Article featured on The Secret Footballer Fan Zone
Manchester United 0 – 0 Manchester City | 25.10.15
Manchester United Player Ratings
Manchester United 4-2-3-1
David De Gea (goalkeeper): 7
Wouldn’t have expected to have had such a quiet afternoon against top opposition in Manchester City. Not troubled at all and comfortable for the entire game. Will be happy with the clean sheet.
Antonio Valencia (right back): 7
Marauding runs down the right side testing out Aleksandar Kolarov all afternoon, but couldn’t get that final ball into the box for a teammate. Dealt with Raheem Sterling well and wasn’t troubled and exposed too much.
Phil Jones (centre back): 7
Lack of composure in the first half with a few wayward headers and passes. Grew into the game the more it went on and was much more accomplished and assured. Was able to read the game and snuff out any danger on the cover on a couple of occasions. Needs a run of games and to stay injury free now.
Chris Smalling (centre back): 8
Played well as he has done all season, commanding performance and didn’t let Wilfried Bony have a touch. Fast becoming one of the Premier Leagues leading defenders. Almost grabbed the winner in the last few minutes with a smart effort which was well saved by Joe Hart.
Marcos Rojo (left back): 8
Dealt with the in-form Kevin De Bruyne well, so much so he had to try his luck on the left for the last 30 minutes. Defended well throughout the game but wasn’t as assured when on the ball or attacking down the left.
Morgan Schneiderlin (central midfield): 8
Broke up play well and was always there protecting the defence from Manchester City’s attacks. Accomplished performance and was always in the right place to deal with any danger as well as being an option to receive the ball. Vital player in the big games.
Bastian Schweinsteiger (central midfield): 6
Tried to play from deep and dictate play. Kept the ball ticking over but couldn’t really affect the game and was brought off for the latter stages. Steady performance and always looked to get on the ball.
Juan Mata (attacking midfield): 5
Must have been a tactical ploy as Mata was tucked in from the right side all game to allow Valencia the space to attack, but in doing so was limiting his own space inside. Was ineffective and couldn’t make anything happen in the final third, eventually being brought off.
Ander Herrera (attacking midfield): 6
Clever footballer with some nice touches and footwork but found space in the ‘number 10’ hard to come by so had to drop deeper to get involved. Couldn’t really make anything happen, but always available to collect the ball and play.
Anthony Martial (attacking midfield): 7
Looked dangerous when allowed the space to run at the City defence, just didn’t have too many opportunities to get in front of goal. The player that looked most likely to make something happen for United whenever he got on the ball. Almost got an assist with a nice chipped through ball to Jesse Lingard who hit the bar.
Wayne Rooney (striker): 5
Tried to occupy the two City centre backs and play high but was seen off on more than one occasion. Didn’t influence the game as a central striker should do, having the least amount of touches for Manchester United and being wasteful when he did have it. Clearly missing that spark and fear factor. More effective at defending set pieces.
Jesse Lingard (Mata, 67): 6
Nice effort from an Anthony Martial through ball, difficult chance but came close hitting the bar. Couldn’t really affect the game and still learning his trade at this level.
Marouane Fellaini (Schweinsteiger, 75): 6
Didn’t really have much to do, but was always an option aerially. A good knock down late on from a deep freekick created a chance for Chris Smalling to test the keeper.
Matteo Darmian (Valencia, 81): No rating
Steady enough performance when coming on late into the game.
Substitutes not used: Sergio Romero, Memphis Depay, Michael Carrick, Daley Blind
Louis Van Gaal: 6
Tactical ploy to tuck Mata inside didn’t work as the Spaniard was far too ineffective. Tried to freshen it up with a couple substitutions but was always difficult to break Manchester City down. Needs to realise Anthony Martial is more effective deployed through the centre especially with Wayne Rooney playing so poorly.