The player ratings from United’s capitulation at Stamford Bridge.
De Gea – 5 – Effectively helpless for the goals but conceding four goals from four shots on target represents a day to forget for the goalkeeper touted as the best in the world.
Valencia – 5 – Was the one member of United’s defence who wasn’t completely awful, but still, the Ecuadorian’s below par display was typical of the day.
Smalling – 3 – Heavily featured in each of Chelsea’s goals. May well have been his worst showing in for the club at a time where the jury is surely out on whether or not he has the capability to lead a United team that is capable of challenging.
Bailly – 5 – Very poor alongside Smalling.
Blind – 4 – Moved central after the injury to Bailly but last season’s central defensive partnership was rocky and porous.
Fellaini – 4 – The issue with Fellaini is that if United do not control a game, his contribution often becomes notable in its absence. His role as spoiler has become that of the team he plays for. Apparently selected for his capability to follow out instructions but the simple truth is his numerous limitations identify him as a player who should not be part of any strategy for Manchester United that isn’t labelled last-ditch. And even then…
Herrera – 5 – Looked okay and forced Courtois into a first half save but was bypassed in midfield as Chelsea dominated.
Pogba – 4 – Another abysmal display from the world’s most expensive player. After a number of poor league performances, it was hoped the Europa League display might inspire a bit of confidence. Perhaps his presence is undermined by that of Fellaini but one expects so much more; his lack of urgency when United were chasing the game suggests hopes that a modern hybrid of Keane and Robson arrived from Juventus were wide of the mark.
Lingard – 4 – Another poor display – in big games like today, his selection often seems as if it is one with a substitution in mind. Offers running and enthusiasm, to an extent, but even then, there is a crucial lack of application which was evident in the derby and again today.
Rashford – 5 – Should he played out wide right? His best position in the side is still up for debate, though it must be said that he has probably been United’s most impressive forward player this season. He fashioned a chance with a great cross when invention was at a premium.
Ibrahimovic – 4 – Anonymous again. His capacity to linger on the periphery of games was hailed as an indication of his ability to strike at any moment but is becoming more and more Berbatov-esque.
Rojo – 4 – Started a Chelsea attack and did little else. Bewildering that he is still selected when Luke Shaw and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson are contracted to the club.
Mata – 5 – The thinking was right but by the time he was introduced the game was gone and so his ability to influence it was nullified.
Martial – 5 – Introduced too late to make a notable influence.
Mourinho – 3 – A big game for the ex-Chelsea boss who probably endured his worst afternoon since becoming a manager. But he must now begin to take stock of his decisions. He got it wrong in the derby, and his selection was questioned at Anfield when it seemed better options were available. He has shown himself capable of ruthlessness, as Wayne Rooney can testify, but there are other names who are just as unworthy as a place in United’s team. Chris Smalling is due a return to the sideline to give Eric Bailly and Daley Blind a chance to rebuild their relationship which was perhaps harshly and prematurely torn apart after the defeat to City. Marouane Fellaini has no business starting a game of this magnitude if United are serious about their ambitions and the same could sadly be said of Jesse Lingard. Ibrahimovic showed an excruciating glimpse of his ability when fashioning a late chance, to pose the question, is his poor form down to supply or himself? Luke Shaw and Anthony Martial should be gifted immediate recalls but there is no guarantee of that, nor does the suggestion even begin to explain the manager’s naivety at Stamford Bridge.
The selection was another attempt at spoiling, or, to be kind, being disciplined – it was out of the window before a minute was on the clock, and it proposed the question – when is Fellaini ever the answer? His sole purpose is to make life awkward physically for the opponent but when that is rendered irrelevant it must be stated that his selection is a waste of a player. The excuse is that Mourinho is still learning about his squad; should he continue to make these selection mistakes from now until Christmas, United supporters will begin to question the wisdom of the man deemed to be the most capable technician in the world. It’s worth pointing out that while United gained a credible draw on Monday at Anfield, there were some disappointed supporters who saw their local rivals as there for the taking. So, maybe the questions are already being asked.