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Man United 3-2 Arsenal | Match review

United put the breaks on Arsenal’s title hopes after a second brace in two games from Rashford and a winner from Herrera secure all three points.

It was a game in which very few, including myself, expected United to emerge victorious. For United, outside of the top four, the squad riddled with injuries and Arsenal are up there challenging for the title, so naturally the gunners were favourites.

Then the game started. United looked bright, moving the ball around quickly and getting forward. When out of possession they pressed very well and frequently won the ball back. And then the unexpected happened. In the 30th minute United took the lead thanks to a goal from none other than Marcus Rashford! Juan Mata and Ander Herrera linked up with a little one-two (as they so often do) then Herrera fed the ball out to Varela who curled in a cross from the right hand side. The cross deflected off an Arsenal defender into the path of Rashford who drove the ball into the top right of the net.

Just three minutes later United doubled their lead. Mata, again playing an important part in the build-up, played a tidy ball out to Lingard who looked up and spotted Rashford in the middle. He hit his cross with enough pace leaving Rashford with nothing to do but direct the ball into the bottom left corner with his head for his second of the game. United were now 2-0 up and the crowd were rocking!

Marcus Rashford celebrates his first goal against Arsenal with Juan Mata (Picture: mirror.co.uk)
Marcus Rashford celebrates his first goal with Juan Mata (Picture: mirror.co.uk)

United were brought back down to earth shortly before half time when Danny Welbeck pulled a goal back in the 41st minute. Mesut Ozil hit a free kick into the United box and Welbeck, making easy work of shaking off Morgan Schneiderlin, got his head on the ball to guide it past David de Gea.

At half time I started thinking that Arsenal were going to go on and win the game. I thought that the goal would rile them up and they would come at us. I also thought that we would end up desperately defending the whole second half (especially after the 3-0 drubbing in October), sitting deep and inviting them onto us. But thankfully I was wrong! Throughout the whole second half, when Arsenal had the ball, United pressed and defended high up the pitch and it made the difference.

Although Arsenal had slightly more possession, United’s defence did a sound job in keeping the likes of Ozil and Sanchez quiet. And in the 65th minute the hard work paid off as United extended their lead back to two goals with a goal from Ander Herrera! The move building up to the goal again involved Juan Mata. The Spaniard played a through ball out to Marcus Rashford on the right who held the ball up, waiting for support. He then played the ball across the ground into the path of Herrera who rifled a shot with the inside of his boot which went in via a deflection.

At 3-1 the fans were back on their feet and the atmosphere felt relaxed again. That was until the 70th minute at least when Ozil mis-kicked a volley that found its way into the top left corner. This goal set up what felt like was going to be a tense final 20 or so minutes. But it wasn’t. United defended very well, again, pressing and defending high up the pitch. They did what they had to do to see out the game and that even involved a little show boating while running down the clock, which the fans loved!

Ander Herrera celebrates his winning goal against Arsenal (Picture: mirror.co.uk)
Ander Herrera celebrates his winning goal (Picture: mirror.co.uk)

It was a performance that all the players and fans should be proud of. From front to back United were solid. The defence held up well despite having two midfielders as centre backs, the midfield players all linked up well and helped to protect the defence and the attack, led by Rashford, was fantastic.

Let’s talk about Rashford for a second. A youth team player who made his debut against Midtjylland on Thursday night after Martial picked up an injury in the warm up before the game. There was no expectation, no burden on his shoulders. Just a chance to shine and shine he did. In that game and today’s, he showed his pace, his strength and his positioning and awareness. A true number 9. His second brace in as many games will fill him with confidence and belief that he can go all the way. The likes of Martial and Rooney will certainly have taken note of Rashford’s performances and rightly so.

Juan Mata also had a good game, linking up the midfield and playing a part in all three of United’s goals. Michael Carrick, despite an early yellow for a foul on former United player Danny Welbeck, also had a solid game at the back with plenty of interceptions and tackles. Morgan Schneiderlin had a very good second half cutting out passes and winning tackles. In general, the whole team performed fantastically and worked together to ensure the three points remained at Old Trafford.

