Manchester United are looking to pick up their first win against a top-6 Premier League side this season as they host Liverpool in the FA Cup Round 4 game. They did just that with a brilliant 3-2 win to knock their rivals out of the competition and moving forward in the competition full of confidence.
Despite dominating much of the early possession, United conceded first when Mo Salah broke the defensive line to open the scoring with a nice finish in the 18th minute.
But United bit back quickly, getting an equalizer thanks to Mason Greenwood’s impressive effort from close range in the 26th minute. They then completed the comeback after Marcus Rashford capitalized on an error from Rhys Williams in the 48th minute and coolly finished past Alisson.
But Liverpool then made it 2-2 before the hour-mark, with Salah finishing a swift break with a clever finish from close. Bruno Fernandes was then brought on and proved his class with a brilliant free-kick goal in the 78th-minute to make it 3-2! That was enough for United to win this thrilling contest, taking them to the FA Cup 5th round where they’ll face West Ham United at home.
Manchester United Player Ratings vs Liverpool
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (7.0) –
Solskjaer made some risky but necessary changes, resting the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Fred & Anthony Martial for this one. But he ensured United managed more of the possession in this game and capitalized on Liverpool’s defensive weakness through the right. His subs worked wonders with Bruno getting the winner as well. Still will need to solidify his backline to keep more clean sheets going forward.
Dean Henderson (6.0) –
A big game for the academy lad, replacing De Gea in goal. Tried to big up himself for Salah’s goal, only to get chipped over for the strike. Then got nutmegged by Salah for his second. Somewhat redeems himself by saving Alexander-Arnold’s whipped effort in the 60th. Then finally denies Salah in the 67th with a solid save.
In the end, those saves were crucial for United to being inspired to get the winner and eventually win the game. Could’ve done better for the goals, but a pretty decent showing nonetheless.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (6.5) –
Wan-Bissaka had a frustrating first half, being able to contribute anything noteworthy going forward or properly deal with LFC’s attack through that side. But he woke up in the second half, making some terrific tackles and winning back the ball on many occasions. Still needs to make major improvements to his attacking game.
Harry Maguire (5.5) –
Maguire was a bit unlucky to see United concede just when he was out of his position for a bit. He won everything in the air and made some good clearances, but still looked very shaky against Liverpool’s fast-paced, grounded attacks. Could’ve done better to deny the second goal too.
Victor Lindelof (5.0) –
Passes a late fitness test to start this game. Poor positioning to allow Salah through for his first goal. Booked late into the game and looked very vulnerable against Liverpool’s fast-paced attacks. Couldn’t do anything to keep Firmino quiet and a poor showing after last weekend’s heroics.
Luke Shaw (7.0)–
Shaw looks full of confidence on the left after his brilliant display last week. But he lost the presence of Salah and allowed him to go through too easily for his goal. Recovers well from that, dispossessing the man on a few occasions and making some great forward runs to cause danger inside Liverpool’s box.
Tried his best but couldn’t close down Salah quickly enough for his second. But even still, he still kept things relatively quiet on his side, made some great challenges and looked very confident operating through that side. Another solid performance.
Scott McTominay (5.5) –
Bit callous from McTominay to allow Firmino make that pass to assist Salah’s goal. He really wasn’t able to protect his backline as much as they’d want him too, being caught out of positions at times. Progressed the ball forward better and beat LFC’s high press smartly, but could’ve done more to support Pogba defensively.
Paul Pogba (7.5) –
The in-form Frenchman is tasked to be United’s creator-in-chief today. Put in a brave challenge to win back possession before Greenwood’s goal. Get a decent scoring chance in the 36th, but his powered header goes over. Then gets the chance of a curler from close just before half-time, but his shot grazes wide. Moved to the right-wing after Fernandes came on.
Wastes a good counter-attack chance in the 73rd. Another extremely hard-working performance from Pogba, who was everywhere making defensive contributions and trying to get the ball forward as much as possible.
Donny van de Beek (6.5) –
Donny gets his first ‘big game’ experience since joining from Ajax. Has lots resting on his shoulders as he replaces Bruno Fernandes. Did very well to make that toe-pass to Rashford to get the counter started for Greenwood’s strike.
Makes a clever run behind the defenders minutes after the equalizer, but couldn’t find the finish past Alisson. His link-up play was decent, but unable to be involved in anything formidable after United’s equalizer.
Mason Greenwood (7.5) –
Looks much more intent in getting involved in the attack today. Played through on goal in the 9th but makes the mistake of taking a shot instead of playing it to the open Van de Beek inside the box, only to see his effort saved.
Again frustrates his teammates with an unnecessary shot wide in the 13th. But it’s third time lucky for him, as he perfectly struck his right-footed attempt into the bottom corner. Then returns the favour to Rashford, assisting his goal with a clever pass. Bit unfairly taken off after being involved in both goals, but he recovered from the sloppy start really well.
Marcus Rashford (8.5) –
After his disappointing showing at Anfield last week, Rashford has lots to do to redeem himself today. Looks much more dangerous moving through the left today. Redeems himself with the brilliant pass to assist Greenwood’s strike. Then gets a lucky goal after Williams’ mistake put him through on goal and he smartly finished past the onrushing Alisson.
He did everything right today after messing things up last week. Was United’s biggest threat going forward and his forward runs caused chaos for LFC. Limped off towards the end and we can only hope that isn’t a bad injury.
Edinson Cavani (6.0) –
The Uruguayan looks to be packed with energy, doing a lot of running early on. Despite his tenacious work, he makes a mistake by giving the ball away inside his own half to help LFC get their equalizer. Somewhat redeems it by earning the free-kick resulting in Bruno’s goal. Extremely unlucky not to score late on when his perfect header hit the post.
Fred (6.5) –
Gave an adrenaline shot to United’s midfield and added more protection defensively after coming on. Pressed Liverpool’s midfielders well and won back the ball with his clever work.
Bruno Fernandes (7.5) –
Brought on to make an impact and did just that, whipping a perfect free-kick into the bottom right corner for his goal. Then almost sets up one late on when his cross for Cavani saw the Uruguayan’s header hit the post.
Anthony Martial (N/R) –
Came on late into the game for Rashford but unable to do anything in the last few minutes.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Bruno was brilliant ultimately scored the winner, but for me Rashford was United’s best player. His movement caused Liverpool all sorts of problems, he got a superb assist and also scored. He’s my MOTM.