Manchester United are aiming to bounce back from the bitter Champions League elimination by defeating arch-rivals Man City in the first Manchester derby of the season! Both the teams looked very cautious from the get-go, resulting in a cagey first half in which United had some decent scoring chances – but just couldn’t capitalize on it.
Things didn’t really change in the second half either, with both teams basically cancelling each other out in the team. In the end, the Red and Blue of Manchester had to settle for a point each after producing what is arguably among the most boring Manchester Derbies of all time.
Manchester United Player Ratings vs Manchester City
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (6.0) –
Solskjaer reverted to the diamond formation to nullify City’s threat moving through the middle and saw his objective get fulfilled. But his counter-attacking tactics were countered by City’s rigid defensive style and cautious nature on the day. While he drilled his backline well, Ole still needs to make his players more clinical & get them attacking more fluidly a start producing better results at home.
David de Gea (6.0) –
After conceding 3 in the mid-week, De Gea is under pressure to produce a special performance. Makes a solid save to deny Mahrez in the 35th. Then a late one to deny Rodri in stoppage time. Not really tested as much as he’d expected, but a decent shift nonetheless.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (7.0)-
Wan-Bissaka dominated Sterling on both league derbies last season, but isn’t finding things as easy with the Englishman moving through his wing more freely. He improved a lot in the second half, making those clutch tackles and clearances he’s accustomed to. But his limitations moving forward nullified United’s threat on the right and kept things cagey on that side.
Harry Maguire (8.0) –
Maguire’s under pressure to perform after his nightmare at Leipzig and starts the game strongly, making a few clutch interceptions to avoid early trouble. Makes a potentially goal-saving block to deny Sterling in the 20th. Make another terrific block to deny De Bruyne in the 68th.
Won almost everything in the air, showcased good decision making & positioning to close down opportunities for City and earned a clean sheet for this side.
Victor Lindelof (7.0) –
The Swede almost got an early assist when his flicked header set up McTominay’s tap-in from the corner, which he missed. Then floated in another brilliant long ball to Bruno in the 18th to create a decent chance. Apart from his impressive distribution, Lindelof maintained good positioning to nullify City’s threat & made some clutch challenges to keep things quiet.
Luke Shaw (7.5) –
Shaw seems to be well suited to deal with Mahrez today and hardly allowed him a touch in the first half-hour. Made some terrific clutch interceptions in the first-half to stop City’s breaks. Owned the left side and completely nullified City’s threat through his side, even after Ferran Torres came on.
Made 4 tackles, won 6 duels and his crossing was also pretty good, creating a few decent chances for United.
Scott McTominay (7.0) –
McTominay scored the last goal in front of an Old Trafford crowd here in March against City and almost gets another big chance to score in the 11th, but couldn’t tap in from close range. But he did his job pretty well, making some great tackles, recovering possession on many occasions and maintaining a very rigid midfield line.
Paul Pogba (6.5) –
Despite all the controversy surrounding him, Pogba starts as a makeshift left-winger today. Trying to stay as central as possible and played some nice forward passes early on. Sneaked into the box to receive a cheeky goal-scoring chance in the 29th, but his shot deflected wide. Sent Rashford through on goal with a nice threaded pass in the 53rd.
Put in a tenacious shift to help close down space for City and fulfil his defensive duties well & carried the ball forward well. A pretty no-nonsensical shift in midfield.
Fred (7.5) –
Fred’s back after missing the last two games. Took a nasty knock on his hip early on but ends up shaking it off to continue. Kept the ball moving forward with his snappy passing and produced a highlight reel moment seconds before half-time with a 360-degree turn fooling 2 midfielders.
Revelled in his deeper role, adding extra protection defensively and using his sparky style to regain possession in key areas. Ensured that no mistakes were made in transitioning the ball from defence into attack and kept things very tidy as United’s beating heart in midfield.
Bruno Fernandes (6.0) –
Bruno hasn’t really impressed in any PL big game this season and aims to change that today. Marked very tightly but trying to move around to create chances. Linked-up really well to create a few half decent chances in the first half, but nothing definitive. Gets a difficult chance to score in the 88th, but his toe-poked shot from outside the box is saved.
Tried another ambitious shot on goal in the 90th, only to see it blaze wide. Ended up a frustrating figure after a boring game for attackers like him.
Marcus Rashford (4.0) –
Rashford loves scoring against City and aims to continue that today. Doing double duty as the centre-forward and also partly as a winger. Managed to win a penalty early in the 2nd half, only to see VAR overule it. Then managed to surge through on goal in the 53rd, but his sloppy left-footed attempt brazed wide. If he was more clinical, the scoreline and outcome could’ve been different.
Mason Greenwood (5.0) –
Greenwood is being kept very isolated on the right but managed to find some shooting space in the 44th, but his stinging attempted was blocked well. Found some half-chances in the second half, but apart from his decent distribution, Greenwood couldn’t produce anything significant.
Anthony Martial (6.0) –
The Frenchman used his hold-up play pretty well to transition the ball into the final third really well. Created Bruno’s late chance with a clever forward pass.
MAN OF THE MATCH
For a cagey match like this, a defender is the only one to earn this accolade. For me, Harry Maguire was United’s best defender today & saved two possible goals for City with timely blocks. He’s my MOTM for this game.