Premier League

Player Ratings: Manchester United 2-0 Chelsea

 • by Matt Gault
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Chelsea suffered a title run-in wobble as goals from Marcus Rashford and Ander Herrera saw them fall to a 2-0 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Rashford broke away to score after seven minutes, controversially it must be said, before Herrera made sure of three United points with a deflected strike to down the league leaders and exact revenge for two previous defeats to them this season.

The result sees United leapfrog Everton into fifth place, while Chelsea remain top, but their lead has been slashed to four points after Tottenham’s win yesterday.

Here are the player ratings for the game:

Manchester United

Jose Mourinho, Manager of Manchester United reacts during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford

David De GeaPerhaps surprisingly, he had very little to do, and had his diligent defenders to thank for that.

There was one moment in the second-half when the Spaniard was called into action, but an excellent starting position ensured he latched on to a through ball before Hazard to clear the danger. 7

Antonio ValenciaStuck to what he was detailed to do, the Ecuadorian powerhouse performed his defensive duties with discipline and focus, cutting off Chelsea’s supply on the wing and providing cover where needed.

Another commanding performance to build on his impressive recent form. He’s a model of consistency for United, which isn’t a compliment you can afford to many members of this squad. 7

Matteo DarmianSharp in the tackle, the not-always popular Italian endeared himself to the home crowd once again with an industrious performance, gelling with the rest of the back-line seamlessly to nullify Chelsea’s various threats. 7

Eric BaillyAnother sure-footed performance from the centre-half and he will be pleased to get another 90 minutes and a clean sheet under his belt, having recently been United’s Man of the Match against Everton.

Was momentarily caught out by a quick Chelsea free-kick but recovered quickly to ensure Costa couldn’t steal in and score. 7

Marcos RojoThe Argentine centre-half was up to the task of frustrating Costa, sticking a foot in and making sure the irascible striker got as good as he gave.  

He stayed on the right side of the law, though, as he produced a solid, hard-working performance to comfortably meet his manager’s requirements. 7

Ashley YoungNow a seasoned veteran, he captained United at left-back – and impressively. Played a perfect cross into Rashford which, had the striker anticipated it, would have been his second five minutes after getting the first.

Ran himself into the ground and his tireless endeavour earned him an embrace from Mourinho when he came off towards the end. 8

Marouane FellainiThe Belgian is sometimes careful, sometimes cumbersome. Mourinho will be relieved that he was the former today as the 29-year-old constantly broke up Chelsea’s play in the middle of the park.

He may cause United’s midfield to be static from time to time, but Fellaini once again showed what a dedicated, efficient midfielder he is (when he wants to be). 7

Ander HerreraThere was a clear handball in the build-up to the first goal, but the Spanish midfielder demonstrated both his vision, to spot the pass for Rashford, and his ability to execute it with perfect shape and weight into the striker’s stride.

His goal took a huge deflection, but he won’t care about that as it was thoroughly deserved for his unrelenting graft and dedication in the middle of the park.

He also man-marked Eden Hazard, which is certainly no mean feat. Not to be outdone by Rashford, he deserves the Man of the Match award. 9

Paul PogbaStrangely quiet opening to the match as Rashford took centre stage, but brought Old Trafford to its feet with a brilliant sliding challenge on Costa which broke up a counter-attack.

The Frenchman had more passes than any other player on the pitch in a more mature performance that favoured steady, thoughtful play over his usual flamboyant style. 6

Jesse LingardEstablished an understanding and connection with Rashford which proved a handful for Chelsea from the outset. His pace and enthusiastic pressing was certainly a refreshing facet of United’s play.

Mourinho hooked him off on the hour mark to be replaced by the more measured presence of Michael Carrick, but that was more of a tactical switch than a reflection of Lingard’s contributions. 7

Marcus RashfordWas everywhere early on, causing constant plenty of headaches for Cahill and Luiz. His ability to run beyond defenders is a staple of his game and he used it to great effect to streak clear of Luiz and slot the ball under Begovic for the opening goal, stepping up to the plate in Ibrahimovic’s absence.

He was outstanding throughout, tearing Chelsea’s defenders apart and deservedly elicited rapturous applause and a standing ovation when he was subbed off. 8

Chelsea

N'Golo Kanté has formed a strong partnership with Nemanja Matic this season.

Asmir BegovicPlaying his first Premier League game in nearly a year, the Serbian raced off his line to narrow the angle as Rashford closed in on goal but, as Gary Neville pointed out in commentary, perhaps went to ground too early, making Rashford’s decision for him.

Was helpless for the second goal but he certainly won’t have fond memories of this game when he looks back on it. 6

Cesar AzpilicuetaThe versatile defender has enjoyed an outstanding season, and didn’t disgrace himself here, but it will still go down as one of his most frustrating days in a Chelsea shirt.

He created one chance – slipping in Pedro – and completed 70% of his passes. 6

David LuizStruggled with the movement and energy of Rashford and Lingard early on, being pulled out of position, and was beaten by the former for pace in the build-up to the opener.

Luiz also struggled with the strength of Rashford, too, losing a couple of one-on-ones with the striker as he laboured to keep the rampant United striker in check. 5

Gary CahillWas culpable for the second goal, deeming it prudent to help Lingard to his feet as United retained the ball in attack with Young. That lapse in concentration led to Cahill obstructing Begovic’s view as Herrera shot, leaving his goalkeeper no chance.  5

Victor MosesThe Nigerian’s transformative season as Chelsea’s lung-busting wing-back suffered a dip here. He looked off the pace and only completed 50% of his passes before he was substituted for Cesc Fabregas after 54 minutes. 4

N’Golo KanteOf all people, the Frenchman squandered possession in a dangerous area which paved the way for United’s second – a most uncharacteristic mistake.

He effortlessly racked up the usual stats though: seven interceptions, four clearances and three blocks illustrate how he was still the most effective operator for Conte today. 6

Nemanja MaticThe stats are damning for the Serbian enforcer, who was anything but today. He failed to win any tackles, aerial duels and failed to make a clearance or in a performance that he will quickly want to forget.

He looked decidedly fed up by the time he was replaced by Willian. 4

Kurt ZoumaWas called in as a late replacement for the ill Marcos Alonso, disrupting Chelsea’s preparation and the balance in their side.

Of all the Chelsea players, Zouma defended stoutly, using his athleticism and power to often break up United’s attacks. 6

PedroVirtually anonymous in the first-half, the winger was marked relentlessly by Young and failed to influence the game as a result.

The former Barcelona man suddenly burst into life when he was brilliantly picked out by Hazard but, cutting inside, he could only win a corner as his effort was blocked. 4

Eden HazardThe Belgian wizard struggled to assert his authority as he constantly had Herrera for company, and was stifled as a result. Hazard is best when operating with space and freedom, both of which were made impossible thanks to United’s focused strategy.

Unfortunately for Chelsea, he fared no better in the second period, despite a switch of tactics and personnel to try and jolt him into life. A day to forget for one of the season’s stand-out performers. 4

Diego CostaTried to muscle his way into proceedings by unnerving Bailly and Rojo but the United duo stood up to him admirably. Could be seen gesticulating wildly to the linesman and referee on separate occasions in the first-half – a measure of his simmering frustration.

When he got the ball at his feet, though, he couldn’t use it effectively – and that’s why Chelsea fans and his manager will be disappointed. He struggled to hold the ball up and misplaced several passes without ever really threatening de Gea’s goal.

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