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Dublin: 4°C Friday 5 March 2021

#Outof10: How we rated the Manchester City and United players

Roberto Mancini’s men kept the title race interesting with a hard-fought win at Old Trafford.

David Silva handles the ball in the United box.
David Silva handles the ball in the United box.
Image: Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport

Manchester United

David De Gea – 6

Unsighted for Milner’s opener and helpless to stop the fine goal from Aguero. Dealt with everything that was thrown at him comfortably and claimed some dangerous crosses.

Rafael – 7

One of United’s best players on show. Was solid in defence and tireless going forward. Was fouled for the free that led to the equalising goal. Won a couple of corners for his side too.

Rio Ferdinand – 6

One of the players left in Aguero’s wake for the winning goal, Ferdinand put in a decent display and snuffed out a couple of Tevez chances.

Phil Jones – 8

His header may not have been going in but it led to the equaliser, via Kompany’s back. Was a danger in the City box and defended with gusto. Cut out at least three sweeping City breaks with well-timed tackles.

Patrice Evra – 5

Came out with one of his children as the United mascot before the game. Nice touch in what could be his final season at the club. He could well be hastened out the door as his defending lapses are getting more and more frequent as he showed for the Aguero goal.

Ashley Young – 4

Offered little to United and is a player totally lacking in the brio he displayed in his first season at the club. Had a couple of efforts on goal but they were all straight at Hart.

Carrick – 5

Was overrun in midfield by Barry and Toure. Did not receive much support from Giggs but City had his number as they closed down his space and cut out his passing influence.

Ryan Giggs – 5

Looked pumped up from the start but did not channel it in the correct way. Showed little in attack and was anonymous for large spells in midfield. His ill-judged pass set City up for an attack that led to Milner’s goal.

Danny Welbeck – 6

The best of United’s attackers, Welbeck looked dangerous in the first-half and could have set his teammates free with better judgement. Won a lot of ball up the pitch and had two strikes on goal.

Wayne Rooney – 5

Started very well and linked up nicely with Van Persie and Welbeck in attack. Yellow carded for a rash challenge on Milner and faded badly in the second-half.

Robin van Persie – 5

Alex Ferguson called the Dutchman’s performance ‘fantastic’ but we suspect the boss is doing that to deflect the negative press. Snatched at a few chances and got some headers on goal but they did not trouble Hart. Good free-kick set up the home team’s goal.


Antonio Valencia, Shinji Kagawa and Javier Hernandez – not on long enough to be rated.

Natasic and Van Persie compete for the ball. (Dave Thompson/PA Wire)

Manchester City

Joe Hart – 6

Was worried by a few United crosses and chose to punch more than once. Van Persie’s whipped free had him stumped but he comfortably saved about eight United shots and headers on target.

Pablo Zabaleta – 6

Proved a good attacking outlet and was forceful in challenges all night, one of which earned him a yellow card. Hacked a dangerous Van Persie free away in the first half.

Vincent Kompany – 6

Jumped in needlessly on Young in the first half to earn a booking. Unfortunate for the own goal as he was facing the wrong way. Marshalled his defence well otherwise.

Matija Nastasic – 8

Very good game from the young defender as he attacked the ball well in the air and got in a couple of vital blocks on Welbeck and Van Persie. Has been a pleasing find for City.

Gael Clichy – 6

Troubled by Welbeck and Rafael in the first-half, Clichy grew as the game progressed. His attacking runs led to confusion in the United defence and ran his lungs out for 95 minutes.

Yaya Toure – 7

Barry and Toure called the shots in midfield and, although the Ivorian was not at his attacking best, he showed for the ball all night and linked up well with Silva and Tevez. Put Jones off a lot headed effort with intelligent defence.

Gareth Barry – 7

Got in Michael Carrick’s face all night and gave Ryan Giggs a chasing. This was one of the midfielder’s best games of the season as he thrived in his team’s underdog role.

James Milner – 8

Was a lively presence for his team and battled all night. His goal was richly deserved and he did well to keep his composure and strike low with United defenders rushing out. Kept Patrice Evra busy and frustrated.

David Silva – 8

He was at his best in the first-half as he peppered the United box with swift passes and searching crosses. Should have found an unmarked Tevez on the back-post. Never panicked in possession and at the heart of most of City’s best moves.

Samir Nasri – 5

Another poor outing from Nasri, selected ahead of Aguero and Dzeko. Offered himself for the ball throughout the game but his end product was poor. Made space for one well-struck effort on goal.

Carlos Tevez – 6

A thorn in United’s side without nabbing a goal he would have surely treasured. Made life difficult for Jones and Ferdinand in the first-half. Got booked near the end for a tackle on Jones but soon got a standing ovation as he was replaced.


Sergio Aguero – 7

Stunning impact and a wonderful goal as he faked shooting twice before slamming home the winner.

Joleon Lescott – not on long enough to be rated.

As it happened: Manchester United v Manchester City, Premier League

WATCH: City earn victory at Old Trafford, as Aguero hits late winner

About the author:

Patrick McCarry

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