The win lifts United back into 5th, just 3 points behind local rivals Manchester City [who have a game in hand] and United’s next game is on March 2nd at home to Watford. The players will be full of confidence going into this game and Watford have only won 2 of their last 10 Premier League games so I strongly believe we can win and put some pressure on a faltering Manchester City! Or maybe I am getting a little carried away?! We’ll see!

Paul’s player ratings – Man United V Arsenal

David de Gea (6) Protected well by his defence and couldn’t do much about the goals.
Guillermo Varela (6) Struggled at times with the pace of Sanchez and Monreal but effective going forward.
Micheal Carrick (8) Made several tackles and interceptions contributing hugely to United’s win.
Daley Blind (7) A calming influence on the game, always first to a loose ball.
Marcos Rojo (6) Not much to do but made a couple of good interceptions.
Ander Herrera (7) Scored what proved to be the winning goal and played his part in Rashford’s first.
Morgan Schneiderlin (8) An excellent second half reading the play and breaking down Arsenal attacks.
Jesse Lingard (7) Put in a battling performance and provided the assist for Rashford’s second.
Juan Mata (7) Fantastic work rate and played his part in all three of United’s goals.
Memphis Depay (6) Had few opportunities to shine but proved key in holding the ball and using his strength.
Marcus Rashford (9) Another fantastic performance again showing his awareness, vision and ability to score.

So what did you think of the game? Do you think it was an all round fantastic performance? Do you believe that top 4 is looking a little more realistic? Let me know what you think in the comments below.

You can also watch the United Stand live match reaction by clicking here or watching below:

Memphis: ‘I am on the right track’

United number 7, Memphis Depay, believes he is on the right track after his highly applauded performance in the 2nd leg Europa League tie against Midtjylland.

The winger, who signed from PSV Eindhoven in the summer, scored United’s 5th goal and won a penalty which was converted by Herrera in their most recent game, against Midtjylland.

However, we have seen brilliance from him already this season when he scored two goals against FC Brugge in the Champions League qualifying round. Since then he has failed to live up to his price tag only scoring a handful of goals and struggling to maintain a spot in the starting eleven.

However, Memphis has shown steady progress in his last two games for United. Against Shrewsbury Town he struggled in the first half but in the second half he was much more focused. His take-on’s were more successful with shots that we’re actually on target. And he also linked up well with players around him with some neat one touch passing. You could see he was growing into the game and finding some rhythm.

The positive second half performance against Shrewsbury Town clearly restored some self-confidence and self-belief as he gave a man of the match worthy performance in the following game (and United’s most recent game) against Midtjylland. He oozed confidence as he ran at defenders, beat them, played in some decent crosses, hit shots that were on target and we even saw flashes of skill. The goal he scored at the end of the game capped off a fine performance.

Memphis recently spoke with Fox Sports and had this to say:

I am very happy with my goal and I am on the right track. I am still working very hard to improve each day.

This is a great feeling. We had to make amends for last week’s defeat.

We knew what we had to do and it is always a good feeling to be able to look at the scoreboard at the end and see we set the record straight.

I think that we were clearly enjoying ourselves on the pitch. We all worked hard for each other and that is the most important thing for me then we can also shine individually.

You can read the article in full on the Daily Mail website by clicking here.

Smalling and de Gea could return for Arsenal game

United centre back Chris Smalling could feature against Arsenal on Sunday.

Chris Smalling has been one of United’s most consistent players this season along with goal keeper David de Gea, who could also return for the clash against Arsenal.

Smalling picked up a shoulder injury in the FA Cup game against Shrewsbury Town on Monday night and missed only his 2nd game this season when United played Midtjylland on Thursday evening.

The 26 year old has made good progress on the recovery and when asked about his recent form, he had this to say:

Touch wood, that carries on.

I was disappointed to miss the other night, but I’m hoping to be okay to play this game.

I’ve not really done anything differently to the other lads but, probably from about halfway through last season, I got on a good run in the team and I’ve just tried to carry that on from there. Long may it continue.

