Manchester United showed signs of improvement on Tuesday night – but ultimately failed to pick up three points at home to La Liga side Valencia.
Once again opting for a 4-3-3 formation, United boss Jose Mourinho set out to attack Valencia, with Alexis Sanchez and Marcus Rashford flanking Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku.
His side started the first half strongly, but couldn’t find the goal to mark their dominance – and were tested on the counter once or twice by an industrious Valencia side.
United dominated the second half, especially towards the latter stages, and can perhaps consider themselves unlucky not to have made the breakthrough in the last five minutes of the game, which they spent almost all of in Valencia’s defensive third.
The draw leaves United in second place in their group, behind a Juventus side who will be United’s opponents on their next two Champions League matchdays.
So how did the players perform individually? Here are our player ratings for the Red Devils…
David de Gea: 7
Wasn’t given much to do, but a clean sheet is a clean sheet.
Antonio Valencia: 5
Didn’t offer all too much – had a decent enough game defensively but his crossing wasn’t on the money tonight.
Chris Smalling: 6
Did what he needed to do and wasn’t tested too much.
Eric Bailly: 6
A very solid return for the big Ivorian.
Luke Shaw: 7
One of United’s best players on the night and this season as a whole – bustling, energetic and clearly trying his absolute best to drag the side through this bad spell.
Nemanja Matic: 5
Didn’t do anything outstanding, didn’t play badly.
Marouane Fellaini: 6
Like Luke Shaw, never gave up on the prospect of three points and really put himself about. Much-needed energy next to Matic.
Paul Pogba: 6
Looked much, much better than he did against West Ham, and was key to United’s good moves tonight – but he didn’t quite offer that decisive piece of play to unlock the game, which is something a player like him really needs to do.
Alexis Sanchez: 5
Ball retention was better tonight, but his passing was ponderous at times, which really slowed attacks down. Showed much more energy than in his last couple of appearances, though.
Marcus Rashford: 7.5
United’s man of the match tonight – he was absolutely crucial to everything going forward and was unlucky not to find the back of the net. A good performance.
Romelu Lukaku: 5
Was heavily involved in link-up play, to good effect, but should have scored with a late header and needs to offer more of an assured option in the box – rather than sacrificing himself in a deeper role.