Ratings: Martial the only player to demonstrate the ability to finish

Manchester United had the most unfortunate match ever, allowing them to draw 1-1 with Stoke. A rare error from David de Gea allowed Joe Allen to equalise at Old Trafford after substitute Anthony Martial was the only player to demonstrate finishing ability. After 24 shots and nine on target, United was left with just one (incredible) goal, with much more to be desired in the way of finishing. Should City win their seventh game against Tottenham Hotspur, they will be eight points clear of United, in sixth, and perhaps too high up the table to catch.

That being said, it’s still early days, and Mourinho will be generally pleased with what was a good performance. No player was outstanding, but the side looked good as a collective and introducing the likes of Martial, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Morgan Schneiderlin could prove to strengthen the side even further. United is stocked with options, but ultimately, sometimes it isn’t your day. As it turned out, Stoke’s backup goalkeeper, Lee Grant, brought in from Derby where he was a substitute, played probably the most important match of his life and he played it with phenomenal, eye-catching excellence. In the disappointment of dropping more points, though, here’s how all the players fared individually.

Goals: Anthony Martial 69′

Assists: Wayne Rooney 69′

Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia, Bailly, Smalling, Blind; Herrera (Memphis 83′), Pogba; Lingard (Martial 67′), Mata (Rooney 67′), Rashford; Ibrahimovic

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Darmian; Carrick, Fellaini;

Bookings: Antonio Valencia 13′, Ander Herrera 54′, Zlatan Ibrahimovic 56′

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

Made an uncommon error for Stoke’s goal. Could’ve been worse, but also could’ve been better.


25 Antonio Valencia

Lacks aggression overall. He didn’t cost United anything, but ultimately he should be providing more defensively and moving forward.


3 Eric Bailly

Looked good throughout. Missed a great chance to score but ultimately did his job.


12 Chris Smalling

Tough day for Smalling, but he overcame it for the most part. I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing Axel Tuanzebe out there.


17 Daley Blind

Great moving forward and a superb outlet again. Been arguably United’s best player this season.


21 Ander Herrera

Showed a lot of grit and tenacity in defensive midfield. Almost got sent off, and think he could be further exposed by bigger teams. Made a small mistake in the build-up to Stoke’s goal. Replaced by Memphis.


6 Paul Pogba

Played incredibly well, until it came to scoring. Often looked just a little bit sloppy. Missed three massive chances.


19 Marcus Rashford

Showed great drive to run at Stoke and make a difference, but ultimately failed to do anything.


8 Juan Mata

Great touches and spins on the ball. Unlucky not to score. The best outfield player on the pitch. Replaced by Rooney.


14 Jesse Lingard

Unlucky not to score because of an incredible save from Lee Grant. Looked good defensively, but lacks the cutting edge of Anthony Martial and even Memphis. Replaced by Martial.


10 Zlatan Ibrahimovic

So bright on the ball at times, but much like Pogba, he struggled with finishing. Frustrating day as reflected by his yellow card.



Ratings: Martial the only player to demonstrate the ability to finish

Replaced Mata. Another creation of a goal in the most ridiculous fashion. Killed a few set-pieces. Still looks disappointing. Shouldn’t start games or come on as a sub.


11 Anthony Martial

Replaced Lingard. Great cameo from Martial, scoring a wonderful goal. Seems to have his electric, Hazard-esque dribbling back.


Ratings: Martial the only player to demonstrate the ability to finish

Replaced Herrera. Promising cameo, and he should get a chance on the left against Fenerbahce with Martial or Rashford up top.


Written by Aaron Moniz


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