Arsenal are Smalling’s boyhood club and when asked about the fixture he said:

I always look forward to these games.

It’s no secret that I was an Arsenal supporter growing up, so this fixture is even bigger for me and especially given it involves two of the biggest teams in the country.

I hope I can step out onto the field.

In other injury news, United boss Louis van Gaal is expecting David de Gea to be fit for the Arsenal match:

I expect (David can return) because I saw the way he was today.

You can read the article on the Daily Mail website by clicking here.

Man United 5-1 Midtjylland | Match review

After going a goal down against the run of play early on, United rallied together to brush Midtjylland aside with 5 goals of their own.

Very few people would have predicted this scoreline, particularly with the long list of injuries the team has and with Anthony Martial being added to the list just before kickoff with a hamstring problem. But the team pulled together knowing that a loss at home to Midtjylland would be unacceptable.

It was the visitors who found the back of the net first, in the 28th minute. Against the run of play, Sisto found himself with a bit of space on the edge of the box and easily skipped past Carrick and Blind then slotted the ball past Romero into the bottom left corner. United were now 3-1 down on aggregate and pressure was increasing. But, they reacted very well by dominating possession, getting forward and moving the ball around quickly, as they were before the Midtjylland opener.

It only took a few minutes for United to find an equaliser. On the 32nd minute Memphis ran the ball past the Midtjylland defence to the byline and hit a driven cross along the ground which was met by the boot of Bodurov who directed the ball into his own net. Just before half time, Mata had a chance to put United ahead and level on aggregate from the spot after Herrera was brought down just inside the area but Mata’s penalty was saved by Andersen.

Sisto celebrates scoring Midtjylland's opener (Picture: mirror.co.uk)
Sisto celebrates scoring Midtjylland’s opener (Picture: mirror.co.uk)

United did take the lead in the 63rd minute thanks to a goal from youngster Marcus Rashford. The move started with Herrera who floated a cross over to the back post. Mata got on the end of it with a first time cross back across goal. Using his pace, Rashford beat the Midtjylland defenders to the ball and buried the ball into the back of the net. United were now 2-1 up and 3-3 on aggregate.

The game was being played almost entirely in the Midtylland half with United controlling the play and creating lots of chances. On the 75th minute young boy Marcus Rashford got himself on the score sheet again. This time it was Guillermo Varela with the assist. Following some quick, yet patient build up play, Varela hit a cross from the right hand side which dropped to the back post. Rashford found himself in a yard of space and allowed the ball to drop and then slotted the ball under the keeper, putting United 3-1 up and 4-3 ahead on aggregate.

United weren’t ready to stop just yet and on the 88th minute, United were awarded another penalty after a Memphis shot was handled by a Midtjylland defender. This time it was Ander Herrera who stepped up and he made no mistake by rifling the ball into the top left corner. United were now 4-1 up in the game and had a two goal lead on aggregate. It was the breathing space they had been hoping for and I’m sure Louis van Gaal would have zipped up his note pad at this point.

As the fourth official announced the amount of additional time there would be, there was a sense that the game was already finished. United were as good as through and Midtjylland didn’t look like they had the legs to score two goals in as many minutes. But, Memphis wasn’t done yet and he capped off a great performance with a equally great solo goal in the 91st minute. The former PSV player ran at the Midtjylland defence forcing them backwards and when he created a gap he arrowed the ball into the bottom left corner. And that was it. United won 5-1 on the night and 6-3 on aggregate to progress to the next round.

Memphis celebrates his late goal with Herrera (Picture: mirror.co.uk)
Memphis celebrates his late goal with Herrera (Picture: mirror.co.uk)

There were a few stand out players in this match and one of those was the young Marcus Rashford. He continuously proved a nuisance for the defenders with his ability to leave them standing with his quick change of pace. His positioning an ability to read the game were also proven with the two goals he scored. No better way to cap off a fine performance than scoring a couple of goals to help secure a place in the next round of the Europa League.

