For the first time in nearly three years, Manchester United rose to see off their biggest rivals from Merseyside, as they defeated Liverpool in an enthralling 3-2 victory to progress to the Fifth Round of the FA Cup.
In one of United’s best performances of the season, how did Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men shape up against their oldest rivals?
Dean Henderson: 6/10 – It was a solid performance from Dean Henderson, who was given a big opportunity to shine against Liverpool. In the two goals he conceded to Mohamed Salah, the first was an exquisite chip that he could not do much against, and the second was a well-timed effort from close range that again, he couldn’t have stopped.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka: 7/10 – Wan-Bissaka put his recent poor form to bed against Liverpool with a great effort from right-back, putting in some crucial tackles and nicking the ball away from the likes of Curtis Jones and James Milner on several occasions.
Victor Lindelof: 6/10 – It wasn’t Lindelof’s best performance for United, but nor was it his worst. He could have potentially done better against Salah for both goals, but against a world-class winger like the Egyptian, it would have been difficult for any defender to stop.
Harry Maguire: 6/10 – Similar to Lindelof, United’s skipper played well for the majority of the game, striding out of defence when necessary and preventing any substantial Liverpool attacks. Playing out from the back is United’s main weakness, and Maguire struggled again in this regard. However, the skipper could have done a lot worse.
Luke Shaw: 8/10 – Once again, Luke Shaw shone brightest for United, as he put in another superb performance for Solskjaer’s men. Confident on the overlap and assured in defence, Shaw’s game continues to get better with the threat of Alex Telles behind him. The left-back is quietly having one of the best seasons of his career.
Scott McTominay: 7/10 – Another solid game for Scott McTOminay, leading by example in midfield as he expertly broke up the play and handing it off to more creative teammates. He did the thankless job in midfield against the Merseysiders, competing with the workhorse of Thiago and largely neutralising his threat.
Paul Pogba: 7/10 – For all his inconsistencies, Paul Pogba isn’t disappointing as of late for United, and he once again showed why he could be one of the best midfielders in the country with a great showing alongside McTominay. Despite not always looking effective when defending, he went from box-to-box consistently against Liverpool, and could have been Man of the Match.
Donny van de Beek: 6/10 – You’d be forgiven for wondering whether Donny van de Beek was still in favour with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but it took an immense amount of trust to start the Dutchman in a knockout game with Liverpool. He wasn’t outstanding like his shift against RB Leipzig at Old Trafford earlier in the year, but was efficient until being replaced by Bruno Fernandes later in the game.
Mason Greenwood: 7/10 – A difficult season for Mason Greenwood so far, yes - but his outing against Liverpool showed everyone once more why he is such a talent and why he’s so exciting. He didn’t give Andrew Robertson a break during the match; his assist for Marcus Rashford was excellent; his goal was expertly driven past Allison. A wonderful showing.
Edinson Cavani: 7/10 – Cavani didn’t get on the scoresheet for the Reds, but his effort didn’t go unnoticed. Leading the line against the Reds for the second time in a week, Cavani held up the ball for quicker wingers in Greenwood and Rashford, and his flick-ons almost led to subsequent goals for his side.
Marcus Rashford: 7/10 – It was another super effort for Rashford, who, like Greenwood, got a goal and an assist – and in almost identical fashion to his opposite winger. He took his goal well and led the front-line when his side went behind in the first half.
4 - Marcus Rashford has scored four goals in five appearances against Liverpool at Old Trafford, the most goals he has scored against any opponent at the venue. Dreamy. pic.twitter.com/jiniW0Phy9— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 24, 2021
Fred: 6/10 – It was difficult for Fred to come off the bench and make too much of an impact in the middle of the park, but he did a fairly good job breaking up the play as usual. A good outing for the Brazilian.
Bruno Fernandes: 7/10 – What can be said of Fernandes that has not yet been said? The match-winner curled in his free-kick tremendously, rising to the occasion to see off Liverpool despite having a torrid time at Anfield a week ago. He was excellent from the bench.
Anthony Martial also came off the bench but did not have sufficient time to make an impact.