Crystal Palace 1-2 Manchester United: Player Ratings as the Reds snatch a well-deserved win

Crystal Palace 1-2 Manchester United: Player Ratings as the Reds snatch a well-deserved win

Mourinho's side extended their unbeaten run in the league to seven games courtesy of Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

AlexTurk
Alex Turk

Manchester United went to Crystal Palace and did something that has been a rarity in recent times, secured a win in London. Zlatan Ibrahimovic's 88th minute strike earnt a first win in seven attempts on capital soil in a match that saw every player on the pitch put a good shift in with only a few really standing out.

David De Gea - 6:

The Spaniard didn't really have a lot to do against an uninspiring Palace attack and was beaten by a piece of rare individual brilliance from Damien Dalaney to send James McArthur through on goal in a one-on-one situation.

He's made a few mistakes this season but showed he can still pull off mind-blowing saves when McArthur's long-range effort heading into the top corner was brilliantly tipped past the post mid-way through the second half, it was almost identical to Phillipe Coutinho's flying shot when United played at Anfield earlier on in the season.

Eric Bailly - 6:

Bailly replaced Matteo Darmian at right-back after a disappointing showing from the Italian against Tottenham Hotspur but suffered a knock to his left knee in just the fifth minute. The Ivorian carried on and showed fantastic overlapping ability throughout the first half with his pace and strength which emphasised how much United missed him during his long spell on the sidelines.

After possibly undergoing the longest warm-up ever, Darmian had to come on five minutes into the second half after Bailly went down off the ball and signalled to the bench that his time on the field was over.

Phil Jones - 7:

If Phil Jones can stay fit for the rest of the season, he has to be in Jose Mourinho's future plans because we saw yet another fantastic performance from the young defender tonight. There were worries prior to kick-off regarding whether he'd be able to control the big man Christian Benteke but in all truth the in-form Belgian striker didn't get a say all game, it was a delight to spectate.

It will be interesting to see what happens when Chris Smalling returns to the frame because Jones has barely put a foot wrong since the game against Swansea City when he came back from a long lay-off, Jose Mourinho seems to have controlled his fitness perfectly so far and United fans will be hoping for it to continue. 

Marcos Rojo - 6:

The centre-back alongside Jones has been just as impressive while the team have been short of defensive options and has silenced all doubters with his recent performances.

The only thing that is letting Marcos Rojo down at the moment is his tendancy to foul players needlessly and he should've seen red in the first half after an idiotic two-footed lunge on a Palace player, you would've hoped he'd have learnt his lesson after getting let off at Goodison Park just over a week ago for that horror tackle on Idrissa Gueye.

Daley Blind - 7:

The versatile Dutchman proved tonight why he's a much stronger candidate for the left-back position than Matteo Darmian and is arguably the team's best option at left-back based on current form. We don't ever really see Daley Blind attacking down the left-flank that much but it was like he was let off his chains tonight as he provided great support for Rooney and Pogba on the left side of the pitch as well as being assertive in defence, top player.

Michael Carrick - 6:

Nine wins and no losses in the 11 games Michael Carrick has started for Manchester United this season, that statistic says it all really doesn't it.

To be honest, the English veteran wasn't overly busy in the anchor position tonight due to Crystal Palace's lack of attacking prowess so he probably could've had a rest during this busy winter period but still provided vital stability which evidently let Paul Pogba play his A game.

Ander Herrera - 6:

In amongst his best season in a United shirt so far, Ander Herrera had an easy night as well and spent a lot of the first half trying to get Eric Bailly involved on the right-flank. The Spanish midfileder's agility and quick pressing resulted in Palace giving away possession a lot while also presenting a good display of ball retention which contributed to the away side's convincing final possession percentage of 61%.

Paul Pogba - 8:

This was Paul Pogba's best game since his return to United, hands down. He endured a bit of a shaky start to the game where lack of communication saw him play some really poor passes to teammates but when he got into the rhythm of things it changed the whole game completely and importantly broke the deadlock in stoppage time of the first half. T

he 23-year-old continued to control the tempo throughout the second period and played a top of the range pass through to Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the build-up to the winning goal. He will have to be careful in future games however after receiving his seventh yellow card of the season for hassling the referee, the club can't afford to miss him through suspension.

Juan Mata - 6:

As good as Juan Mata is, United clearly missed Henrikh Mkhitaryan's creative spark at Selhurst Park and the fans were voicing their love for the Armenia all the way through the game.

The little Spaniard's passing was mainly sideways and there needed to be pace to run at the compact Palace defence which is probably why both Rooney and Mata were taken off in the latter stages for Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford

Wayne Rooney - 6:

The look of disappointment on Sir Bobby Charlton's face when the captain was replaced in the 80th minute was golden but in all seriousness Wayne Rooney will have to wait until he breaks the Manchester United legend's goalscoring record. He was alright this evening and did begin the game looking like the Reds' main attacking outlet but it became clear as the game went on that he shouldn't be used as a winger due to the repeated occurance of him going into the centre of the pitch, making it very congested in the final third.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic - 7:

Zlatan Ibrahimovic cost nothing and scored another huge goal for his team tonight right at the death, apart from that brilliant finish though he was incredibly frustrating to watch. We see it every game, he likes the drop into space which is perfectly fine however with hardly any pace around him it became quite static at times and nearly cost United another two points.

You can't complain if you're a Manchester United supporter though, where would they be without him this season? Goal number 14 for the season.

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