Juan Mata also deserves a mention. Throughout the whole game he put in 110% popping up in all areas of the pitch, linking the play between defenders and attackers, dictating play, winning back possession and getting an assist for Rashford’s first goal.

And we cannot leave out Memphis. He was poor in the first leg and against Shrewsbury Town on Monday he showed signs of improvement and a growing confidence. I said in the Shrewsbury review that he now has a great opportunity to prove himself over the coming weeks with several players out injured and he took his chance very well tonight. He had a very high success rate with take-ons, beating the defenders and getting plenty of shots in. But he wasn’t greedy by just taking shots, he also looked up to see what was going on around him and played a few key passes into the path of runners. We even saw flashes of skill from him which just indicates that his confidence is slowly returning and the goal he scored in injury time was the icing on the cake.

All in all it was a good performance from United. The team played well as a unit and as fans we can be proud of them. They are all under a lot of pressure and together with all the injuries, they need our support.

United’s next game is against Arsenal, on Sunday, at Old Trafford. This will be a real test for Memphis and United as Shrewsbury Town and Midtjylland can’t really be considered as tough opponents, but both games have done the team and Memphis some good in terms of morale and confidence. Hopefully both will carry into the game against Arsenal and we can get a result.

Paul’s Player Ratings – United V Midtjylland:

Romero (6) Was a little flaky with the ball at his feet but was rarely called upon.
Varela (7) Was good getting forward, linking up with Herrera and Lingard and provided an assist for Rashford’s second goal.
Carrick (6) Could have done more to prevent the Midtjylland goal.
Blind (6) Also could have done more to prevent the Midtjylland goal.
Riley (6) Was good going forward, linking up with Memphis.
Schneiderlin (7) A stalwart in the midfield with plenty of interceptions and winning tackles.
Herrera (7) Put in a good shift and scored a penalty.
Lingard (6) Was good going forward but lacked a killer end product often choosing to come backwards.
Mata (8) Dictated play, very high work rate, pressed well winning possession and provided the assist for Rashford’s first goal.
Memphis (9) Used his strength, pace and skill to beat defenders throughout the game, created chances for others and scored a great solo goal.
Rashford (9) Also showed great pace and strength when in possession and scored two strikers goals.

So what did you think of tonight’s game? Are there any players that you thought stood out? Would you rate any of the players differently? Let me know in the comments below.

You can watch the United Stand’s live match reaction with Mark Goldbridge by clicking here or watching below:

Shrewsbury Town 0-3 Man United | Match Review

United cruise comfortably past Shrewsbury Town with a 3-0 victory to set up a quarter final tie, at home, against West Ham United.

This was the first time in the clubs history that United have played Shrewsbury Town and the home team, including their fans, were excited for the occasion. They even fancied their chances of causing an upset based on United’s recent form and who can blame them? But it wasn’t to be thanks to goals from Chris Smalling (right footed volley), Juan Mata (cleverley worked free kick where three United players looked to have been offside) and Jesse Lingard (getting on the end of an Ander Herrera cross).

The win itself is of course something to be happy about as it sends United into the quarter final of the FA Cup, but it’s nothing to write home about considering the opposition. Typically, of a United under van Gaal, they controlled the game from start to finish having an 80% share of the possession in the first half and 75% possession overall. Also, United were reduced to long shots for most of the first half as they failed to find a way to break down a resilient Shrewsbury defence. Something else we have become accustomed to during the van Gaal reign. United did, however, finally make a break through late in the first half when Chris Smalling, staying up front when a cleared corner was played back toward the box, hit a right footed volley past the Shrewsbury keeper. Shortly afterwards, on the stroke of half time, Juan Mata doubled United’s lead from a free Kick that was awarded after Anthony Martial was brought down on the edge of the box when he was through on goal.

Mata scores United's second from a Free Kick (Picture: mirror.co.uk)
Mata scores United’s second from a Free Kick (Picture: mirror.co.uk)

For the second half Shrewsbury altered their approach and played further up the pitch. This allowed United to play their game, bringing the attacking players into the fold with some much quicker football. And it didn’t take long for United to get their third goal to seal the win. The goal came from a counter attack that started with Romero. The United keeper released the ball quickly, picking out Herrera who touched the ball on to Mata on the left. At the edge of the box, Mata played the ball back into Herrera who hit a cross to the back post finding Lingard who hit it first time into the back of the net. United then took their foot off the pedal and played possession football very effectively to see the game out.

