Home » Article » Bruno: 7.5, Varane: 8, Rashford: ?? | Manchester United players rated in the 2-1 win against Manchester City | FA Cup Final 2023/24

Bruno: 7.5, Varane: 8, Rashford: ?? | Manchester United players rated in the 2-1 win against Manchester City | FA Cup Final 2023/24

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Bruno: 7.5, Varane: 8, Rashford: ?? | Manchester United players rated in the 2-1 win against Manchester City | FA Cup Final 2023/24

Manchester United players rated in the 2-1 win against Manchester City

With the season having ended for most of the Premier League clubs, the Manchester clubs were in action in a highly anticipated FA Cup final clash. Having already snapped up the Premier League, Pep Guardiola’s men had set their sights on the double. Manchester United on the other hand had a desperate motive of avoiding yet another trophyless season.

There were a lot of narratives surrounding the game but not much superseded that expectation/situation surrounding Erik ten Hag’s future at Old Trafford. Prior to the game, it emerged, according to the Guardian that the Dutch coach would be let go irrespective of what happened in the finals.

Raphael Varane was set to have one last outing in a Red Devils shirt and expectedly started the game. There were a lot of murmurs of how the Red Devils players would react to the latest developments surrounding the club in the past 48 hours, ahead of arguably their biggest game of the season.

All eyes were on Erik ten Hag; his eyes were on the Cup
All eyes were on Erik ten Hag; his eyes were on the Cup

Meanwhile, the noisy neighbours who have been dominating English football for quite some time now came into this game as clear favourites. Not many teams in the world would fancy their chances against this Pep Guardiola-driven machine but rivalry is always an unpredictable factor that adds to the edge in these clashes.

Man City lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Cult hero Stefan Ortega retained his place in between the sticks in the absence of Ederson. He was guarded by a backline of Kyle Walker, John Stones, Nathan Ake and Josko Gvardiol.

In midfield, Pep opted for control over flair, starting Mateo Kovacic alongside Rodri in a deeper role. In front of the sitting midfield duo, the Spanish tactician arguably three of the most exciting playmakers in the world in Kevin de Bruyne, Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva. As expected, Erling Haaland rounded off the attack. As one would expect from City though, this is just a formation for the paper and fluidity is the key on the pitch.

Erik ten Hag on the other hand continued to persist with this new false 9 formation that he has been deploying in recent weeks. Andre Onana took his place in between the sticks. In front of him, the Dutch coach for a change had a favourable backline of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Raphael Varane, Lisandro Martinez and Diogo Dalot.

Sofyan Amrabat and Kobbie Mainoo were the holding midfielders with Casemiro missing out. The flanks were guarded by a returning Marcus Rashford and Alejandro Garnacho with Scott McTominay and Bruno Fernandes operating as the false nines.

It was a first half of dreams for Erik ten Hag’s men who might not have seen this coming. Man Utd made the most of a lethargic City performance strewn with individual errors and went 2-0 up in the first half itself.

Coming into the second 45, Man United would have known that there was no chance Man City would play as poorly as they did in the first half. City were much more involved in attack in the second half but the Red Devils defended like their lives depended on it until the 85th minute.

Doku scored City’s first goal of the game, making things interesting. However, Man United managed to see the game out despite constant threat from Pep Guardiola’s men. Ultimately, solid game from the Red Devils who now have a trophy this season.

Here is how the Manchester United players fared in the FA Cup final against Manchester City

Andre Onana: 8/10

Routine save from a meek Bernandro Silva shot – his only notable contribution in the first half. Coming up against Man City, that can only be taken as a positive. Saw Erling Haaland hit the bar 10 minutes into the second half – a shot he could only watch.

Much more busy in the second half. Wonderful save to stop a powerful long ranger from Kyle Walker, which he would have seen late as it came through a crowd. Yet another impressive save to deny Walker later in the same half. Imperious in the air as Man City created a number of crossing situations from dead balls and in normal play. After having been so good throughout the game, he should have stopped Doku’s shot at his near post, despite the deflection. 0.5 points were taken off for that goal he let in.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka: 8/10

Switched back to the right for tonight’s game, arguably in anticipation for the battle against Jeremy Doku but Pep did not start the Belgian. Hardly any work for fullback in the first half with Gvardiol playing on the left wing.

Had his task cut out in the second half with Pep bringing Doku on at halftime. Matched the Belgian step to step, with ETH asking him to manmark the Belgian. Very impressive from Wan-Bissaka.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka was back on the right side of defence
Aaron Wan-Bissaka was back on the right side of defence

Raphael Varane: 8/10

Mentality monster! Cometh the big game, cometh the man. Flawless first half from the ex-Real Madrid superstar in his final game for the Red Devils.

