Manchester United player ratings v Preston: Herrera proves a point, Falcao struggles

Ander Herrera

Manchester United survived a second-half scare to see off Preston North End 3-1 at Deepdale and set up an FA Cup quarter-final tie with holders Arsenal.

David de Gea 6/10 – Could argue he should have done a bit better on Scott Laird’s deflected opener but had little to do otherwise.

Antonio Valencia 6.5/10 – Struggled to impose himself on the first-half but perseverance paid off in the end, as a great run and cross provided Fellaini with the goal which gave United the lead in the 72nd-minute.

Chris Smalling 6/10 – Strong in the air and solid enough on the ball. A decent performance against League One opposition but it remains to be seen whether he can be relied upon to face the Premier League’s elite.

Marcos Rojo 7/10 – It’s clear that centre-back is his best role moving forward. Still has one or two questionable moments but looks like the club’s best defender at this point.

Luke Shaw 6/10 – Failed to make the desired impact going forward on his return to the line-up. Talent is no doubt there but this just wasn’t his night.

Daley Blind 6.5/10 – Far from the flashiest of performances but keep things ticking over in the midfield with few problems.

Ander Herrera 7.5/10 – Might just have convinced Van Gaal to hand him more opportunities moving forward. Buzzed around with his creative presence, before levelling the match in the 65th-mintue with a neat finish. The visitors’ standout performer.

Wayne Rooney 7/10 – Seemed more comfortable back in a forward role. Full of running throughout and sealed the win after both earning and scoring the late spot-kick for United’s third.

Marouane Fellaini 7/10 – Moved further up the pitch after the Preston goal, where his height and strength made all the difference. Put United in front with a rebound from his own parried header after Valencia’s cross.

Angel Di Maria 6.5/10 – Struggled during the first-half when out of position but looked much-improved when switched to the right flank after a change of shape. Fans will hope Van Gaal took note.

Radamel Falcao 4/10 – A virtual passenger before going off on the hour. It’s getting harder and harder to envisage United signing him on a permanent basis.

SUBSTITUTES

Ashley Young (Falcao 60) 7/10 – Introduction changed the game, as Van Gaal’s switch to a 4-4-2 to exploit the wide areas proved the breakthrough. Grabbed the assist for Herrera’s goal just five minutes after coming on with a low cross which fooled the Preston defence.

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch