Player Ratings: United 4-0 AZ Alkmaar

As the old saying goes, it was very much a tale of two halves for United on….

13 December 2019

As the old saying goes, it was very much a tale of two halves for United on Thursday night. A lacklustre first half performance contrasted with a second period in which The Red Devils struck four times in just eleven minutes, to seal their passage through to the last 32 of the competition as group winners. Here’s how the players fared:

Sergio Romero – A night in which the Argentinian was rarely called into action. Did however produce a stunning save in the second half to deny Stengs. Another clean sheet for the man that is without question, the best back-up keeper around. 7/10


Ashley Young – Often the brunt of United fans’ banter, and in truth ire, the 34-year-old put in a fantastic shift at right-back. Largely untroubled with his defensive duties, and was a threat going forward. A smart finish to open United’s account on the night and a precursor of what was to come. 8/10

Axel Tuanzebe – Calm and composed yet again. Nullified de Wit for the best part of an hour, before the Dutchman was substituted. Will surely be giving Solskjaer a selection headache with Everton coming up at the weekend, as he looks to be forging a strong partnership with Maguire. 7/10

Harry Maguire – A relatively reserved night for the Englishman. His calming influence and leadership qualities brought a serenity to the back four. Brought off for Phil Jones with about twenty minutes to go and the game long won. 7/10

Brandon Williams – Faces a battle to keep his starting role with Luke Shaw now fit, but performances like this can only bolster his chances. Put in a few decent crosses cutting in on his favoured right foot, and his pace meant that he was scarcely beaten down the line. Growing in confidence with every game. 8/10

James Garner – A steadfast outing for the 18-year-old. At times looked ‘Carrick-esque’ with his range of passing, and made the challenge which led to Greenwood’s first goal, and United’s second, putting the game beyond doubt. 7.5/10

Nemanja Matic – Looked like a player that knows he’s probably out of the club in the next couple of transfer windows. Disinterested at times, and his languid manner really decelerates United’s attack at times. 5/10

Juan Mata – The Spaniard seemingly turned back the clock on Thursday night to produce a vintage performance. Set up the breakthrough goal for Young, as well as Greenwood’s second, and scored from the penalty spot to make it 3-0 and put the game well and truly to bed. 9/10

Andreas Pereira – Was vital in United’s opening goal, getting himself out of a tight space near the corner flag to lay it inside to Matic, who fed Mata, before Young slotted home. Otherwise a typical Andreas Pereira performance in all honesty. Flashes of quality, but the United midfield is crying out for more. 6.5/10

Anthony Martial – Brought off before the hour mark with United 2-0 up and the game done and dusted. Wasn’t given much service and rarely threatened. Missed a golden chance just after the interval. A rare off night for the Frenchman. 5/10

Mason Greenwood – Basically he’s the next Robin van Persie. Okay, so that may be a little melodramatic, but Greenwood was without question the star of the show. Two clinical finishes for his goals, and won the penalty which Mata duly converted. Will be interesting to see whether Solskjaer goes with Greenwood from the start against Everton, or reverts to Dan James on the right wing. On this performance, you would surely have to go with the in-form man. 9.5/10

Subs

Tahith Chong – Took his opportunity well and showed flashes of what he is capable of. Looked much more self-assured than in previous appearances in the red shirt. Hopefully he can kick on from here. 6/10

Phil Jones – The fact he didn’t make a costly mistake is about as much praise as can be given. AZ’s lack of anything resembling potent going forward made it a stroll. 5/10

Ethan Laird – Booked late on for a clumsy challenge, but looked to get forward when presented the opportunity. Couldn’t quite connect with a masterful ball from Garner, with nothing but green grass in front of him. Will hope to get more opportunities in future. 5/10

What do you think?

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