Despite the 3-0 scoreline it was a very average team performance. I’m finding it difficult to pick out any player who had a particularly impressive game. In my match review for the Midtjylland game on Thursday, I was very critical of Memphis. Today, however, despite a shaky start, he grew into the game and gained confidence; particularly in the second half. He showed glimpses of what he did at PSV by running at defenders, cutting in and getting shots at goal. An extra yard of pace and he will become dangerous again. He also linked up with players very well during attacking moves with some neat one-touch passing. What’s important now is that he carries that into the next game. He has a great opportunity, with Rooney out, to prove himself and build on today’s performance.

Daley Blind in action for United at Shrewsbury (Picture: mirror.co.uk)
Daley Blind in action for United at Shrewsbury (Picture: mirror.co.uk)

Another player I enjoyed watching was Daley Blind. He makes things happen. Plenty of times tonight he was able to pick out a pass from deep, finding the forward players and at the same time taking several Shrewsbury players out of the game.

Andreas Pereira also made a positive impact coming on as a substitute just after the hour mark. His positioning was on point, making sure he found space off the ball to receive a pass. When he was in possession he moved the ball quickly. He proves a nightmare for defenders with his pass-and-move football which is something United need more of.

So, United did what was expected of them and have progressed to the quarter final of the FA Cup. But the pressure is still on Louis van Gaal with the focus now on the second leg of the Europa League tie at home to Midtylland. The danish team bring to Old Trafford a 2-1 advantage, but United could progress with 1-0 victory having scored an away goal in the first leg. As with tonight’s game, United will be fully expected to win this 2nd leg with the real test being the game against Arsenal at Old Trafford on Sunday.

What did you make of tonight’s game? Did any players stand out to you? Was the performance good enough? Let me know in the comments below!

Paul’s player ratings – Shrewsbury V United

Romero (6) Kept a clean sheet but was rarely called upon.
Borthwick-Jackson (6) Played the long ball that led to Chris Smalling’s goal but was generally quiet.
Smalling (7) Scored the opening goal and won the majority of aerial battles.
Blind (7) Showed great vision picking out long ground passes into the forward players.
Varela (6) Fairly quiet for most of the game.
Herrera (7) Helped to control the united midfield and provided an assist for Lingard’s goal.
Schneiderlin (6) Helped protect the defense on the rare occasion he needed to.
Lingard (6) Was quiet for most of the game despite scoring.
Mata (7) Scored the free kick and played his part in the build up to Lingard’s goal.
Memphis (6) Poor start to game but grew in confidence in the 2nd half linking up well with other players.
Martial (6) Was isolated as a lone striker with several defenders around him.

Riley (6) Made his debut as a sub an wasn’t afraid to run at defenders.
Keane (6) Came on for Martial, hit the post, then left the field after just 4 minutes after picking up a groin injury.
Pereira (7) Proved a nuisance for the Shrewsbury defenders with his quick movement.

You can also watch The United Stand’s live match reaction with Mark Goldbridge by clicking here or watching below:

Man United 0-1 Southampton | Match review

Man United slump to uninspired 1-0 defeat at Old Trafford against mid table Southampton.

After the 1-0 victory at Anfield last week many fans felt confident about today’s game at home to the Saints. It wasn’t a performance to write home about but, it was a victory, it was against Liverpool and it was at Anfield.

For many though, the confidence was shattered when the teams were announced and Marouane Fellaini’s name appeared in the starting XI.

For weeks, Fellaini has contributed very little to the squad and fans have been calling for him to be dropped. But with Schweinsteiger and Carrick injured, van Gaal may have felt he had no other option, preferring Herrera in the number 10 role.