Called on much more regularly in the second half and kept thwarting attacks continuously. Some way to bow out from his much underappreciated and injury-marred Man United career.

Lisandro Martinez: 8/10

Class apart! How different would Man Utd’s season have been, had this man been fit? The 1.75m tall Argentinian absolutely bossed the 1.94m Norwegian in the first half, not giving him an inch of breathing space. Went off with what looked like cramps (hopefully) in the 73rd minute, which is understandable given his lack of match practice. Oh yeah, riled up Kyle Walker as his final act while walking off the pitch.

Oh Lisandro, where have you been?
Oh Lisandro, where have you been?

Diogo Dalot: 7/10

Peach of an over-the-top ball aimed at Garnacho eventually led to Man Utd’s opener, against the run of play. Wasn’t tested defensively that often with Bernardo Silva often deserting the right wing but kept making forays forward. Solid way to cap off a solid season.

Kobbie Mainoo: 7.5/10

Garnacho scored; Mainoo can’t be left behind, can he? The teenager in his breakthrough season at Man Utd was at the right place at the right time and conjured a cool finish that gave Ortega no chance to put the Red Devils 2-0 to the good.

Booked at the cusp of half-time for a late (reckless?) challenge on Kevin de Bruyne. Awful defending of Erling Haaland during a corner in the second half almost gave Man City a penalty. Mixed bag, but the goal earns him brownie points.

Kobbie Mainoo midfield masterclass
Kobbie Mainoo midfield masterclass

Sofyan Amrabat: 7.5/10

Kept it neat and tidy in the first half, continuing his good run of performance of late. Did a great job supporting Aaron Wan-Bissaka throughout the second half whilst defending Doku in a 1v1 situation but gave away a silly freekick at around the 80th-minute mark. Good game from the Moroccan is possibly his last time in a Red Devils shirt.

Alejandro Garnacho: 7.5/10

Garnacho was given a Christmas gift seven months in advance and boy, didn’t he take it. Yes, it was an Ortega mistake but it was initiated by the youngster’s run. Yet another good run saw Marcus Rashford bundle the ball into the back of the net but the teenager was fractionally offside. Involved in the second goal as well.

Comparatively quiet in the early stages of the second half but tested the goalkeeper at the near post around the 70-minute mark. Energy personified.

Alejandro Garnacho was not saying no to that gift
Alejandro Garnacho was not saying no to that gift

Marcus Rashford: 7.5/10

Made a few good runs early on but could not beat Kyle Walker in a foot race. Bundled the ball into the net after getting on the end of a Garnacho cross but was ruled out for offside in the buildup. His cross-field switch to Garnacho in the build-up to the second goal was a sight for sore eyes. Energetic performance that would have caught the eye of Gareth Southgate, who was in attendance today. Taken off in the 74th minute for Rasmus Hojlund.

Marcus Rashford was constantly on the shoulder of Kyle Walker
Marcus Rashford was constantly on the shoulder of Kyle Walker

Scott McTominay: 6/10

McTominay was hardly seen on the ball in the first half. Created chaos off the ball with the City defenders not knowing who to pick up. Arguably Man United’s most intense presser alongside Bruno Fernandes. Not much to write home about in the second half either. Bang average performance from the Scottish midfielder. Taken off really late.

Bruno Fernandes (C): 7.5/10

The False 9 was involved regularly in the first half. The icing on the cake was his no-look, perfectly weighted pass to Mainoo for Man Utd’s second goal. Should have played Rashford in, early in the second half. Tame freekick after Rasmus won a foul – should have done much better.

Jonny Evans: 6/10

Came on for Lisandro Martinez in the 73rd minute.

Rasmus Hojlund: 7/10

Came on for Marcus Rashford in the 74th minute. Won a free kick in a dangerous area minutes after coming on.

Victor Lindelof: N/A

Didn’t do much to warrant a rating.

Mason Mount: N/A

Helped see out the game.

Erik ten Hag: 8/10

Was this his parting gift to the Manchester United fans? Perfect plan in the first half from the Dutch coach. Set his team up to sit back, soak pressure and hit on the break. Aided by a poor first half from Man City but take nothing away from him.

Not much to write home about the second half which was more a team’s defensive performance than anything else. If this was indeed his last game as a Man United manager, he has bowed out in some style! Most importantly, he has made sure Man United have a place in Europe next season.