Wednesday 12 December 2018

De Gea the main man, Lukaku flops: Player ratings from Liverpool's draw with Manchester United

Manchester United's Phil Jones watches as David De Gea makes a brilliant save
Manchester United's Phil Jones watches as David De Gea makes a brilliant save

Simon Peach

LIVERPOOL

SIMON MIGNOLET: A goalkeeper capable of a mistake but held firm to deny United's only shot on target. 6

JOE GOMEZ: While sometimes unconvincing at full-back, the talented defender kept his composure against fleet-footed Anthony Martial and replacement Marcus Rashford. 7

JOEL MATIP: The steadiest presence in Liverpool's shaky defence this season, he marshalled the backline and threatened at the other end. 7

DEJAN LOVREN: A divisive player at the back, the Croatia international provided the odd important intervention to thwart United. 6

ALBERTO MORENO: Marauding, attacking but flaws have been exposed before. Looks to have improved greatly this season. 6

GEORGINIO WIJNALDUM: Sometimes goes missing but, like on other occasions, raised his performance against one of the best sides. 7

JORDAN HENDERSON: Liverpool's captain provided a cool presence in the midfield engine without shining. 6

EMRE CAN: The highly-rated German midfielder shielded the backline but sometimes struggled to make much of an impression in possession. 7

MOHAMED SALAH: Has hit the ground running since returning to English football and pulled United's defence around, but wasted a fine second-half chance as he tailed off. 6

PHILIPPE COUTINHO: Bumped into the attacking trio in Sadio Mane's enforced absence, the Brazilian showed some great touches without a killer instinct. 6

ROBERTO FIRMINO: The focal point of Liverpool's three-pronged frontline made runs that befuddled United's backline, but looked blunt. 6

SUBS

ALEX OXLADE-CHAMBERLAIN (for Salah, 78): Made an impact down the right against slowing Matteo Darmian. 6

DANIEL STURRIDGE (for Coutinho, 79): Changed the attacking dynamic but did not have time to make an impact. 6

DOMINIC SOLANKE (for Firmino, 86): Last roll of the dice but did not bring a Hollywood ending. 6

MANCHESTER UNITED

DAVID DE GEA: United's outstanding goalkeeper produced a ridiculous first-half save to deny Joel Matip. At his best at Anfield. 8

ANTONIO VALENCIA: The man in the captain's armband did not produce as many lung-busting runs down the flanks as usual. Kept his cool defensively. 6

CHRIS SMALLING: In for the absent Eric Bailly, there were a few shaky moments as Liverpool upped the ante but the performance was solid overall. 7

PHIL JONES: Unavailable for England during the international break through injury, he produced a decent display at Anfield. A couple of hairy moments could not take edge off a fine display. 7

MATTEO DARMIAN: A conservative choice at left-back against in-form Mohamed Salah. Started well enough but overawed at times as he slowed markedly. 5

NEMANJA MATIC: A solid presence in United's injury-hit midfield. Kept it simple but came close with a fizzing effort. 7

ANDER HERRERA: Clumsy in possession at times but sharp in the tackle. Led despite being without the armband. 6

ASHLEY YOUNG: Having been playing full-back recently, Mourinho deployed him on the right wing. Not his greatest performances but was regimented. 6

HENRIKH MKHITARYAN: Unable to show his true capabilities on a tense occasion without much space. Anonymous. 5

ANTHONY MARTIAL: Has come on leaps and bounds this season, attacking with confidence and tracking back. Unable to assert himself fully, though. 6

ROMELU LUKAKU: An isolated figure in attack, he managed just one shot on target in the first half. Somehow avoided entering referee Martin Atkinson's notebook and failed to make an impact. 5

SUBS

JESSE LINGARD (for Mkhitaryan, 63): Fresh legs helped increase the work rate but United still too disjointed in attack. 6

MARCUS RASHFORD (for Martial, 65): A like-for-like replacement for Martial, struggled to create clear-cut moments. 6

VICTOR LINDELOF (for Young, 90): A chance to kill time and add another layer of midfield protection. 6

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