As the first half progressed is was looking more and more like we were going to have to sit and watch another goalless draw. Nothing was happening in the final third. There was little movement and again we played the sideways passing that really gets on everyone’s nerves.

In the entire first half United only registered one shot on target and that was a 40 yard strike from Daley Blind that went straight at the Southampton keeper. There were approximately five or six attempts in total in the first half and they were all shots taken from outside the box in desperation, and none of them troubled the keeper.

At half time the crowd were lifted slightly. A cheer rang round the stadium as Juan Mata came on to replace Fellaini. The change seemed to be a positive one as United upped the tempo and began putting some pressure on Southampton, but without managing shot at goal, the positive change was short lived. An injury to Matteo Darmian meant a short break in play which took the sting out of United’s game. Southampton took advantage of this and brought the game to United.

The Saints created several chances and eventually got their winner late on in the 87th minute through debutant Charlie Austin who headed the ball past de Gea from a free kick that probably shouldn’t have been given.

The loss means that United remain in 5th but the gap between them and Spurs grows to five points.

United now trail Spurs by 5 points (Picture: BBC.co.uk)
United now trail Spurs by 5 points (Picture: BBC.co.uk)

The result has left many fans, including myself, fuming and calling for Louis van Gaal to be sacked. United have now only won to of their last ten league games and it cannot go on any longer. Something has to change and it has to change now.

Let us know how you feel after that game and what you think needs to change. Do you think the manager should be sacked now or do you still believe he can get us top 4 by the end of the season? Comment below.

Who is to blame for the poor performances and results?

  • Louis van Gaal (65%, 15 Votes)
  • The board (35%, 8 Votes)
  • The players (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 23

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Man United starting line up V Southampton (Picture: https://twitter.com/ManUtd)
Man United starting line up V Southampton (Picture: https://twitter.com/ManUtd)

Watch the United Stand match reaction here or below:

United plan move for Jack Butland should de Gea leave

According to the Daily Mail, Manchester United plan to make a move for Jack butland should David de Gea end up leaving.

The English, Stoke City keeper is just one of several goalkeepers that United are keeping tabs on.

Jack Butland has been in outstanding form this season and will undoubtedly be in Roy Hodgson’s plans for the Euro 2016 tournament in the summer.

If you would like to read the full article on the Daily Mail website, please click here.

Would you like to see Jack Butland in a United jersey should David de Gea leave? He has definitely been a popular choice among United fans in recent months.

Let us know in the comments below.

See Butland in action here or below:

GUEST BLOG: January Transfer Window – Make or Break!

Christmas can be the making or breaking of a team. The turning point for a team who may be struggling against relegation or on the brink of pushing into the top four, where a couple of wins can build the momentum needed for clubs to push on and have a strong second half of the season. For those who don’t build that momentum, the January Transfer window can provide a club with the perfect opportunity to improve their squads.

Traditionally, since the current Premier League transfer format was introduced in the 2002/3 season, Manchester United have not been the most active of clubs in the January transfer market. To mind, the only players of real impact in the past 10 years brought in by the club in January, are Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra and Juan Mata, with the latter, arguably having not quite reached the potential or quality he showed at Chelsea. Now it has to be said that the majority of his time has been on the right wing, where his talent tends to be restricted somewhat and his lack of outright pace being exposed. However short lived, his move into the central position just behind the main striker, proved fruitful in the Champions League game versus Wolfsburg, where he played a beautiful through ball for Anthony Martial to put us one up, and throughout he looked much more comfortable and composed. It’s just a shame that our defence didn’t show quite the same composure at the other end that night.

Where Mata has often failed to impress, the quality of Vidic and Evra during their times in the club cannot be argued. They enjoyed enormous success at the club, in a period which marked the end of the tenure of Sir Alex Ferguson. Both players were stalwarts in the United defence for a period of just over 8 years. However, both players struggled initially to cope with the physicality and tempo of the league. This was especially evident in the 2005/06 Manchester Derby, where Patrice Evra was given the run around by an experienced and battle hardened Trevor Sinclair. Manchester City focused the majority of their attacks down his side of the pitch, whether it is via long ball using Sinclair’s height advantage, or via an overlap by City right back Sun Jihai. It resulted in his substitution at half time in a debut which truly was a baptism of fire.

