Manchester United 2-1 Middlesbrough: Player ratings

by Sam Peoples

David de Gea 6 – Could do nothing to stop Middlesbrough’s goal. Had very little else to do all game.

Antonio Valencia 6 – A characteristically commanding performance on the right hand side from the Ecuadorian. Provided plenty of attacking impetus going forward but lacked quality with his final product.

Eric Bailly 6 – Enjoyed a relatively trouble free afternoon until Middlesbrough’s surprise opener. Added muscle and control when defending set-pieces.

Chris Smalling 5 – Looked all at sea for Grant Leadbitter’s goal, clearly caught in between two minds as the ball came in. Didn’t help the cause with a few needless fouls.

Daley Blind 6 Struggled to deal with Adama Traore throughout the game but looked composed going forward.

Marouane Fellaini 6 – Made a series of superb first touches, linking up well with his midfield partners. Failed to offer anything else going forward.

Paul Pogba 7 Once again the heartbeat of the side’s attacking play, spraying passes all over the pitch and charging forward with reckless abandon. Stood up when it counted with a storming late winner.

Ander Herrera 6 – Lacked his usual composure at times but made his presence known with another energetic, tenacious performance

Henrikh Mkhitaryan 7  Another impressive performance from the Armenian. Always looked to go forward whenever he could, producing several glorious passes and turns.

Anthony Martial 7 – An effervescent force all afternoon, providing a nice contrast with the confidence sapped Martial of recent weeks.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic 6 – Criminally denied his 51th goal of 2016 after his first-half effort was wrongly ruled out by Lee Mason. Offered his usual power at No.9 but couldn’t produce his usual ruthlessness in front of goal.

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