The all-around team performance during yesterday's disappointing 2-0 defeat to Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium wasn't as diabolical as the result suggests. However, too many individuals failed to show up which has now left Manchester United's top four hopes in tatters.
José Mourinho proved that all of his eggs were in the Europa League basket by fielding eight changes in the prestigious Premier League clash and it certainly cost as the Reds failed to score in the fourth consecutive away fixture against a top six side.
Now four points off 4th with just three games to go - including a trip to Tottenham Hotspur - it now looks like United will have to overcome Celta Vigo and Ajax to win the Europa League if they're wanting a spot in next season's Champions League competition, which could prove to be a lot more testing than some may think.
David De Gea - 6: The Spaniard didn't have too much to do on the day but was called into action early on the get down and stop brilliantly from Aaron Ramsey within the first 10 minutes. Despite conceding twice for the first time since the EFL Cup final in February, there was nothing he could do to deny both goals seen as though they both came from defensive errors.
Tuanzebe shines in first start
Axel Tuanzebe - 8: If you watched Tuanzebe yesterday it looked like he'd been playing at right-back in the first team for years. The 19-year-old didn't let Alexis Sanchez beat him all afternoon as he presented brilliant signs of pace, strength and composure which might have turned José's head in regards to an eventual replacement for Antonio Valencia, though Tuanzebe is primarily a centre-back.
Chris Smalling - 5: The ironic thing is that Tuanzebe was the debutant and Chris Smalling was showing commendable leadership towards him but when both players had to get down to defending the Congo-born player wasn't the one looking shaky. He could've done a lot more to prevent Danny Welbeck heading Arsenal ahead further but instead caused a monumental uproar among fans wanting him gone in the summer.
Phil Jones - 5: It seemed like the opposition were targeting Jones as he'd just come back from a long injury lay-off and so, perhaps, starting both him and Smalling was a bit too risky by Mourinho. Both players' underwhelming performances might just prove that statement and it wouldn't be surprising if at least one of them was let go in the close season.
Matteo Darmian - 5: Similarly to Smalling, Darmian could've done more to stop Welbeck's goal by preventing the terrific cross from the right side of the pitch and was allowing Arsenal openings way too often. In a match where both wingers were vital for the counter-attacking tactic, Mkhitaryan had to cover him on numerous occasions because he felt the need to play a more attacking role than usual - but it was definitely the wrong game to do so.
Michael Carrick - 6: It's obvious that the only reason Michael Carrick stayed on while the Reds were trailing by two goals was to avoid risking Paul Pogba, which pretty much sums up the manager's attitude towards the game. He played in a calm, composed manner like usual in the first half but on the whole failed to effect proceedings at all.
Ander Herrera - 6: Herrera had a somewhat tricky role yesterday which included him trying to get things going quickly from defence to attack next to two static midfield partners in Michael Carrick and Wayne Rooney. Even though he tried his best - as always - not enough was offered towards the front three and was arguably to blame for Granit Xhaka's ridiculously deflected opener by turning his back in fear.
Woeful Wayne gets a four
Wayne Rooney - 4: There doesn't seem to be much more to say on Rooney, his work rate and all-around performances appear to worsen every time he puts on the Manchester United shirt and it simply now looks like a move away is set in stone. After wasting a glorious opportunity put on a plate by Rob Holding in the first half, the captain seemed reluctant to motivate the team after going behind and allowed heads to drop - including his own.
Juan Mata - 5: The Spaniard didn't look too bad bearing in mind he's played no football for several weeks after groin surgery but, along with Mkhitaryan, left Anthony Martial completely isolated in attack. The recurring problem of his poor defensive work rate cropped up again as he showed limited effort to help debutant Axel Tuanzebe, who dealt with it valiantly. Mata was deservedly substituted for Scott McTominay on 84 minutes.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan - 4: Henrikh Mkhitaryan is in a bit of a dark patch of form at the moment and looked incredibly lazy while attacking at the Emirates which resulted in him being called offside on far too many occasions. He did recover well to support the poor Matteo Darmian but his attacking prowess was vital in a game like this and he just didn't show enough.
Anthony Martial - 7: Many would agree that Martial looked brilliant as a striker despite limited service. He was getting in behind and showing real strength and hunger for the ball in an otherwise out of sorts attacking three. He did carelessly lose possession in the build-up to the second but would've definitely made an impact at the other end of the pitch without so many wasteful passes from his compatriots.