Manchester United ended their Carabao Cup campaign with a disappointing 1-2 loss against Bristol City following a goal on stoppage time. Here is our one-on-one analysis from Wednesday’s game.
Sergio Romero – 4
Poor performance. Could have done more on both goals, especially the second one since he rushed out too late to block the shot. His performance further evidenced why David De Gea is the consensus starter this season.
Matteo Darmian – 4
The Italian full-back would be lucky to start again for United following his display here. He was clumsy on the ball, failed to represent much of a threat going forward, and looked overmatched defensively. It’s worth noting that both goals came through his flank.
Victor Lindelöf – 5
Similar to Darmian, as he had lots of problems to cover up his zone and struggled with the pace of the opposing forwards. Had a good run of form weeks ago, but now he is showing the same issues he evidenced during his first few games with the club. Firmly below Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, and Marcos Rojo on the pecking order.
Marcos Rojo – 5
He didn’t impress anyone with his performance, but the Argentinian was the team’s best defender in this one – even though that does not say much. Rojo could have probably done a better job on the sequence that led to Bristol’s second goal, but he looked composed overall, and always offered a clean pass from the back. He has been playing quite well overall following his return from injury.
Luke Shaw – 5
Shaw didn’t lit up the world with his performance, but once again showed he can be a competent alternative for the left-back role in case something happens to Ashley Young. The former Southampton defender looked active on the defensive end and always tried to push forward, but his crossing was wildly inaccurate.
Daley Blind – 5
Looked overwhelmed on defence. Didn’t have a good performance overall. Struggled to cope with the opposing playmakers, and was never able to settle on the same rhythm with Scott McTominay or Paul Pogba. If anything, this game evidenced he’s not ready to play as a defensive midfielder for United.
Scott McTominay – 6
The youngster looked active in this game and at times impressed with his grit, tenacity, and accurate passing. But he still needs to learn a few aspects of the game, as he wasn’t very good defensively and could have worked harder on that side of the ball. But he is progressing, and these games will help him to establish as a viable option for the team going forward.
Paul Pogba – 5
The French starlet had a rare off day, and it showed. He was active going forward and constantly tried to help on the defensive end due to Blind’s shortcomings, but it wasn’t enough. A player like him should have a bigger influence in these types of games, but that wasn’t the case. Perhaps the three-game absence hurt him a bit, but one thing is clear: he needs to play much better in the upcoming contests.
Marcus Rashford – 5
Rashford came close to score with a shot that hit the woodwork, but was mostly ineffectual during the rest of the game. No one can deny the fact that he works hard, but sometimes that’s just not enough. He lost several duels on the wing against the opposing defenders, and wasn’t able to carry with the team on the attacking end.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic – 6
Zlatan started for the first time since his long-term knee injury suffered back in April this year, and scored a goal with a beautiful free kick that got some much-needed help from Bristol’s goalkeeper – and former Manchester United academy player – Luke Steele. He looked lively on the ball and active off it, but he was taken off in the second half due to the entrance of Romelu Lukaku.
Anthony Martial – 5
The French winger didn’t have a good performance in this one. He was at his best in the second half when Romelu Lukaku entered the pitch, but his decision making was questionable and wasted away some clear chances to score due to that. Hasn’t been playing very well during the past few games, and needs to improve as well.
Henrik Mkhitaryan looked quite active coming off the bench, but his final touch was often poor. Chris Smalling was brought on way too late to make an impact on the game. And Romelu Lukaku looked impressive. Despite playing around 30 minutes, the Belgian created two or three clear scoring chances. He would have probably scored had he been more time out there.