Football Features

“Ronaldinho, is that you?” – Full player ratings as Manchester United beat Liverpool in fantastic five goal FA Cup thriller

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 19:14, 24 January 2021 | Updated: 11:24, 27 January 2021

In an electric evening of football, Manchester United came from behind to beat Liverpool 3-2 in the FA Cup.

The win puts United into the fifth round and marks Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first-ever win over Liverpool as United boss 22 years to the day when he himself scored the winner in against Liverpool in the FA Cup.

Here’s how the players rated at Old Trafford:

Manchester United

Dean Henderson – 7 – Made solid saves when he had to. Couldn’t do anything about either Liverpool goal.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka – 8 – Rock solid without the ball, ropey with it, as per usual. United’s best defender.

Victor Lindelof – 6 – Generally impressive without being actually good. A motionless statue on both Liverpool goals.

Harry Maguire – 7 – Too deep on Salah’s first goal. Was otherwise solid albeit his team-mates exposed his weaknesses rather than covering for them as Eric Bailly has been doing of late.

Luke Shaw – 5 – Failed to step across and cut out the pass for Salah’s first goal and did the same for the Egyptian’s second, reacting too late when it was clear Salah was unmarked. Played well in general but was not good at the key moments which is unlike his recent form.

Scott McTominay – 7 – Awful lack of pressing in the lead-up to Salah’s goal but recovered to play well, albeit not sharp enough with the ball. Helped out hugely whenever Liverpool pushed United into a rearguard, making clearances.

Paul Pogba – 8 – A brilliant performance in the midfield from Pogba. Worked relentlessly on the defensive end to repel Liverpool both in the air and on the deck – including a massive tackle to start the move that led to United’s equaliser. When he’s like this he’s

Donny van de Beek – 5 – Some delicious first-time passes to free team-mates into space but got lost in the motion of the game. Didn’t make a good case to be starting more.

Mason Greenwood – 8 – Very bright in the early going. Lots of shots. Scored a wonderful equaliser in the first-half and produced a sublime assist in the second as he scorched a pass in behind the Liverpool defence for team-mate Rashford.

Marcus Rashford – 9 – A constant threat with his pace, scoring United’s second goal with incredible composure, slotting the ball into the back of the net. Bagged a superhuman assist for United’s equaliser as he bent a diagonal pass fully 40 yards through the air into the path of Greenwood. Pulled off some outrageous dribbling and control all game long to really punish and humiliate Alexander-Arnold and Williams. Ronaldinho is that you?

Edinson Cavani – 7 – Lively movement all game long. Worked hard to link the play and won the game-winning free-kick.

Substitutes:

Bruno Fernandes (for Greenwood 66′) – 8 – Came off the bench and won the game with a fabulous free-kick. Even when he’s not a featured player, he ends up making the difference. What a fantastic player.

Fred (for Van de Beek 66′) – 7 – Added energy and drive to the United midfield at a key moment in the game. Helped wrestle momentum back from Liverpool and turn the tide back in United’s favour. Played the key pass into Cavani to win the free-kick.

Anthony Martial (for Rashford) – n/a – Came on late.


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Liverpool

Alisson – 5 – Dodgy pass out almost led to a goal for United. Swept behind his defence well. Could do nothing about United’s first two goals but was too easily wrongfooted by Fernandes’ free-kick for the game-winner.

Trent Alexander-Arnold – 5 – Got forward nicely with some lovely crosses. Struggled with Rashford at the back.

Rhys Williams – 4 – Out of position for Greenwood’s goal and couldn’t live with Rashford at all. Made a huge error trying to block the pass to Rashford for his goal. An unfortunately poor display from young Williams that proved Liverpool’s need for a fit senior centre-back is achingly real.

Fabinho – 5 – Out of position for Greenwood’s goal. Sloppy foul conceded the free-kick for Fernandes’ goal.

Andrew Robertson – 7 – As always a freight train up and down the flank. An admirable effort to stop Mason Greenwood scoring by shouting at him

Thiago – 7 – A fearsome presence yet again. United piled men on him but he still evaded pressure to advance the ball and made some important defensive interventions while avoiding censure from the refs.

James Milner – 7 – A decent, hard-working performance lit up by an absolutely breathtaking dummy over the ball to give Mohamed Salah a tap-in for Liverpool’s second goal.

Georginio Wijnaldum – 5 – Played his part in the opening goal but was otherwise quiet.

Curtis Jones – 5 – Looked very bright early on. Linked play nicely and always happy to shoot. Faded badly though.

Roberto Firmino – 7 – A mostly poor performance lit up by a handful of sumptuous passes in behind the United defence. Both Liverpool goals came from Firmino’s fabulous passes and more chances besides.

Mohamed Salah – 8 – Superb run and finish for his first goal. A constant danger. Equalised for Liverpool in the second with a sweeping finish to a lovely team move.

Substitutes:

Sadio Mané (for Wijnaldum 62′) – 5 – Lucky to avoid red for a nasty tackle on Fred. Did little with the ball.

Xherdan Shaqiri (for Thiago 81′) – n/a – Came on late.

Divock Origi (for Firmino 81′) – n/a – Came on late.