Lukaku and Matic excellent while Shaw disappoints

Here are the player ratings from Manchester United’s FA Cup quarter final win over Brighton –

GK: Sergio Romero (8)

Did what was expected of him, with two good saves in either half to preserve his clean sheet, and he has now kept a clean sheet in every round of the competition United have played this season

RB: Antonio Valencia (6)

A solid outing from the Ecuadorian, without being spectacular. Supported the attack at times and was defensively solid, barely allowing his opposite number any space to cause damage

CB: Chris Smalling (6) 

Coped well with Jurgen Locadia’s pace, with one excellent tackle on him when he could have been one-on-one with Romero. Could have given United the lead but his effort was deflected onto the post

CB: Eric Bailly (6)

Another comfortable evening for the Ivorian, who barely put a foot wrong, and was not really troubled by Brighton’s attackers

LB: Luke Shaw (4) 

A forgettable outing for Shaw, as he spent the half being shouted at by Mourinho to get up the pitch, and failed to emerge for the second half

CM: Nemanja Matic (9)

Largely controlled proceedings in the middle of the park, while it was his pinpoint pass to Lukaku which put United ahead. Finished things off with a good header late in the game

CM: Scott McTominay (6) 

Another solid outing for the Scot, as he did the simple things well, showing for the ball, circulating it well and showing tenacity and strength to win it back at times. A real find for United this season

RW: Juan Mata (6)

Mata had a quiet game, not being able to create a clear-cut chance, but was almost always involved in United’s attacking play

CAM: Jesse Lingard (5)

Showed his usual work-rate, but did very little to influence the game

LW: Anthony Martial (6)

The Frenchman was another who tried to influence United’s attacks throughout the game, without creating a solid opportunity.

CF: Romelu Lukaku (7)

Lukaku did not do much of note during the game, except being in the right place to head home from Matic’s cross

Substitutes:

Ashley Young (6)

Came on at half-time for Shaw. Had little to do defensively, but sent in a superb cross for Matic’s goal

Marcus Rashford (6)

Came on for Mata with 15 minutes to play, and did decently, managing to get behind the Brighton defence on a number of occasions

Marouane Fellaini (N/A)

Replaced Lingard for the last few minutes

Man of the Match: Nemanja Matic

The Serbian had an excellent game, controlling midfield and rarely getting caught out of position. He did extremely well to set up Lukaku for the opener, with his first-time cross weighted perfectly towards the back post where the Belgian was lurking. He continued in much of the same vein in the second half as well, and topped off his performance with a good header to seal the game right at the end. This performance would have impressed his manager, who had been under pressure following a difficult week, and Matic looked fresh, a far cry from the tired presence he had been over the last couple of months.

About the Author

Harshal Patel
I like to analyze and write about football tactics, or just football as well. Manchester United obsessed, and hoping that the good times return soon.