Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford among four 8s as Man United beat Huddersfield

Matt Jones - Editor 21:11 26/12/2018
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The good times continue to roll for Manchester United fans as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer unwrapped a debut win in charge at Old Trafford thanks to a 3-1 win over Huddersfield.

The home side were given a tough time initially by the visiting Terriers, but after Nemanja Matic tapped in from a corner to give the Red Devils the lead, they ratcheted up the pressure and looked to really turn on the style.

The fact they immediately didn’t allowed the visitors to believe they could get back in it, but a double substitution from Solskjaer saw United reassert their dominance with Paul Pogba’s smart strike making it 2-0. Another fabulous finish from the Frenchman sealed the win.

Here we rate the United players.

 

MAN UNITED (4-2-3-1)

David De Gea – 6: Displayed his enduring class when he clawed away Depoitre’s unconventional effort having been a passenger up until that point.

Diogo Dalot – 5: Still raw and Solskjaer asking his full-backs to attack left him exposed defensively at times. Should have scored his first goal in red when he sidefooted Rashford’s excellent centre wide. An exciting talent.

Victor Lindelof – 7: Huddersfield’s physicality posed problems but settled and his run and header at the corner yielded the opening goal. Another fine display, although caught sleeping for Zanka’s consolation strike.

Phil Jones – 8: Strong and commanding in the face of a physical Huddersfield test. Four interceptions and three aerials won both led United, always appeared in control.

Matic

Luke Shaw – 7: Roamed menacingly on the left looking to get involved in the attack at every opportunity. Defensive solidity and spacial awareness is dramatically improved this season.

Fred – 6: Still erratic and can often look lost, but his endeavor cannot be questioned. Harshly booked before being hooked early in the second half. Pass completion of 91.7 per cent was the second best in red.

Nemanja Matic – 8: One of the few Jose Mourinho lieutenants, yet already seems rejuvenated under Solskjaer. Anchored the midfield but often sparked attacks rather than plugging holes in a ramshackle midfield. Excellent.

Juan Mata – 7: Built like a thorn and was a constant pain in Huddersfield’s side. The catalyst for the clinching second goal scored by Pogba, teasing three Terriers’ defenders.

Paul Pogba – 8: Critics and fans will continue to criticise his part in Mourinho’s downfall, but it was his talent not his talk on display here. His languid style is not to all fans’ taste, but served up two classy finishes to halt Huddersfield’s heroics. Five shots, four on target. Three interceptions.

Jesse Lingard – 6: A player who initially thrived under Mourinho before falling foul of his humbug style of play. Intelligent running always posed a threat. Joint high two tackles.

Marcus Rashford – 8: Must have felt like making himself heard under the stifling stranglehold of Mourinho, but is doing his talking on the field. A menace all afternoon. Three key passes, as many as Pogba.

SUBS

Ashley Young – 6: Brought on along with Herrera and helped United take charge. Always happy to help out in attack down the right.

Ander Herrera – 7: Summoned from the bench when the Terriers were beginning to sniff a way back in, but doggedly helped to quell that threat, laying on the ball for Pogba to make it 2-0.

Angel Gomes N/A If Mourinho had been holed up somewhere watching this, the introduction of the talented academy player off the bench would have soured his already fading smirk.

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