Player Ratings: Man Utd 2-0 Brighton

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Manchester United will be in tomorrow’s FA Cup semi-final draw following our 2-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion at Old Trafford this evening.

Romelu Lukaku headed home from close range after 39 minutes after we opened the game by taking it to the fellow Premier League side.  Nemanja Matic scored in the final 10 minutes with a header from Ashley Young’s free kick.

The visitors had more efforts on target during the game but Sergio Romero was only forced into one spectacular save, whilst Chris Smalling had hit the outside of the post at 0-0.

Here are how our players fared:

Sergio Romero 8

Excellent save to deny a powerful effort from Jurgen Locadia on the hour.  Sergio Romero was called into more action than Jose Mourinho would have liked but we kept a clean sheet none-the-less.

Antonio Valencia 7

Read a through ball very well to deny Jurgen Locadia a one-on-one.  However, Antonio Valencia allowed the same forward a free header at the back post minutes later but fortunately couldn’t direct it on target.  The Dutch forward gave our captain and defence a tough second half.  Poor delivery when forward down the right wing.

Eric Bailly 7

Made an important interception to deny Leonardo Ulloa from close range in the first half and had the Argentine striker in his pocket after.  Eric Bailly had another good game in the back four after a nervy start that included a few stray passes.

Chris Smalling 8

Made a key block to deny Jurgen Locadia in the final 10 minutes when Brighton were having a good spell on top and had sights on our goal.  Hit the outside of the post shortly before Lukaku headed us in front.

Luke Shaw 4

Looked all at sea before being replaced by Ashley Young at half-time.  Wasn’t offered a great deal of help defensively by Anthony Martial but also never pushed forward a great deal.

Scott McTominay 8

There were a number of situations this evening where Scott McTominay showed great composure and calmness under pressure.  The youngster got on the ball a lot and looks to be getting better game after game.

Nemanja Matic 9

Excellent in the centre of the park once again today.  Nemanja Matic saw a lot of the ball and was useful with it in completing nearly all of his passes and bringing the ball forward.  Was a rock in front of the back four as Brighton relied on attacking down the wings.  The Serbian provided the cross for Lukaku’s goal before heading home our second in the final 10 minutes.

Juan Mata 6

Juan Mata kept the ball ticking in the Brighton half.  Some nice touches and passes but didn’t unlock the Brighton defence himself.

Jesse Lingard 6

Saw a lot of the ball but didn’t do anything special with it – Jesse Lingard didn’t test Tim Krul nor create anything for teammates.

Anthony Martial 6

Didn’t help Shaw or Ashley Young out very much defensively.  Looked to offer a threat to the Brighton defence but didn’t test their goalkeeper.

Romelu Lukaku 6

Another winner in the FA Cup from Romelu Lukaku who peeled away from his marker at the back post to head home Nemanja Matic’s cross from two yards out.  Other than that the striker barely got a touch of the ball and when he did he wasn’t great at holding the ball up or bringing teammates into play today.

Substitutes

Ashley Young (45 mins) 6 – Brighton spent more of the second half attacking down our right than left.  Ashley Young provided the free kick from which Matic sealed the victory.

Marcus Rashford (16 mins) N/A – Won the free kick from which we scored our second goal.  Marcus Rashford’s pace looked to threaten Brighton but never did get played in.

Marouane Fellaini (0 mins) N/A – Came on in stoppage time to get another Manchester United appearance next to his name.


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