Manchester United’s midfield masterclass ensured they dominated City, but it turns out playing an entire last 45 in the opposition half at home doesn’t guarantee a goal. Joe Hart denied Chris Smalling from an amazing opportunity, while Jesse Lingard hit the crossbar to keep the game 0-0. Here’s the updates to the United Player Power Rankings.
Note: City played like a little team that wanted to frustrate historical giants in their backyard. They played 3 holding midfielders, and Wilfried Bony was basically a midfielder. Also, Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones haven’t yet played enough games to get onto the list but they were wonderful on the day.
The only rule to qualify for the action is that every player has to have played at least 8 games so far. In addition, the more games a player has played, the higher up they are likely to be on the list, but this condition isn’t a rule.
16. Ashley Young, Wing, 8 apps
Last Week: 16
Ashley Young was sidelined by injury in Manchester United’s draw with Manchester City. Another match missed would take him out of the list.
15. Luke Shaw, LB, 8 apps
Last Week: 15
Luke Shaw will be out of the list after Manchester United’s next game.
14. Michael Carrick, CDM, 11 apps
Last Week: 12
Marouane Fellaini’s recent exploits from midfield as Bastian Schweinsteiger’s counterpart means that Michael Carrick is likely to have moved down to 4th in the pecking order for CDM. We better watch out for Daley Blind, who looks like he may need to find some time in midfield… Louis van Gaal is doing a great job of fazing out the 34-year-old.
13. Wayne Rooney, CAM/ST, 15 apps
Last Week: 10
One step forward, 2 steps backward. Rooney took his chance well against Everton, but he was absolutely dreadful against City. 55% pass accuracy, 0 shots, 0 chances created and 0 take ons highlighted a poor day for Rooney. Maybe he needs a rest? He looks awfully tired and his head was cut open during the City game.
12. Memphis, Attacking Midfielder, 14 apps
Last Week: 11
Memphis didn’t appear against City, and he should’ve. He gives an absolute game to any RB who isn’t at their best, but he’s been poor overall. He’s still been a more consistent option than Rooney.
11. Daley Blind, LB/CB, 14 apps
Last Week: 9
Blind didn’t feature against Manchester City, and Jones seems to have secured a place in defence for a while with a great performance. He’s almost lucky Luke Shaw is injured, because he’s second in order for LB. He’s basically the backup if any defenders get injured now.
10. Marouane Fellaini, CDM/CAM/ST, 9 apps
Last Week: 14
Marouane Fellaini came on and gave United an attacking threat late on against City. He’s also playing well as a midfielder, and he matched Schweinsteiger’s caliber for less time against City, which shows he’s improving.
9. Antonio Valencia, RB. 10 apps
Last Week: 13
10 appearances, 10th place for Antonio Valencia. He’s hardly been fantastic, but he didn’t put a foot wrong and the cream was destroying an in form Raheem Sterling. Well played, Tony.
8. Bastian Schweinsteiger, CDM, 16 apps
Last Week: 9
Bastian Schweinsteiger was world class against City to add to his Liverpool game. Add that to his 16 appearances and he’s closed into the Top 7. The super 7 has now become the super 8.
7. Ander Herrera, Midfielder, 10 apps
Last Week: 7
Ander Herrera had a good game against City, and did everything you’d expect from a midfielder in a big game. However, for the first time in a while, he didn’t quite make the vital difference and can’t capitalize on a quiet day for David de Gea in the rankings.
6. David de Gea, GK, 10 apps
Last Week: 6
David de Gea was not busy against City, but he popped up when he needed to. Any keeper would be expected to keep City out, especially considering they didn’t get on target for 83 minutes.
5. Matteo Darmian, Fullback, 15 apps
Last Week: 4
Matteo Darmian came on at the end of the City game due to Antonio Valencia’s injury. The decision to start Valencia was tactical, and it worked out because Darmian was working on De Bruyne. He moves down, only because the next player was glowing yesterday (also, Darmian isn’t a sure pick to play anymore).
4. Morgan Schneiderlin, CDM, 12 apps
Last Week: 5
Morgan Schneiderlin has opened up the rankings! What a game he played! He was masterful, spraying passes around, winning almost all his tackles and aerial duels, making 5 interceptions and doing everything to win the match for United. He was a star for 90 minutes, and showed promising young holding midfielders how to do it right (2 MOTMs running from me).
3. Juan Mata, Attacking Midfielder, 15 apps
Last Week: 2
Juan Mata was not able to influence the game, but he still was a fantastic performer in the time he was on. Jesse Lingard was closer to making a telling impact on the game, but Mata will surely be back for next week.
2. Anthony Martial, LW/RW/ST, 10 apps
Last Week: 3
Anthony Martial was United’s sole attacking threat, and he showed passing as part of his locker this week. He made Bacary Sagna look like an amateur, and he’s been superb the entire time. The ball to Lingard was particularly impressive.
1. Chris Smalling, CB, 16 apps
Last Week: 1
Chris Smalling didn’t put a foot wrong when called into action against Manchester City, and he also had quite a few positives. It’ll be hard to knock him off the top spot on current form.
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