Cardiff City vs Manchester United Player Ratings

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And Solksjaer has won it. 

One can debate and debate long and hard whether the sacking of Jose Mourinho was a right call or not. But that's in the past and the present, under Ole Gunnar Solksjaer is just unbelievably good. Solksjaer's United swept the floor with Cardiff on Saturday night and the 5-1 scoreline did justice to the performance. Yes, it was only Cardiff and yes it was Solksjaer's first game in charge for the club but still,  a big performance like that was needed to take away all the negativity around the club.

Starting XI

De Gea, Young, Lindelof, Jones, Shaw, Matic, Herrera, Pogba, Lingard, Martial, Rashford

Player Ratings

De Gea(GK): 8/10

De Gea was a spectator for most of the first half and faced a penalty which was quite unsaveable, to be honest. In the second half, he stretched out to make a great save from a curling effort from Murphy. His distribution from the back was immense as many a time, he started the attack with his pinpoint balls into the midfield or onto the flanks.

Ashley Young(RB): 9/10

Many fans were quite displeased to see Young's name in the starting line up but the skipper did his team proud. He constantly provided a threat from the right wing and was available on the overlap as well. His set-piece delivery could have been a bit better though.

Victor Lindelof(CB): 10/10

Lindelof has been one of United's best players this season and on Saturday, he reached new heights. He dealt with all the difficulties Cardiff caused him, both in the air and on the ground. But midway through the second half, Lindelof, brimming with confidence, ran with the ball into the midfield, beat an opponent, and slid an Ozil-esque through ball for Marcus Rashford into the penalty area. Rashford's shot was saved by the goalkeeper but that moment showed what Lindelof is capable with the ball at his feet.

Phil Jones(CB): 10/10

Jones, who often finds himself into awkward positions and gives away a stupid mistake, was a rock at the back for Solksjaer's men on Saturday. He dealt with Paterson's threat very well and even had a volley saved by Etheridge at the other side in the second half.

Luke Shaw(LB): 9/10

Shaw, back from his injury, was at his pacy best down the left flank. He constantly provided an overlapping option for the likes of Martial and Pogba. He was brilliant defensively as well where he marked his men in the box, not giving them an inch to hurt United.

Nemanja Matic(CDM): 10/10

Matic has often looked ragged this season but Solksjaer's arrival seemed to have taken away that tiredness. Matic seemed to win every 50-50 challenge in midfield and looked to pass ahead at every opportunity. It was his great incisive pass that took Lingard into the box and eventually won the penalty.

Ander Herrera(RCM): 10/10

Herrera has been one of the players that always seems to care the most for the club and his showing at Cardiff proved the same. He made it 2-0 from 25 yards when his shot was deflected over Etheridge and into the top corner. Energetic in midfield, he looked to provide the guile and urgency that the team has lacked in recent weeks.

Paul Pogba(LCM): 10/10 

Pogba is certainly an enigma, isn't he? Poor in recent weeks and dropped to the bench in the last two matches, Pogba, somehow, again gave a 10/10 performance. He provided three assists on the night and ran the show for most of the 90 minutes. This is what an 89 million footballer does but his attitude would certainly be in question. If he is capable of giving such stellar display, why didn't he do it more often for Mourinho? He needs to work a lot hard and display some consistency to truly win back the support of United fans.

Jesse Lingard(RW): 10/10

Lingard always has been one of the hardest workers in this United side and this didn't change on Saturday. Lingard played for 90 minutes and covered the most distance amongst the United players. Under Solksjaer, he had the freedom to roam behind Rashford and look for spaces to talk. His mazy dribble won him the penalty which he converted and right at the death, it was his second goal and United's fifth that created history in the post-Fergie era.

Anthony Martial(LW): 10/10

Martial was bought by United for 58 million but on nights like these, when Martial is really in the mood, his price rises manifolds. His goal was a piece of art where time stood still. Everything happened in a flash and yet, it seemed like slow-motion poetry. His passing and intelligence to continue his run brought him 1v1 with the keeper and he signed off this painting with a composed finish into the bottom corner. Martial was revitalized this season by Mourinho and the Frenchman has continued his form even under Solksjaer.

Marcus Rashford(ST): 8/10

It was Manchester born and bred Rashford who kick-started Ole Gunnar Solksjaer's era. His knuckleball freekick from 25 yards gave United the lead after just 181 seconds. He was a threat throughout the game and should have had at least a brace when he was sent through by Victor Lindelof. Rashford worked hard all night and pressed the Cardiff defenders into mistakes on several occasions. The only bloat on the night was his handball which gifted Cardiff the penalty. 


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