Chris Smalling put in a Man of the Match performance for Manchester United, as he and the rest of the Red Devils blanked Everton to gain the vital three points at Goodison Park. Ahead of their match with current Barclays Premier League leaders, Manchester City next weekend, United remain third, just behind Arsenal.
The visitors looked comfortable the entire match, showing great composure and scoring the all important first goal in the first half. More importantly, we saw Wayne Rooney meet the pressure from Louis van Gaal and end his long goal drought away from home in the win.
Here are United’s player ratings for the game…
Manchester United (4-2-3-1)
David de Gea 8
Acted cool, keeping Romelu Lukaku out of the United net. Made a couple very good saves during the match to keep another clean sheet.
Matteo Darmian 7
The Italian international sent in a few terrific balls from the wing that were dangerous in the box. Not his best game by any means, but was rarely troubled in defence either.
Chris Smalling 9
Just when you think he cannot have a better match, he puts on a Man of the Match display, showcasing his consistent form. He did well matching up with the strength of Lukaku, keeping the pressure on him throughout the entire match. Very impressive.
Phil Jones 7
The England man was bullied early on by Lukaku by remained steady alongside Smalling. He won key battles as well and was tidy when needed to clean up balls in front of his keeper.
Marcos Rojo 8
A real presence on both sides of the pitch, Rojo played some lovely balls into the box and made some terrific tackles in defence. Provided an assist.
Morgan Schneiderlin 7
Smashed home the all the important first goal to give United the lead, and played some good balls from midfield. He really excelled in the first half.
Bastian Schweinsteiger 7
Overall he had a good first half, but his touch betrayed him at times and needlessly fouled Everton a few times. Made way for Carrick in the second half.
Juan Mata 6
The Spaniard provided good support in attack in the first half, but we didn’t seen any great balls from Mata. He was subbed at halftime for Jesse Lingard for tactical reasons.
Ander Herrera 9
If Smalling was the standout player on the defensive side of things, Herrera was the man on the offensive side. Extremely clever in taking his goal and provided good support early on for the United attack. A truly sublime performance.
Anthony Martial 7
Fresh of winning Premier League player of the month, the forward showed great change of pace and terrific feet with the ball. Another match that he didn’t score, but defenders still don’t have an answer for his quickness.
Wayne Rooney 7
It was looking like another anonymous display for the skipper in the first half, but things changed as he answered his critics by taking his goal with a super finish. Provided some good balls in the second half, which led to an overall good game for the former Everton player.
Jesse Lingard 6
Replaced Mata at half time, but didn’t do much of anything to scare the Everton defence.
Michael Carrick 6
Replaced Schweinsteiger in the 74th minute. Nothing flashy but secure.
Marouane Fellaini 6
Replaced Herrera in the 81st minute, but was too late to make any sort of impact in a match that was wrapped up.
Manager: Louis van Gaal 8
Made the all the right selections today as his squad rolled at a tough ground to win at. Sat the struggling Memphis and replaced him with the much more influential Herrera and it paid dividends.