Manchester United played out a goalless draw with West Ham United at the London Stadium last night, with the point ensuring that United will finish in second place in the Premier League this season. It was a game that had the feel of a pre-season friendly at times, with very little at stake for both teams. Nevertheless, United did manage to put together a few decent attacking moves, while they were hardly stretched defensively in their rarely-used 3-5-2 system.
Here are the ratings from that game:
GK: David de Gea (6) – As routine an outing as he could have had. West Ham barely troubled him, and his distribution was on point for most of the game. Got the clean sheet that clinched the Golden Glove award, with 18 shutouts for the Spaniard this season.
CB: Victor Lindelof (6) – This is the formation in which Lindelof has looked the most comfortable, and so it was on Thursday as well. He did well to cover for Valencia, and was tidy on the ball.
CB: Chris Smalling (6) – The ever-present in the United defence this season, Smalling had a shaky start to the game, allowing Marko Arnautovic to get away from him for a couple of chances early on. Settled down after that, and used his physicality to good effect against the Austrian.
CB: Phil Jones (6) – A composed outing for Jones, who is fighting for a place in the FA Cup final team, as well as the England World Cup squad. On this evidence, he should comfortably make both.
RWB: Antonio Valencia (6) – Playing in this formation gave the Ecuadorian greater license to move upfield, and he set up Sanchez in a good position early in the game. Got forward well on occasion, but as usual, his crossing let him down.
CM: Scott McTominay (7) – The Scot was handed a first league start in two months, on the back of receiving Mourinho’s award for player of the year, and he did not disappoint. Snapped into tackles, while showing intelligence with his passing and also getting into the box on occasion to support the attack. Yet another mature performance from the youngster.
CM: Ander Herrera (6) – Played the role of anchor as Nemanja Matic was given the night off, and put in a typical performance – harrying and pressing off the ball, with quick, tidy passing on it.
CM: Paul Pogba (5) – A night that summed up his season – there were a number of moments where it looked like he might step up and seize the game, but more often then not, his decision-making let him down. Not helped by some poor passing as well.
LWB: Luke Shaw (7) – Something of a surprise selection, with only his second league start in three months. Nevertheless, Shaw was superb, getting forward regularly and almost scoring his first United goal with a fierce hit that Adrian saved onto the post. Defensively sound as well, and for once it looked like Mourinho approved of his performance as well.
FW: Jesse Lingard (7) – Picked as part of a front two, Lingard had a good game. Took a couple of decent shots from range that had Adrian scrambling, and his general link-up play and movement were good as usual. May just have played his way into the FA Cup final line-up.
FW: Alexis Sanchez (6) – The Chilean returned after missing the defeat at Brighton, and showed brief moments of quality in a run-of-the-mill outing. One clear opportunity was well saved by Adrian, and while Sanchez was his usual mix of running and pressing off the ball, he seems to be lacking a spark. A rest in the summer should rejuvenate him.
FW: Marcus Rashford (N/A) – Replaced Lingard, but by then both teams had settled for the draw, and he added little to change that outcome.
DF: Ashley Young (N/A) – Brought on to run down the clock and secure the point.
DF: Eric Bailly (N/A) – Same as above.
Man of the Match: Scott McTominay
The Scot was the best of the United players on the night, playing with an intensity and aggression that was lacking from most of the others. It was a superb box-to-box display, getting forward while aware of his defensive responsibilities as well, and he has a very bright future at Old Trafford.