Manchester United lost 3-0 at home to Liverpool on Sunday, to end any slim hopes they had of finishing in the top-four. If United want Champions League football next season, they are going to have to win the competition this year, and given their latest performance at Old Trafford, that could be little more than a pipe-dream.
After watching United in action, we rate their performance player-by-player:
David de Gea 7
The Spaniard was not at fault for any of the goals he conceded, and he pulled off a world-class save late on to show that his focus remained in the midst of an embarrassing afternoon for United.
Some will say Rafael showed fight when his teammates most certainly did not, but what was he thinking when he knocked Luis Suarez’s dinked ball away with his hand? And then of course there are the rash tackles that continue to permeate his game. The Brazilian was his energetic self, but on another day – on most other days in fact – he would have been dismissed for a couple of poorly-timed challenges.
Nemanja Vidic 5
The defender can count himself unlucky to have been sent off for the one penalty United conceded that did not end up in the net. Prior to that he did his best to put his imprint on the game and he commanded his area fairly well in terms of aerial battles.
Phil Jones 4
Jones did not have a game he will want to remember. Like Vidic he did okay for the vast majority of the match without ever pulling up trees, but his rash challenge on Joe Allen so soon into the second-half proved the ending of this match as a contest. Whatever David Moyes said in the dressing room lost its impact the moment United went 2-0 down so soon after the re-start.
Patrice Evra 5
One thing you can usually say about Evra is that he bounds up and down the pitch like the best of them. But today he was subdued by Liverpool’s constant hassling and harrying and he failed to get forward anywhere near as much as he does at his effective best.
Juan Mata 4
Whenever Mata got his foot on the ball an opponent was on top of him. He had no time to think, let alone to act, and on the few occasions he did have time he failed to deliver an incisive pass. He should have been taken off long before he finally made way, with Liverpool’s full-backs having the better of him both in an offensive and a defensive sense.
Michael Carrick 4
Carrick could not dictate the play and rarely played effective balls forward. Liverpool’s midfield simply overran United’s and the England man’s play suffered as a result.
Marouane Fellaini 4
In the early stages it looked as though the Belgian would continue his recent impressive streak as he got about the pitch and put his foot in. But once the visitors went ahead Fellaini found it difficult to influence the match.
Adnan Januzaj 5
Januzaj should have been hooked much earlier than he was. It was clear within 20 minutes that this was not to be his day. But he gets an extra mark because he continued to be industrious even when things were going against him. He failed to get in behind Liverpool’s full-backs and was pushed back time and again though.
Robin van Persie 3
The Dutchman was anonymous for large parts of the match, and when he did get chances he failed to even hit the target. He had the chance to halve the deficit with a header that floated harmlessly wide while he missed two chances that, while he was flagged offside, showed just how out of form he was this afternoon.
Wayne Rooney 5
Rooney tried, as he always does, and he forced a good save from Simon Mignolet in the first half. But he could not get into the game, which was the story of United’s afternoon. He needs quality midfielders behind him so he does not need to constantly track back.
Danny Welbeck (replaced Adnan Januzaj) 5
The game was crying out for Welbeck’s inclusion but it was not until the final 15 minutes that he made his arrival. He had little chance to put his mark on the match but he always puts in a shift.
Tom Cleverley (replaced Marouane Fellaini) 5
He did not have time to do anything right, but then he did not do anything wrong either.
Rio Ferdinand (replaced Juan Mata) 5
The former England defender was brought on late in a damage-limitation exercise after Vidic’s dismissal.