Phil Neville: Manchester United had no standout player against Hull City

by Leo Nieboer


Phil Neville believes Manchester United had no standout player during their second leg 2-1 defeat to Hull City in the League Cup semi-final.

Jose Mourinho’s men, heading into the tie with a two goal cushion, fell behind in the first half through a Tom Huddlestone penalty.

Paul Pogba’s 66th minute restored some breathing space and, despite Oumar Niasse’s late goal, proved enough to secure Man United’s place at Wembley next month.

Neville, speaking after the game, was clearly unimpressed with his former side’s performance, insisting that there were no standout players present on the pitch against Marcos Silva’s men.

“He [Carrick] didn’t talk like a player who had just got to a major cup final,” said Neville. “He looked devastated.

“When you’ve not tasted defeat for so long it does hurt and I think the manner of the way they played tonight was disappointing, probably the poorest I’ve seen them play this season.”

“I thought like the rest of the Man Utd players Pogba was very average. It was a poor performance from the whole team and there wasn’t a standout player.

“He’s going in the right direction and he could finish the season with 12 or 13 goals, which is not a bad return in his first season.”

Contrary to Neville’s remarks, there were two standout performers for United this evening: the first, of course, being their 4,500 travelling supporters, serving as an incessant, bubbling source of noise and bouncing all evening – another demonstration to the watching world that no Premier League side can boast better away fans.

The second – and perhaps more important – standout performer was Marcus Rashford. The teenager was a simply effervescent force all evening, charging forward with a sense of desire and ruthlessness that the visiting side otherwise lacked. His sheer persistence led to the equaliser, and his overall demeanour – even as the game petered out during the closing stages – was unyieldingly powerful.

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