Thursday 17 October 2019

Chelsea v Manchester United player ratings: Pogba star of the show as Rashford and Shaw impress

Manchester United's Paul Pogba celebrates scoring their second goal with Romelu Lukaku as Chelsea's Kepa Arrizabalaga looks dejected
Manchester United's Paul Pogba celebrates scoring their second goal with Romelu Lukaku as Chelsea's Kepa Arrizabalaga looks dejected

CHELSEA

Kepa Arrizabalaga: Not at fault for either goal but his lack of authority contributes to the uncertain defending that is further undermining Chelsea's poor form, 5.

Cesar Azpilicueta: If Azpilicueta is in decline, and not simply out of form, then Chelsea are losing one of the players they so desperately need more from to rescue their season, 6.

Antonio Rudiger: Perhaps fortunate to start so regularly over Andreas Christensen. The German struggled to contain United, largely because his central-defensive partnership with Luiz is unconvincing, 5.

David Luiz: Threatened with a first-half free-kick but he offers too little to a defence that remains disorganised and is short of the leadership once provided by Gary Cahill and John Terry, 5.

Marcos Alonso: The left-back's lack of discipline again left them exposed in defence; both of United's first-half goals began on the wing he was supposed to be defending, 4.

N'Golo Kante: Often played a deeper role than he has for much of this season but struggled to influence play as he is capable of doing. Could also perhaps have denied Pogba before United's second goal, 5.

Jorginho: Was denied an impressive assist, that would have done much for his reputation and the criticism he has been receiving, when Higuain struggled to convert following his fine pass, 5.

Mateo Kovacic: Was replaced by Ross Barkley, in a beyond familiar substitution, following another unremarkable contribution; another player who needs to rediscover his early-season form, 5.

Pedro: Played with desire and intent, and twice came close to scoring. Remains an underrated player for his team - his speed and intelligent movement frees up Hazard and other attacking team-mates, 7.

Eden Hazard: His classy run into United's area gave Chelsea a much-needed shot on goal but he saw his effort deflected wide and otherwise needed greater support from his team-mates, 7.

Gonzalo Higuain: His movement stretched United's defence but he was lacking the sharpness - and perhaps the confidence - to capitalise in the way a struggling team needed him to, 5.

Substitutes:

Willian (for Pedro, 58mins): Pedro was already unfortunate to be replaced and Willian did little to justify his manager Maurizio Sarri's decision, 5.

Ross Barkley (for Kovacic, 71mins): Given the thankless task of being asked to inspire his team-mates after they had already lost faith, 5.

Davide Zappacosta (for Azpilicueta, 82mins): United at least did not extend their lead during his few minutes on the pitch, 5.

Manchester United:

Sergio Romero: Produced an impressive double save from Luiz's free-kick and then Pedro's rebound to demonstrate what a worthy deputy he is for the in-form David de Gea, 7.

Ashley Young: United will need to replace him sooner rather than later, but until they do he again proved he will remain a reliable performer in a position that is far from his most natural, 6.

Chris Smalling: As with Young, it is difficult to envision United winning the Premier League with him as a regular starter, but on an evening when he had little one-on-one defending to do he was solid and contributed to keeping Higuain quiet, 7.

Victor Lindelof: Read Hazard's intentions to make the vital block when the Belgian could have given Chelsea hope of a recovery from two goals down. Another who continues to improve, 7.

Luke Shaw: Produced one of his more impressive defensive performances that included two fine recovery runs and challenges to deny Chelsea attacks when close to goal, 8.

Ander Herrera: Gave United the lead from his first-half header, and again typified the increased intensity that has been such a feature of their improvement since Jose Mourinho's departure, 8.

Nemanja Matic: Perhaps fortunate to avoid a second yellow card and therefore a dismissal for his second-half challenge on his former team-mate Kante, 5.

Paul Pogba: Continued to excel as United's driving force, notably when releasing Rashford and then sprinting into the area to head in his cross and double their lead, 9.

Juan Mata: Applauded by both the home and away fans when substituted at the conclusion of another good performance against his former club. Linked play, as expected, and regularly frustrated Jorginho, 8.

Marcus Rashford: His fine footwork and cross created the chance from which Herrera headed United into the lead, and his similarly impressive delivery created their second goal, scored by Pogba, 9.

Romelu Lukaku: Did little to enhance his reputation on an evening when Rashford, who in the long-term he will vie with for selection, did much for his. Reliable hold-up play is supposed to be the bare minimum he provides, 5.

Substitutes:

Alexis Sanchez (for Lukaku, 73mins): Wasteful on the counter-attack when United could have extended their lead, 5.

Andreas Pereira (for Mata, 76mins): Introduced to give Mata a rest and to ensure United's two-goal lead was preserved, 5.

Scott McTominay (for Rashford, 90+4mins): Brought on essentially so that the impressive Rashford could be applauded off, 5.

PA Media

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