Down The Wings

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Player Ratings: Manchester United 2-1 Villarreal

Manchester United 2-1 Villarreal | Champions League

Cometh the hour, cometh the man! 

Cristiano Ronaldo strikes late vs Villarreal to save Manchester United from what would’ve been an underwhelming home result. 

Villarreal’s dominance in the first half wasn’t enough to earn them a goal, largely due to David de Gea’s heroics. United were poor and didn’t get much better in the second half as Villarreal quickly found themselves ahead. United typically upped the ante and in doing so provoked a free-kick situation from the right-wing. A beautifully floated Bruno Fernandes pass found the left foot of Alex Telles on the edge of the box. Telles’ volley found the back of the net.  

United fought hard for the remainder of the half, with Ole making changes, one of them being Fred. In the dying embers of the game the Brazilian crossed a great ball into the danger zone, and in a flash, United were 2-1 up via that man Ronaldo. 

David De Gea: 9 

This was an absolutely fantastic performance from De Gea. Throughout the game, he prevented three-to-four, seemingly inevitable, goals- making some fantastic, athletic saves. It is now certainly safe to say, De Gea is back to his world-class best. 

Defence

Diogo Dalot: 6 

Dalot struggled during the first half, being spun on multiple occasions on his right-hand side. He seemed to lack pace and ample defensive cover. In addition to this, his attacking play was limited. In all fairness, Dalot’s defence did improve in the second half, as he negated most of Villareal’s threat down the right. 

Raphael Varane: 5 

Varane has been steady. However, the Frenchman almost cost us a definite goal through a terrible defensive error, during the first half. Despite this, he did also make a couple of vital interceptions. 

Alex Telles: 8 

What a goal from Alex Telles! A fantastic Volley from outside the area rocketed past the keeper. Hopefully, this motivates Telles to continue to perform and take advantage of the chances he gets. More of the same, please.  

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Midfield

Scott Mctominay: 6 

Scott Mctominay did a decent job as a part of the United midfield pivot today. However, I would like to see a more attacking element to Mctominay’s game, through increased forward passing and offensive charges through the centre of the park. He is more than capable of this, and I have seen him do this on occasion.   

Paul Pogba: 6 

Pogba was quiet during today’s game, ultimately being subbed off. I expected more and was quite underwhelmed by his performance overall. We need Pogba to turn up in these types of games, as he is more than capable of doing.  

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Bruno Fernandes: 7 

Bruno put in a decent performance, grabbing another assist from a free kick which was excellently floated in to the path of Alex Telles. Bruno worked tirelessly to orchestrate United’s attacking line against a very tough opposition, in Villareal. 

Attack

Mason Greenwood: 5 

Greenwood struggled today. He was unable to cause any major concern to the opposition defence, who defended very well for the most part of the game. 

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Cristiano Ronaldo: 8 

Cristiano! Once again, inevitable. Ronaldo was quiet throughout the game. Despite this, his greatness prevailed- gaining United a much needed three points in the group stage. He was our saviour today and showed just why he is considered one of the greatest of all time. 

Jadon Sancho: 6 

Jadon was quiet today. He seemed to struggle to really get going. However, I expect to see more and more progression in Sancho’s game and have no concerns about him. He will succeed in a Manchester United shirt.  

Substitutes

Edison Cavani: 7

Cavani made an impact today, coming off the bench. His darting runs, experience, knowledge, and pure aggression improved us as a team. Hopefully, we can see more of El Matador now that he’s back from injury.  

Matic:  7

Matic did well upon coming on. He controlled the tempo, rarely lost the ball, and made some solid forward passes.  

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Fred: 7

Fred was surprisingly effective upon coming on, delivering a pinpoint cross into the box, which led to United’s winner. Fair play to him. 

Jesse Lingard:  7

Lingard was fantastic! He is fast becoming our super-sub, grabbing an assist in the final seconds of the game. 


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