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Player Ratings: Manchester United 3-0 Liverpool

Sports Mole takes a look at who impressed during Manchester United's 3-0 win over Liverpool at Old Trafford.

Manchester United wrestled back the bragging rights over bitter rivals Liverpool courtesy of a 3-0 victory at Old Trafford this afternoon.

Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata and Robin van Persie all got on the scoresheet for the hosts, while Mario Balotelli hit the crossbar for Liverpool in the second half.

Here, Sports Mole takes a look at who stood out in the latest installment of English football's greatest fixture.


Manchester United's Dutch striker Robin van Persie (2nd L) celebrates scoring their third goal with Juan Mata and Wayne Rooney during the game with Liverpool on December 14, 2014© Getty Images

MAN UTD

Goal

David de Gea: The difference between the two sides, despite the three-goal winning margin. Denied Sterling and Balotelli on a number of occasions, including a fine stop to tip an effort from the latter onto the crossbar. Magnificent once again. (9/10)

Defence

Phil Jones: A welcome return from the sidelines. Was forced to play longer than may have been planned due to injuries, but put in a good performance. (7/10)

Michael Carrick: Once again forced to fill in at the back, but oozed composure and put in an assured display. It is no coincidence that his return to fitness has sparked United's improvement. (8/10)

Jonny Evans: First start for almost three months and he looked a little rusty at times as Liverpool created a host of good chances. (6/10)

Midfield

Antonio Valencia: Picked up the assist for the opening goal, skipping past a couple of players on the right before supplying the end product with a cross to Rooney. (7/10)

Marouane Fellaini: Was sloppy in possession at times. Perhaps fortunate to stay on the field having been booked as early as the fourth minute and committed a number of clumsy fouls after that. (6/10)

Wayne Rooney: Began the match in central midfield, but that did not stop him getting forward to score the opening goal with a composed finish. (8/10)

Juan Mata: Fortunate to get the second goal as it should have been flagged offside, but also added an assist for the third. (7/10)

Ashley Young: Starting to look a little more comfortable in the left wing-back role. Provided the cross for the second goal and got forward whenever possible. (7/10)

Attack

Robin van Persie: Starting to show some of his old form, and got another goal to cap off a decent performance. (7/10)

James Wilson: Got a big vote of confidence from Van Gaal by being named in the starting lineup, but once again had a very limited impact before being replaced. (6/10)

Substitutes

Ander Herrera: Replaced Wilson for the final 20 minutes or so and kept things ticking over, allowing Rooney to push further forward. (6/10)

Radamel Falcao: Almost made an immediate impact with a through ball seconds after he had been introduced, but ultimately could not add much to the United attack. (6/10)

Paddy McNair: Got a couple of minutes at the end having been hauled off in the first half of the win over Southampton. (6/10)


Steven Gerrard and teammates look dejected after Manchester United's second goal during the Premier League match on December 14, 2014© Getty Images

LIVERPOOL

Goal

Brad Jones: A surprise inclusion in place of Simon Mignolet, but could have done better for two of the goals. Went the wrong way for the first and then was left stranded by Mata's pass for the third. (5/10)

Defence

Glen Johnson: Lasted just 24 minutes before limping off with what looks like a groin injury. (6/10)

Martin Skrtel: Not the worst of the Liverpool defenders, but not exactly a commanding performance either. (5/10)

Dejan Lovren: Continues to disappoint. Made a complete mess of a clearance in the build-up to the third goal and looked shaky all match. (4/10)

Midfield

Jordan Henderson: Employed in an unfamiliar right wing-back role and it did not suit him. As always, full of running, but that was not enough today. (5/10)

Steven Gerrard: Scored twice at Old Trafford last season, but was barely involved this afternoon. Failed to influence the game like he so often has in this fixture. (5/10)

Joe Allen: Beaten far too easily by Valencia for the first goal and struggled to really have an impact on the match. (5/10)

Philippe Coutinho: Let Rooney run away from him for the opening goal, but looked like the Liverpool player most likely to create something. Showed glimpses of class, but that was ultimately not enough. (6/10)

Alberto Moreno: Played further forward than usual in a wing-back role, but the experiment did not really work. Should have done better in the build-up to the opening goal. (5/10)

Adam Lallana: Taken off at half time for Balotelli following an ineffective opening 45 minutes. (5/10)

Attack

Raheem Sterling: Missed a number of clear chances, partly down to good goalkeeping, but mostly down to poor finishing. Involved in a duel with De Gea and came off comfortably second best. Continually got into those good positions, though. (5/10)

Substitutes

Kolo Toure: Came on for the injured Johnson in the first half and put in a solid performance during his time on the field. (6/10)

Mario Balotelli: Like Sterling, squandered a number of clear openings to break the deadlock. Hit the bar with a powerful effort that drew a fine save from De Gea. (5/10)

Lazar Markovic: Came on for Moreno for the final 20 minutes or so, but failed to affect the game during his cameo. (6/10)


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David De Gea of Manchester United celebrates the first goal during the Barclays Premier League match against Liverpool on December 14, 2014
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