-back in the big matches, which is great, and we saw Marcos Rojo in the centre of defence, presumably to cover in case Bailly or Smalling goes down.

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16 Michael Carrick

Metronomic match from Carrick, who won the ball and played it forward with incredible length and accuracy. It wasn’t Ander Herrera, but still was good to watch, and bonus points are awarded for creating the first penalty with a great pass.

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6 Paul Pogba

Excellent performance defensively and broke forward with pace, distributing the ball around has he has for the last few weeks. Capped it off with two goals this time, too. Replaced by Fosu-Mensah.

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14 Jesse Lingard

Arguably his best match in a United shirt. He was lively, picking up an incredible assist for Pogba’s goal, and he took a clinical goal from range for himself, his first in Europe. Was a threat with vibrant running all match.

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8 Juan Mata

Scintillating performance from Mata, who deserved a goal for his efforts, but he failed to get one. He offers so much energy, movement and looks like quality in his new central midfield role. At times, he is near Carrick with Pogba further ahead.

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11 Anthony Martial

Threatened with his dribbling on occasion but is still regaining the same predatory instincts of last season. He’s still the best prospect at United by far. Took his penalty well.

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10 Wayne Rooney

Finally looked decent, playing a part in two of the four goals. He wasn’t great, and fluffed a few lines, probably should’ve done better, but it was a good match for the Englishman, who maybe could’ve taken the penalties.

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Substitutes

5 Marcos Rojo

Replaced Smalling. Looked assured and stepped in when called upon in defence. One thing is for sure- he passes the ball more positively than Bailly and Smalling.

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Ratings: Paul Pogba sticks one finger up to the media

Replaced Lingard. He wants to have an impact so badly, but it just isn’t coming off and he lacks in confidence. Mourinho needs to play him in the smallest match possible and work from there.

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24 Timothy Fosu-Mensah

Replaced Pogba. Great to see him in midfield. He was trying to do things, sometimes unnecessarily, but almost scored and could be dynamite in the role. I think he may thrive in Carrick’s role at first, though I could be wrong. I want to see him in midfield again.

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