Villarreal 0-2 Manchester United: Player ratings and Man of the Match for Red Devils
Ronaldo and Sancho fired United to victory and ensured they’ll be in the next round of the Champions League.
Manchester United shifted some of the spotlight off their recent troubles with an impressive 2-0 victory away to Villarreal on Tuesday night, and secured their place in the last-16 of the Champions League.
Carrick made a bold choice to leave out Bruno Fernandes from his starting XI and United’s first-half display was much more compact than we’ve seen in recent weeks, although they lacked energy on the front foot.
However, the introduction of Fernandes and Marcus Rashford midway though the second period gave the visitors more purpose and drive, and they grabbed two late goals to come away with the three points.
Firstly, Ronaldo lobbed Geronimo Rulli on 78 minutes to keep up his record of scoring in every Champions League group game this term, while Sancho’s powerful finish in the 90th minute saw him net his first goal for the Red Devils.
David De Gea- 7
One of United’s best players on the night. The keeper made good saves to deny Moi Gomez and Manuel Trigueros in the first period, before making an outstanding stop when he palmed another Trigueros effort wide in the 59th minute.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka- 6
Rarely crossed the halfway line in early stages, which limited the space for Gomez to attack into. The right-back looked more composed than in recent weeks but still had several awkward moments. He advanced more frequently in the second half and looked better after the double change.
Victor Lindelof- 7
Pulled out of position on a few occasions, but the Swede was United’s best defender on the night. He produced some good tackles and interceptions in Spain up against Villarreal’s lively forwards.
Harry Maguire- 6
Despite keeping a clean sheet Maguire didn’t always look comfortable on Tuesday. He misplaced a few passes and is far off his best at present.
Alex Telles- 6
Looked more comfortable going forward than defending, and linked well with the likes of Anthony Martial and Fred. That few attacks came down the Villarreal right is testament to his solid showing.
Donny van de Beek- 6 (off 66)
A rare start yielded some good moments and Van de Beek was an energetic presence in midfield in the first period. He saw less of the ball after the break and was replaced on 66 minutes.
Scott McTominay- 7
Played as the deepest and most central of the Red Devils’ midfield and was positionally excellent. He intercepted several passes in behind and helped the visitors on the frontfoot by driving forward with the ball.
A good performance from the much-maligned midfielder. His workrate was pivotal to United keeping a clean sheet and his harrying created United’s goal when he forced Etienne Capoue into a mistake which presented Ronaldo with the ball.
Jadon Sancho- 8 (off 90+3)
The winger’s defensive workrate was commendable and he caused plenty of issues going the other direction. Pervis Estupinan had a tough night up against the former Borussia Dortmund winger and skipped past him on several occasions. Sancho nearly scored on 71 minutes, but his effort was stopped by Rulli, before he powered an effort into the top corner in the closing stages.
Cristiano Ronaldo- 7 (off 90+1)
It was a vintage Ronaldo display, who was quiet for large periods but popped up with a significant goal. The attacker wasn’t heavily involved with the first-half rearguard action but came to life in the second period as United saw more of the ball. His chipped finish on 78 minutes was excellent and he played a part in Sancho’s late goal.
Anthony Martial- 5 (off 66)
With United not seeing much of the ball during the first hour at El Madrigal, it was hard for the Frenchman to stamp his authority on the game. Martial linked up with his attacking team-mates and enjoyed a few dribbles without seriously testing Villarreal.
Marcus Rashford- 7 (on 66)
The winger brought more direct running to the United team and gave Villarreal repeated problems down their right flank. He played a significant role in Sancho’s goal and linked well with Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes.
Bruno Fernandes- 7 (on 66)
Looked to thread repeated balls behind the Villarreal defence and his risky passes paid off on several occasions by finding team-mates. His energy was infectious and helped improve United’s performance across the park.
Nemanja Matic (on 90+1)
Juan Mata (on 90+3)