Player ratings as missed chances cost Red Devils in title race
Manchester United and Arsenal played a 0-0 draw at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday night with neither side able to find the killer’s goal to clinch all three points.
The first half went off without too many incidents and with very few shots on target. Fred tested Bernd Leno with a smart effort from the edge of the box, and Bruno Fernandes wasted the Red Devils best chance at halftime, turning inside David Luiz but buckling his effort just off the post.
Arsenal controlled possession in the early stages of the second half, but Man Utd had the best chance on time, when Edinson Cavani failed to convert at close range, after Luke Shaw threw a bad bullet through the six-yard area.
Alexandre Lacazette hit the crossbar with a free kick, while Nicolas Pepe and Cavani both shot wide in front of goal, meaning the points were shared in north London.
Let’s stay stuck in the ratings of the players of Saturday’s tense competition in the Emirates.
Bernd Leno (GK) – 8/10 – He clawed Fred’s beautiful curling effort in the top corner with a strong finger. Made an incredible close-range stop to deny Cavani a certain goal as well.
Hector Bellerin (RB) – 7/10 – Bonded well with Pepe on that right flank, giving and going time and time again. Surrendered possession in dangerous areas once or twice, however.
Rob Holding (CB) – 8/10 – One had to be vigilant to keep an eye on Cavani’s wise move. Stoically glued to the Uruguayan and deprived of place in the area of the Red Devils.
David Luiz (CB) – 7/10 – Turned upside down by Fernandes at 33 minutes, and happy that the Portuguese star has curled up. Hijacked Fernandes’ free kick over the bar with a large header.
Cédric Soares (LB) – 6/10 – Stuck a nasty arm in Fernandes’ face causing a rash of anger. Also earned a yellow card for his troubles. Fell asleep to allow Rashford to get behind but Martinelli saved him.
Thomas Partey (CM) – 7/10 – I’m not afraid to charge into the Man Utd half, and have done so on occasion, leaving markers in its wake. A frightening prospect when he shifts gears. Solid.
Granite Xhaka (CM) – 7/10 – Endured a humiliating nutmeg at the hands of Rashford. However, he covered the left side well, as Man Utd deliberately targeted Soares.
Emile Smith-Rowe (AM) – 6/10 – Started brilliantly, but faded as the visitors started to control the tempo for the first half. Some decision-making suspects in the second period. Tested De Gea with a decent reader.
Nicolas Pepe (RW) – 7/10 – Shaw mesmerized with a flurry of jumps before buckling right off. Almost won the game with a bending strike from the right, but missed the inside of the post. One of his best performances.
Alexandre Lacazette (ST) – 6/10 – Stung De Gea’s palms as he should have provided a teammate in a first-half block. Soooo closed with a free kick that rocked the crossbar.
Gabriel Martinelli (LW) – 7/10 – A magnificent ball was coiled into the box after 28 minutes, which simply implored a clinical striker to punish him. Not to be. Produces a brilliant recovery run and a diving header to prevent Rashford from scoring a free kick on goal. Subbed at halftime.
Willian (LW) – 6/10
Martin Odegaard (AM) – 6/10
Eddie Nketiah (ST) – N / A
David De Gea (GK) – 7/10 – Serene in the first half, because neither of the two teams has managed to put a serious glove on their opponent. You could only watch Lacazette’s free kick hit the bar. Made a major stop soon after.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (RB) – 7/10 – Thrown a wide header when he found himself free in Arsenal’s box. Makes a great block dive after initially missing the ball. Booked for a terrible challenge early in the second half.
Victor Lindelof (CB) – 7/10 – Resolute against Lacazette, and is rarely wrong. Well positioned to stop Arsenal balls above with controlled headers.
Harry Maguire (CB) – 8/10 – Wandering the field with the ball to add extra body to attacks. Well played and led from behind. Blocked the dangerous effort linked to Pepe’s goals. Conceded a few risky free kicks, but got away with it.
Luke Shaw (LB) – 7/10 – Fought against the deception of Pepe, who got the better of Shaw a couple of times in the first half. Should have caught an assist with a dangerous cross that flew into the six-yard penalty area. An excellent second half of English.
Scott McTominay (CM) – 6/10 – Received a blow early in the first half but couldn’t shake it off and had to be substituted at 35 minutes. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.
Fred (CM) – 7/10 – Almost coiled a skillful, measured strike in the top corner, but refused by Leno. Broke Arsenal attacks and distributed effectively. A solid performance.
Bruno Fernandes (AM) – 6/10 – Will be disappointed that he didn’t hit the target when he rocked Luiz in the first half, sort of twisting the far post. Came in the second half and played nice balls between the lines.
Marcus Rashford (RW) – 6/10 – It took a lifetime to try and get an unbranded shot inside the six-yard penalty area, eventually having to turn to a teammate. A wasted chance. Overran the ball at times unnecessarily and his decision-making left a lot to be desired.
Edinson Cavani (ST) – 6/10 – Constantly seeking to rush in front of his marker and meet a cross. Somehow missed the beach at close range – twice. How? ‘Or’ What?
Paul Pogba (LW) – 7/10 – Drifted into the field as part of a three fluid front, and moved there permanently once Martial entered the field. Man Utd looked a lot better with the Frenchman in their hearts.
Anthony Martial (ST) – 6/10
Mason Greenwood (RW) – 6/10