Manchester United v Liverpool saw the Red Devils challenge their horrific start to the new Premier League season in a surprising and potentially galvanizing 2-1 victory at Old Trafford on Monday.
[ MORE: Tuchel furious with referee after Conte fight ]
Erik ten Hag’s side scored their first goal of the season, took their first point and took more than a little pressure off their new coach.
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Let’s dig deeper into Manchester United vs Liverpool player ratings.
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Manchester United vs Liverpool player ratings
David of Gea: 7 — By virtue of Erik ten Hag green-lighting the long ball on goal, De Gea was infinitely better than his disastrous performance against Brentford. Credit to De Gea, who has always responded to his critics defiantly
Diogo Dalot: 7 — The Portuguese right-back continues to defy previous public opinion by simply staying at Manchester United, let alone starting and closing Luis Diaz in the club’s biggest game of the season.
Rafael Varane: 7.5 — It will be tough for Ten Hag to return to Harry Maguire alongside Lisandro Martinez after seeing the Franco-Argentine connection barely concede and limit Liverpool the way they did.
Lisandro Martinez:7 — He knew absolutely nothing about it, but the Argentinian’s goal-line blocking and Bruno Fernandes’ near-humiliating goal defense should give him a little time and goodwill to get used to Man United and the Premier League. League.
Tyrell Malacia:7 — Mohamed Salah was cornered and kept quiet for 90 minutes, which is no mean feat, least of all for a player new to the Premier League and known more for his attacking flair.
Christian Eriksen: 6.5 — Eriksen’s placement alongside Scott McTominay was an interesting but perhaps necessary choice from Ten Hag, with Fred and the Scots fighting hard to fulfill the new manager’s wishes on the ball. Once Casemiro is on the team, Eriksen can thrive in the deeper role, but he will need a lot of defensive protection.
Scott McTominay:6 — Right now McTominay is only in the starting lineup because he’s at the club and someone has to play the position.
Jadon Sancho:8 — There were flashes of “Sancho from Dortmund” in the first half, including his goal, and of course he’s going to terrify PL defenders whenever he gets one-on-one. The confidence to score against Liverpool at Old Trafford should do wonders for the 22-year-old.
Bruno Fernandes: 6 — There is no one in the Man United squad who needs a natural striker to lead the line (more on that in a bit) than Fernandes. He is almost unplayable when scouring the middle and channels.
Anthony Elanga:5 — Given the half-time hook, perhaps due to injury or wanting to push Marcus Rashford out, it’s unclear what Elanga offers this United team right now.
Marcus Rashford:8 — He didn’t offer much other than runs behind the defense (which were rarely, if ever, found) in the first half when playing as a centre-forward, but the extra space on the left (and the ability to link up with Anthony Martial and Malacia) saw it come to life after the break. He must still be central to the rebuilding of Manchester United.
(half-time substitute) Anthony Martial: 7.5 — United are so hungry for a real striker that Martial, who spent the second half of last season on loan and is again currently at the club, looked like a revolutionary when he dropped into midfield. His pass to Rashford’s goal was simple enough, but the kind of play that, say, Ronaldo would probably not make in the same situation.
Liverpool vs Manchester United player ratings
Alisson: 5.5 — Rashford’s goal was deftly landed, but it’s also the kind of save Alisson normally puts out to rescue Liverpool at a dire moment.
Trent Alexander-Arnold:6 — When centre-backs aren’t attacking and burrowing into midfield to create massive overloads, it’s hard to sled for the rest of Liverpool’s attack.
Joe Gomez: 5.5 — If Virgil van Dijk isn’t able to make every imaginable play in the world, Gomez (and anyone who plays alongside him will struggle.
Virgil van Dijk: 5.5 — Throughout Liverpool’s recent run as PL title contender, Champions League contender (and winner) and all the rest, Van Dijk has shown once or twice why he was the best defender in the world. He allowed Liverpool
freedom reckless abandon to press and counterattack the way they did. The great Dutchman doesn’t seem to be that player anymore and is hurting the Reds now.
Andrew Robertson:6 — When centre-backs aren’t attacking and burrowing into midfield to create massive overloads, it’s hard to sled for the rest of Liverpool’s attack.
Jordan Henderson: 6 — Without Fabinho in midfield, it’s pretty clear that Henderson should be the target of opponents’ attacks in midfield. Man United found a lot of joy there on Monday.
James Milner: 5.5 — Everyone knows he is only in the starting lineup due to the rash of injuries in Liverpool’s squad, but explaining his ineffectiveness in what felt like a potentially mandatory game doesn’t make him go away.
Harvey Elliott: 5.5 — Similar story to Milner’s. Elliott is one for the future with the ability to help here and now, but Monday’s game was too quick and physical for him to thrive.
Mohamed Salah:7 — The Egyptian winger was strangely silent on Monday as Malacia and Martinez, with a little more help from McTominay, offered zero time and space. He loosened up for a late consolation goal, but it was clear that denying Salah the opportunity to win the game was defensive goal No. 1.
Roberto Firmino: 6 — If Salah is to be effectively marked out of the game, Firmino has to have a significant influence on offense and, like Van Dijk, he is no longer that player. Of course, he won’t start if Darwin Nuñez isn’t suspended.
Luís Dias: 5.5 — Diaz was perhaps the worst of the three forwards, all well under par. The combination of a deep defensive line, tormented pressure in midfield and Liverpool without a star in midfield with an injured Thiago Alcântara made for a miserable attacking game.
Player ratings for Manchester United’s surprise victory over Liverpool originally appeared on NBCSports.com