Daley Blind Has Romelu Lukaku In His Pocket But Marcos Rojo Is Run Ragged

Louis van Gaal’s bid for Champions League football was boosted by a fourth win in five Premier League games to take Manchester United to within a point of fourth place.

Clear cut chances were at a premium during a tepid opening half before Anthony Martial slotted home the winner for United’s 1,000th Premier League goal – although Daley Blind was man-of-the-match after managing to contain the physical presence of Romelu Lukaku.

Sportsmail’s Dominic King was at Old Trafford to run the rule over both sets of players

Anthony Martial wheels away in celebration after scoring the winner for Manchester United

Manchester United team-mates embrace the Frenchman as they moved up to fifth in the Premier League

 

MANCHESTER UNITED (4-2-3-1)

David De Gea

Showed speed of thought by coming out to to deny Lukaku in the first -half before making an instinctive close-range to prevent Jagielka from levelling late in the game. 7

Matteo Darmian  

The Italy international’s debut season has been punctuated by injuries – he produced a solid performance on the right side of United’s defence without turning heads. 6.5

Chris Smalling

Overshadowed by Blind in the centre of defence but gave a typically composed performance to justify his recognition as United’s most improved player this season. 6

Manchester United keeper David de Gea (left) comes out to deny Romelu Lukaku

Daley Blind

Despite their physical differences, the diminutive Dutchman managed to contain the imposing threat of Lukaku and was rightly given a standing ovation when forced off by injury in the dying minutes. 8

Marcos Rojo

Made a mockery of recent speculation linking him to Barcelona, the Argentinian was turned inside out by Deulofeu before being hauled off at half time. 4

Juan Mata

Struggled to dictate play at the beginning of the game and appears languid behind the pace of the youngsters now leading Van Gaal’s front line. 6

Morgan Schneiderlin

Produced a wonderful crossfield pass in the build-up to United’s goal, but still struggles to resemble a Manchester United midfielder. 5.5

Daley Blind was magnificent in containing Romelu Lukaku and left to a standing ovation after a late injury

Michael Carrick

His experience brings calm to United’s midfield, but there were few telling moments before his energy faded and he was replaced by Herera. 6

Anthony Martial

Always looked the most likely source of goals and kept his composure to become the club’s top scorer with his eighth league goal – and United’s 1000th in the Premier League. 7.5

Marcus Rashford

Showed energy and enthusiasm to get himself into several prime positions but lacked the finishing touch to steal more headlines this season. 7

Martial meets a cross from substitute Timothy Fosu-Mensah to net the winner for Manchester United

Substitutes:

Timothy Fosu-Mensah (for Rojo 45)

Replaced Rojo at half-time to play an influential role in victory, which included a superb cross for Martial to score and a crucial clearance in the final minutes. 7

Herrera (for Carrick 58) 6, Valencia (for Blind 86) 6

 EVERTON

Joel Robles

Ball deflected off him for the goal after Baines failed to clear Martial’s shot, but an otherwise solid performance to justify his continued selection ahead of veteran Howard. 7

Chris Coleman

Superbly timed challenge to prevent Rojo from crossing in the first half and generally combined his attacking and defensive duties without fuss. 6

Phil Jagielka

Unfortunate not to equalise after his header crashed off the crossbar while the captain also registered Everton’s only shot on target in the entire match. 7

Everton defender John Stones cut out the mistakes to remind why he is valued at £50m-plus

Everton defender John Stones cut out the mistakes to remind why he is valued at £50m-plus

John Stones

An assured performance in the face of recent criticism and denied Martial with an outstanding challenge to show why he is one of the world’s most sought after defenders. 7

Leighton Baines

Decent performance at left-back in terms of defence while occasionally disappointing with his final delivery when surging forward. 6

Tom Cleverley

Making his return to Old Trafford, the Everton midfielder gave Manchester United supporters no reason to contemplate if the club had made the right decision to let him leave. 6

James McCarthy

Clattered early on by a rash challenge from Rojo but recovered to provide his usual tenacity from midfield, despite lacking an attacking threat. 6

Ross Barkely (left) was below his best and sometimes guilty of trying the spectacular

Aaron Lennon

Still has pace to burn but the former England winger has struggled to make match-changing moments since his arrival at Goodison. 6

Ross Barkley

Not at his impressive best and frequently caught out trying to play the sensational pass when simplicity would have sufficed. 6

Gerard Deulofeu

Caused United all sorts of problems with his direct running and delivery in the first half before running low on energy and being replaced by Mirallas. 7 

Lukaku's (right) pace and presence were a threat but he could not find a way past Blind

Romelu Lukaku

The Belgian’s pace and presence unnerved United throughout the afternoon in what could be an audition for a summer move – but Blind was more than equal to the task. 6

Substitutions:

Mirallas (for Deulofeu, 63) 6, Niasse (for Barkley, 87) 6

Referee: Andre Marriner 7.

Star man: Daley Blind.

 

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