The history of Manchester United signings at this time of year would suggest that any player that Manchester United sign will need time to settle in and adapt to the way in which the club plays. An immediate impact can’t be expected. Fans make point and say it happens at other clubs, where a player can arrive and completely transform a club’s fortunes after only a handful of games… but other clubs aren’t Manchester United, where excellence and top performances are expected week in, week out. That kind of pressure is tough to deal with and it would take a truly exceptional player to have that type of impact, and exceptional players are generally not sold in January.

This considered, as well as the fact that the January transfer window tends to add a large chunk to the value a club places on its prospective transferees as they smell the desperation of other clubs failing to deceive, then maybe there is an argument to be made for Manchester United to keep the cheque book in the pocket and wait until the summer.

Then again, maybe the issue isn’t necessarily the quality of player at the club, but the manager in place? But that’s another day’s work….

By David Ryan

Liverpool 0-1 Man United | Match report

Wayne Rooney strikes again scoring the only goal of the game to sink the Scousers!

It wasn’t all smiles and laughter for United as in the first half Liverpool dominated and made it difficult for them to play; limiting them to just one attempt at goal.

Liverpool, on the other hand, had many attempts but lacked the quality to finish.

Their best chance came in the 30th minute when some intricate one touch passing fell to Henderson. The Liverpool captain hit a shot from an angle but dragged his shot wide.

Liverpool also came close to taking the lead earlier in the game. In the 10th minute Firmino hit a first time shot after collecting a loose ball but his shot went just past the post. David de Gea looked to have it covered.

The second half started much the same with Liverpool coming out on the front foot.

Early in the second half, Emre Can and Kolo Toure both had shots at goal saved by in-form United keeper David de Gea.

Man United appeared to be sleeping; not challenging loose balls and allowing Liverpool to win the first ball on most occasions.

The introduction of Juan Mata in the 66th minute saw the dynamics of the game change and United began to see more of the ball and start playing forward.

And in the 77th minute, Juan Mata played in a left-footed cross from the left onto the head of Fellaini. The Belgian’s header bounced off the crossbar and fell to Wayne Rooney who shaped up and smashed a volley into the roof of the net to put United ahead.

Wayne Rooney celebrates his winner at Liverpool (Picture: mirror.co.uk)
Wayne Rooney celebrates his winner at Liverpool (Picture: mirror.co.uk)

It would be fair to say that United didn’t deserve the win and it could be said that they were saved by the fact Liverpool were without a recognised striker on the pitch for the majority of the game.

Regardless, the win lifts United up into 5th in the league, 2 points behind 4th placed Spurs.

United move up to 5th after win at Liverpool (Picture: bbc.co.uk)
United move up to 5th after win at Liverpool (Picture: bbc.co.uk)

What did you think about the game? Do you think the win was deserved? Does it even matter if it was deserved? We would love to know your thoughts. Please, feel free to leave a comment below.

You can also watch the Liverpool V Man United match reaction on The United Stand’s YouTube channel by clicking here. Or by watching below.

Liverpool Team Sheet

22 Mignolet
02 Clyne
04 K Touré (Benteke – 81′)
17 Sakho
18 Moreno
14 Henderson
21 Lucas
23 Can
07 Milner (Caulker – 90′)
11 Firmino
20 Lallana (Ibe – 76′)

Substitutes

09 Benteke
19 Caulker
24 Allen
33 Ibe
44 Smith
52 Ward
53 J. Teixeira

Man United Team Sheet

01 de Gea
18 Young (Borthwick-Jackson – 42′)
12 Smalling Booked
17 Blind
36 Darmian
28 Schneiderlin
27 Fellaini
35 Lingard (Mata – 66′)
21 Herrera (Depay – 72′)
09 Martial
10 Rooney

Substitutes

07 Depay
08 Mata
20 Romero
30 Varela
33 McNair
43 Borthwick-Jackson
44 Pereira