Manchester United produced a very poor display as they were beaten 2-1 to Danish side FC Midtjylland in the first leg of their Europa League last-32 tie.
United were already without 13 players due to injuries and that got worse in the pre-game warm-up as goalkeeper David De Gea got injured. One of those players they were without was captain Wayne Rooney and United certainly missed him. Rooney often comes under-fire for United’s performances but tonight they clearly missed his calming presence. With Rooney missing they lacked leaders on the field, Carrick was captain for the evening and with several young players on the field, he looked like the only person they could look to.
United took the lead through Memphis Depay as Midtjylland failed to clear their lines. Sergio Romero started due to the injury of De Gea and made some important saves to keep Midtjylland out, however he was unable to prevent Pione Sisto equalising due to a deflection off Chris Smalling’s shin. Jesse Lingard missed two very good chances for United before Paul Onuachu struck the winner to give the Danish side a shock win. United will still fancy their chances of going through to the next next with that important away goal.
Sergio Romero – 8/10
Romero pulled off some brilliant saves including a superb one-handed diving stop to keep out a powerful goalbound header from Onuachu in the second half. He kept United in the tie with his important saves.
Donald Love – 6/10
Love was making his first start for United and he made some good runs going forward but was often caught out of position in defence.
Paddy McNair – 6/10
McNair was making his European debut but struggled against a physical Midtjylland side.
Chris Smalling 6/10
Smalling also had a poor performance and with the lack of leaders in the squad and a young defence, Smalling needed to put on a strong performance.
Daley Blind 7/10
Blind was moved to left-back to accommodate with the recent injuries and he did a good job. He put in some dangerous corners and crosses and was one of few players on the field who looked comfortable on the ball.
Michael Carrick – 7/10
The captain added some stability to the midfield and defence but his misplaced pass helped Midtjylland with their first goal. He was one of few leaders on the field who young players could look to.
Ander Herrera – 7/10
Herrera had a poor game and didn’t have a lot of an influence on the game.
Jesse Lingard – 5/10
The winger had another poor game for United. He missed two brilliant chances and his crosses weren’t good enough to create any chances. Lingard isn’t a good enough player to be playing for United. Van Gaal sold Angel Di Maria and now plays Lingard on the wing – which is baffling!
Juan Mata – 6/10
Mata had a very good chance with a header but the ball was played just behind him. Mata found some good pockets of space but made a weak challenge on Onuachu just before he scored.
Memphis Depay – 7/10
Memphis was starting his first game since Boxing day and he was one of United’s best players on the field. He did well to score an important away goal and made some good runs and crosses into the box.
Anthony Martial – 7/10
Martial was given a chance to start as a striker due to the injury to Wayne Rooney but he failed to have the same influence he has had on recent games.