Manchester United had a pretty straightforward 3-1 win over fierce rivals Liverpool in the Premier League to move up to second place in the table. A game which started in pedestrian pace but gathered momentum in the second half, the home fans will be particularly happy with the win as they saw new boy Anthony Martial hitting the target in what wasn’t a classic derby game.
Here are the biggest winners and losers from both sides in the game.
MANCHESTER UNITED WINNERS:
The Dutchman scored the opening goal from a well worked free kick and also won the man of the match award. Blind was defensively solid, after suggestions pre-match of him being subject to domination from Liverpool’s Christian Benteke. He made 8 successful clearances out of 9, and used his considerable passing range to help build up play from the back, with
The fact Martial scored on his debut and immediately set about to repay the amount of money spent to bring him to Old Trafford merits his inclusion in this list. The teenage Frenchman capped off a fine day for the Stretford End faithful as he applied the finishing touches to a satisfying win over Liverpool. Martial’s slaloming run had designs to get the United fans excited, and the fact he scored his first ever Red Devils goal against Liverpool will endear him even more to the fans.
MANCHESTER UNITED LOSERS:
A difficult choice in a game where there were little complaints about the players in red, but Fellaini failed to provide the attacking presence demanded of target man as United struggled to create clear-cut goalscoring chances in the first half. The big Belgian had only 2 attempts, and most of his passes were square balls and percentage passes. He failed to get involved in the game, and created little of note for the runners around him. His touch at times deserted him.
The Dutchman failed to impress and was taken off at half time for the much more effective Ashley Young. Depay’s poor cross completion rate of 28 percent was one of the reasons behind Fellaini’s overall poor impact in the first half, and for a player known for his dribbling ability, he failed in all three of his take-ons. A frustrating day for the youngster, but one that will stand him in good stead in the future.
Benteke remained isolated for most parts of the game but managed to find the net in brilliant fashion when he halved the deficit late into the second half with a stunning overhead kick. The Belgian had the highest shots in the game, a fact which proves the flatness of the game overall and was in his usual aerial beast mode, winning 6 out of his 9 aerial duels. Interestingly though, Benteke received plenty less long balls from goalkeeper Mignolet, which has been a distinct aspect of Liverpool’s play this season.
As usual, Milner was in his selfless mode and one of the few Liverpool players to come away without really making much in the way of mistakes. The England international created the highest number of Reds’ chances with 2, and also tackled with fair efficiency, winning 67 percent of his tackles. The fact he he missed a runner like Jordan Henderson alongside him was evident as he often was caught behind play in transitions.
A bit harsh on the left-back but Gomez’s naivety to make a slide tackle on Ander Herrera in the second half that led to a penalty effectively killed the game off. Gomez had decent game: considerably solid in defence and erratic when moving forward. His pass completion rate of only 64 percent is pretty ordinary as a top flight professional, although the defeat will be an invaluable experience for the new arrival.
The England international was subdued as an attacking threat owing to the forward movements of Luke Shaw from Manchester United’s left flank. He misplaced most of his forward passes, and look uncharacteristically out of sorts. His concession of the free kick on Ashley Young led to the first goal, something which cannot be attributed to an accomplished defender.