Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the United fans demanded an improved, passionate performance after the embarrassment of Everton, and they got it initially. United attacked at will and peppered Ederson’s goal, with City’s defence looking creaky. But they could not find an opener and the Premier League champions weathered the initial storm before taking charge after the break.
They took the lead nine minutes into the second half when Bernardo Silva wasn’t shut down and dragged his shot inside David De Gea’s near post. While the United goalkeeper didn’t really deserve much blame for that one, he was severely culpable for the second.
City broke and Raheem Sterling fed Leroy Sane, who fired in via De Gea’s shin, again at his near post.
After that, City slipped into cruise control and saw out the game comfortably.
Here are our United ratings:
MANCHESTER UNITED (5-3-2)
David De Gea 4: Two good stops early on, especially from Sterling. Should he have kept out Silva’s opener? Possibly. How about Sane’s strike? Definitely. Bereft of confidence.
Ashley Young 5: Crunching early tackle set tone. Commitment can’t be questioned but growing ineffectiveness can. Crossing, for which he is supposedly renowned, continues to underwhelm.
Matteo Darmian 7: First start since Jose Mourinho’s final game. A solid outing, looking calm and composed. Hardly put a foot wrong, but shouldn’t be around next season.
Chris Smalling 7: In quickly to pressure City’s attackers. Dependable and stoic but his lack of elitism means he’s always fighting an uphill battle to stand out. Three tackles led side.
Victor Lindelof 6: Remained focused amidst a predictable City assault. Vital clearance prevented visitors going 2-0 up. Led United with five clearances.
Luke Shaw 6: Solskjaer would be relieved to have him back. Pretty solid and got involved going forward. Could have done more to prevent Silva’s shot for the opener though.
Andreas Pereira 6: Very bright start, with short, sharp movements causing problems. Found pockets of space constantly, yet faded. Dispossessed team-high fives times.
Fred 4: Fired up. Distribution initially crisp and tenacity welcome. But still thinks he’s playing in Ukraine, far too ponderous on the ball and distribution far too erratic. Faded badly.
Paul Pogba 7: When he’s good, he’s so good, ball for Lingard was class. Is he a show pony who tries too much or is he simply starved of talent around him? The latter looked truer here.
Marcus Rashford 6: Solskjaer’s prophecy of City fouls rang true. Tormented Kompany early on and only Ederson prevented a chance for opener. Worked tirelessly but just not enough guile to hurt City.
Jesse Lingard 6: Almost scored a stunning opener, before sending Rashford clear. Incisive. Committed working backwards, a crunching tackle on Gundogan indicative of that. Jointly led team with three interceptions. Wasteful with finishing.
Romelu Lukaku 5: Increasingly clear his clunky, un-coordinated technique doesn’t belong at Old Trafford, nor does he look like he wants to be there.
Alexis Sanchez N/A: Thrown on too late to make an impact and with City in command.
Anthony Martial N/A: Fell to ground under a Sterling challenge before promptly passing straight to a City player when United were near their box.
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