After a heavy defeat against rivals Liverpool, Manchester United traveled to the Emirates Stadium and faced hosts Arsenal for a pivotal game in the race for top 4. Following the announcement of new manager Erik Ten Hag, there is a certain buzz among fans and surely for the players as well. Meanwhile, Arsenal are also in jubilant mood having beaten Chelsea in their previous game. It’s a case of top preparation meets top execution for Arsenal as they managed to identify the weak link in United’s defence and came out as deserved winners of the day.
David de Gea – 4/10
Not much he could’ve done for Arsenal’s first goal, went the wrong direction for Saka’s penalty, and was too late to make a move to save Xhaka’s banger. Ball distribution still very, very poor just like it’s been all season long.
Diogo Dalot – 6/10
Improved massively from his display against Liverpool. He was very confident going forward and almost scored twice. Probably should’ve gone to Ramsdale’s far post in his second chance.
Raphael Varane – 4/10
The Frenchman’s return from injury is a much needed boost for United going into today’s game. He was alright in the air as usual. However, he looked very static and it was quite easy for Arsenal to bypass him.Embed from Getty Images
Victor Lindelof – 4/10
Just like Varane, he didn’t have the best of games today. He did not show enough aggression and his signature long passes were not hitting the target much.
Alex Telles – 0/10
The weak link in United’s defence. Telles played a part in all three Arsenal goals. The crosses also weren’t hitting. When you take that aspect out of his game, there’s really nothing else he can offer the team.
Nemanja Matic – 6/10
The veteran played his usual game. Calm on the ball, helped out in defence. He also assisted Ronaldo’s goal. However, he couldn’t keep up with the intensity of Arsenal’s midfielders. As a result, they had plenty of freedom to work the ball through the middle.
Scott McTominay – 5/10
With Matic anchoring the midfield, Scott was able to slot in his more natural position as an 8. He clearly looked more comfortable there. However, he still needs to improve on the ball.
Bruno Fernandes – 0/10
Being the captain for the day, Bruno shouldered lots of expectations from his team and the fans. However, he did not live up to the end of the bargain. He missed an absolute sitter in the first half then missed the penalty which would’ve brought United back on level terms. Truly a disappointing performance.Embed from Getty Images
Jadon Sancho – 6/10
Jadon was very lively with his usual dribbles and feints. However, the end product was lacking. He seemed to be on a different wavelength with his teammates. The combinations and one-touch football he was known for at Dortmund were not possible to be applied with this current set-up.
Cristiano Ronaldo – 7/10
Having been dubbed as “the problem” by the media earlier in the season, Ronaldo scored United’s only goal of the day. In what must have been a very difficult week for himself personally, Ronaldo played a decent overall game. His pass managed to release Elanga through on goal and managed to put the ball in the net again only to be ruled out for offside. He also should’ve been the one to take the penalty.Embed from Getty Images
Anthony Elanga – 5/10
The youngster was full or running today. He did alright playing on the right but that denied him of the chance to cut inside as he does when he’s operating from the left. Need to improve physically so he can better fend off defenders.
Jesse Lingard – 3/10
Brought some energy into the game but his substitution came too late.
Marcus Rashford – 3/10
Didn’t do much, as it has been all season.
Juan Mata – 5/10
Crisp with his passing, but got nowhere near enough time to change things.