Manchester United player ratings v Burnley: Falcao's struggles continue

Chris Smalling

Substitute Chris Smalling's brace and Robin van Persie's penalty saw Manchester United overcome a battling Burnley 3-1 at Old Trafford.

David de Gea 7/10 – Put in his usual match-saving performance with a number of great stops over the course of the 90 minutes. Could do little about Danny Ings’ first-half strike.

Paddy McNair 6.5/10 – Another solid performance in his new right-back role. Looked composed in defence and gave United width going forward. Looks a better option than both Valencia and Rafael at this point.

Phil Jones N/A – Forced off injured after just 5 minutes.

Johnny Evans 5/10 – A nervous performance in his return to the line-up, as he struggled to contain the visitors’ front pair for most of the night.

Marcos Rojo 5/10 – Didn’t look comfortable at left-back when having to face the marauding runs of Kieran Trippier. Will be a relief when Luke Shaw returns and he can move back into central defence.

Daley Blind 6/10 – Was doing a reasonable job marshalling the midfield until having to go off after taking a blow to the head.

Angel Di Maria 5.5/10 – Wasteful in possession but did have two decisive moments, setting up Smalling’s second and winning Van Persie’s spot-kick.

Adnan Januzaj 5/10 – Given the start at the tip of the diamond but couldn’t make the desired impact. In danger of losing chances to convince Van Gaal of his worth amid exit rumours.

Wayne Rooney 5/10 – Worked hard as usual but it’s more than evident at this stage that he’s wasted in his new deeper midfield role. Just can’t influence the game like he’s capable of.

Robin van Persie 5/10 – Scored from the spot late on but it was otherwise a night of few chances for the disappointing Dutchman.

Radamel Falcao 4/10 – Wasn’t his entire fault but was far too isolated up top. Unclear whether it’s his knee problems but just doesn’t look mobile enough or confident in front of goal.


Chris Smalling (Jones 5) 6.5/10 – The unforeseen hero at Old Trafford. Scored with his first touch after replacing the injured Jones, before adding a second on the stroke of half-time. Poor marking lead to Ings' 12th-minute equaliser, though.

Ander Herrera (Blind 38) 5/10 – Got the chance to prove his starting credentials to Van Gaal after a first-half introduction but made no real impact.

James Wilson (Falcao 72) 6.5/10 – A more threatening presence than Falcao after coming on for the final 18 minutes. At this stage, it might be worth considering starting him over his more expensive teammates.

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch