PLAYER RATINGS: Lisandro Martinez arrives in the Premier League with stellar performance


Manchester United picked up their first points of the Premier League season with a controlled 2-1 win over rivals Liverpool at Old Trafford.

In a match that threatened to be overshadowed by protests from United fans, the hosts came flying out the blocks, putting pressure on Liverpool from the off and deservedly went 1-0 up in the first-half after a smart finish from Jadon Sancho.

United then made it 2-0 through Marcus Rashford before Mo Salah pulled a goal back for Liverpool, but United saw out the game to move ahead of their visitors in the table. 

Sportsmail assess the performances of each of the players on what was a successful evening for Erik ten Hag’s side.

Jadon Sancho scored a fine opener for Manchester United in what was a fast start

The win was Erk ten Hag's first as United manager after three Premier League games

The win was Erk ten Hag’s first as United manager after three Premier League games

MANCHESTER UNITED  

De Gea: Surprisingly little to do for most part but a good save late on. Wisely chose to go long rather than trying to pass out from the back. 6.5

Dalot: Ferocious battle with Diaz, constant aggression impressed fans and did well to rein it in after his booking. Stopped Robertson causing damage too. 7.5

Varane: Commanding display at the heart of defence and always in the right place to cut out dangerous balls in the box. 8

Martinez: Answered his critics in some style. Crucial block to deny Salah, and an all-action irritant throughout. Smart ball in build-up to Sancho’s goal. 8.5 – PLAYER OF THE MATCH

United defender Lisandro Martinez was the best player on the pitch at Old Trafford tonight

United defender Lisandro Martinez was the best player on the pitch at Old Trafford tonight

Malacia: Outstanding down the left going forward early on but just as crucial was his role in keeping Salah quiet. 7.5

Eriksen: May be more effective further forward but still picked passes and worked hard to thwart Liverpool in front of back four. 7

McTominay: Placed under threat but made a great case to stay in the team. Combative without the ball, smart balls forward when he had it. 7

Sancho: Composed finish for the goal. Fine movement and disciplined without the ball, tucking inside to force Liverpool wide. 7.5

Sancho showed great composure to finish well, despite some poor defending from Liverpool

Sancho showed great composure to finish well, despite some poor defending from Liverpool

Fernandes: His best display in a United shirt for a long time – is it a coincidence Ronaldo wasn’t playing? Booked for dive in second half. 8

Elanga: A threat down the left but hit the post when he should have scored. Withdrawn at half-time for Martial. 7

Rashford: Led the press from the front and a superb finish. He’s found his confidence and now has five goals against Liverpool. 8

ten Hag: Big calls to drop Maguire and Ronaldo vindicated. This was the high-intensity football he must want to see. 8

Marcus Rashford scored his first Premier League goal since January to put his side 2-0 up

Marcus Rashford scored his first Premier League goal since January to put his side 2-0 up

SUBSTITUTES:

Martial (for Elanga 46): 7.5

Fred (for Sancho 71): 6

Ronaldo (for Rashford 85): N/A

Wan-Bissaka (for Dalot 85): N/A

Van de Beek (for Eriksen 85): N/A

Ten Hag dropped both Harry Maguire and Cristiano for the game and his decisions paid off

Ten Hag dropped both Harry Maguire and Cristiano for the game and his decisions paid off

LIVERPOOL

Alisson: Could do nothing about the first goal and his smart save from Rashford at 2-0 stopped a heavier defeat. 6

Alexander-Arnold: A night to forget. Positionally all over the shop and torn apart by Malacia and Elanga in the first half. 3

Gomez: Rattled by United’s intensity, like the rest of Liverpool’s defence. Distribution was mixed. 5

Liverpool full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold was torn apart by United's left-hand side

Liverpool full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold was torn apart by United’s left-hand side

van Dijk: Failed to close down Sancho before the goal and far from his usual imperious self. Rare to see him rattled but United managed it. 5

Robertson: Offered a threat going forward, though met his match in Malacia. But struggled to deal with Rashford at times. 6

Elliott: A bright spark in the middle, driving runs and good link-up play in first half deserved better. Good work for Salah’s goal. 6.5

Henderson: Runs forward threatened to stretch United in the first half but ultimately couldn’t win the midfield battle. 6.5

Milner: Did little wrong and had to try to block Sancho for the opener. Visibly frustrated. 6.5

James Milner was visibly frustrated with Virgil van Dijk for his defending for the first goal

James Milner was visibly frustrated with Virgil van Dijk for his defending for the first goal

Salah: Quiet first half as Liverpool’s best moments came down their left but kept game alive with late header. 6

Firmino: Decent runs but one of the Brazilian’s quieter matches as Martinez and Varane shut him out up front. 5.5

Diaz: Liverpool’s biggest threat. A fine battle with Dalot and his trickery and physicality deserved more. 7

Klopp: Suffering with injuries and unable to adjust things to combat United last night. 6

Mo Salah (right) got a goal back for Liverpool but was unable to help his side to a result

Mo Salah (right) got a goal back for Liverpool but was unable to help his side to a result

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp is clearly struggling with injuries, but was out-thought by ten Hag

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp is clearly struggling with injuries, but was out-thought by ten Hag

SUBSTITUTES: 

Fabinho (for Henderson 59): 7

Carvalho (for Milner 73): 6

Tsimikas (for Robertson 85): N/A

REFEREE: 

Michael Oliver: Let the game flow, in keeping with refs this season. Made for a compelling spectacle. 7.5

Referee Michael Oliver (left) allowed the game to flow, even when tensions were high late on

Referee Michael Oliver (left) allowed the game to flow, even when tensions were high late on



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