Football News

Alejandro Garnacho proves decisive for Man Utd again as Red Devils’ trophy hunt continues

By Harry Edwards

Published: 22:06, 1 March 2023

Manchester United sealed their spot in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup thanks to a 3-1 win over West Ham United.

The first half was a rather drab affair but West Ham looked to be set for a slight upset at Old Trafford when Said Benrahma gave them the lead 10 minutes into the second half.

But this Man Utd side have trophies on their mind and, buoyed by an own goal from Nayef Aguerd to equalise, won the game late on with goals from Alejandro Garnacho and Fred.

Here’s how the players rated at Old Trafford:

Manchester United

David de Gea – 7 – Couldn’t do anything about Benrahma’s goal and was on hand to deny Antonio a couple of times. It could have been a different result if it weren’t for de Gea.

Diogo Dalot – 5 – Struggled quite a bit at right-back and was one of those to switch off expecting the whistle in the build up to Benrahma’s goal.

Harry Maguire – 5 – Off the pace and very slow, with his game summed up by a late, needless tackle on Antonio near the halfway line.

Victor Lindelof – 5 – Didn’t really have too much to do in defence but didn’t look the most confident. Beaten in the air a few times by Soucek.

Tyrell Malacia – 7 – Perhaps went under the radar slightly in the first half as Man Utd underwhelmed but he grew in the game after half time and helped keep both Fornals and Bowen extremely quiet.

Scott McTominay – 5 – Doesn’t really add much to this Man Utd team right now and hooked at half-time with Ten Hag looking for more control in the midfield.

Marcel Sabitzer – 7 – A really nice performance, showing signs of class in the midfield. He should be looking to start more games for Man Utd.

Antony – 5 – Didn’t really do anything to worry the West Ham defence when he had the ball. An uninspiring showing without actually being bad.

Bruno Fernandes – 7 – Was quiet in the first half but got more involved with Casemiro on the pitch. His difference-making came from set pieces with a teasing corner to set up the equaliser, having seen a neat assist from a free-kick wiped off for Casemiro’s offside.

Alejandro Garnacho – 8 – Wasn’t on his game for the full 90 minutes but ran the show in large spells. Everything positive for Man Utd ran through Garnacho and he won it late on with an excellent curling finish from inside the box.

Wout Weghorst – 8 – This was a fantastic example of a striker having a great game without really being a danger on the opposition goal. Weghorst was a menace for West Ham with his link up play and high pressing, and put the pressure on Aguerd for Fred’s goal.


Casemiro (for McTominay 45) – 7 – Immediately changed the midfield game after coming on. Did switch off waiting for the whistle for Benrahma’s goal but he was slightly less guilty. Thought he had equalised with a deft header but was offside.

Lisandro Martinez (for Lindelof 58) – 6 – Brought on to try and add some stability to the Man Utd defence but didn’t do so immediately, given a tough game by Antonio. Improved later though.

Marcus Rashford (for Antony 58) – 6 – Added another attacking avenue as the striker but didn’t get too involved aside from missing a late chance.

Fred (for Sabitzer 86) – N/A – Scored deep into injury time.

Raphael Varane (for Garnacho 90) – N/A – A late sub.

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West Ham United

Alphonse Areola – 6 – Made a handful of good saves but questions will rightly be asked for his role in the equaliser, coming to claim the ball but completely missing it.

Ben Johnson – 7 – Dealt well with Garnacho for most of the game despite the Man Utd man having a good match. Unfortunately was beaten in the end though and perhaps could have been quicker to close Garnacho down.

Nayef Aguerd – 3 – The unfortunate man to head the ball into the back of his own net, and it only got worse from there. His poor clearance from a cross fed the ball to Weghorst in the build up Garnacho’s strike and then he lost the ball inside his own six-yard box for Man Utd’s third.

Angelo Ogbonna – 6 – Man Utd appeared to be targeting Aguerd which meant Ogbonna didn’t have too much to do, but he was still part of the defence which fell apart late on.

Emerson – 8 – Kept Antony extremely quiet and was just as good in attack. Showed good vision to pick out Benrahma for West Ham’s goal when other full-backs might have immediately whipped a low cross into the box.

Declan Rice – 7 – Quietly keeping things ticking over in the first half and looked strong in the second, contending with Fernandes and Casemiro.

Tomas Soucek – 7 – Looking better than he has in recent weeks, closer to his best pushing forward more. Just about kept the ball alive when Man Utd were protesting that it had gone out, leading to Benrahma’s goal.

Lucas Paqueta – 6 – Started slowly but got into the game as it went on. West Ham did need more from him in the second half.

Pablo Fornals – 6 – Had a really quiet first half, not really getting involved in the attack. Livened up slightly after half time but was still in the shadows of his attacking teammates.

Michail Antonio – 7 – Really good for West Ham and a danger in attack but he was just missing the end product. Should have given West Ham the lead early on after going one-on-one against de Gea but he didn’t test the Spaniard. Missed another opportunity in the second half having opted to shoot rather than pass with teammates in the box.

Said Benrahma – 8 – West Ham’s best attacking player. Should have had an assist in the first half after an excellent pass to play in Antonio, though the Jamaican missed his opportunity. Whipped the ball past de Gea with venom to get West Ham the lead.


Jarrod Bowen (for Fornals 74) – 5 – Didn’t really add much after coming on.

Gianluca Scamacca (for Antonio 86) – N/A – A late sub.