PLAYER RATINGS: Dalot and Varane impress but Nunez poor in draw

PLAYER RATINGS: Diogo Dalot and Raphael Varane stand firm in Man United’s draw with Liverpool as Darwin Nunez delivers a poor display and Dominik Szoboszlai loses his spark

  • Manchester United forced Liverpool to settle for a goalless draw at Anfield 
  • United’s defenders impressed while several Liverpool players were below par 
  • CHRIS SUTTON: Erik ten Hag was WRONG to say Man United played well after their Champions League exit… is he losing credibility? It’s All Kicking Off 

Manchester United forced Liverpool to settle for a goalless draw at Anfield, preventing Jurgen Klopp’s side from rising to the top of the Premier League. 

In a game of few chances, the visitors, who saw Diogo Dalot dismissed in stoppage time for two quickfire yellow cards, held firm to move into seventh place.

Several players impressed with Diogo Dalot and Raphael Varane frustrating the hosts, while Darwin Nunez and Dominik Szoboszlai dropped below their usual levels.

Mail Sport‘s LEWIS STEELE has rated both sets of players.

Here is how they have fared…

Manchester United forced Liverpool to settle for a scrappy goalless stalemate at Anfield

United, who moved into seventh place, saw Diogo Dalot dismissed late on in stoppage time

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Alisson – 6.5

Barely had anything to do until United’s first shot on target came on 67 minutes but stood tall to thwart Hojlund from close range. Good handling and distribution from Liverpool’s Brazilian keeper.

Trent Alexander-Arnold – 7.5

Came the closest of any Liverpool player to scoring after 66 minutes when he pulled a shot agonisigly wide of the post. Alexander-Arnold’s main contribution, though, came with a phenomenal tackle on 55 minutes as he just nicked the ball from Garnacho’s feet.

Trent Alexander-Arnold came the closest of any Liverpool player to breaking the deadlock

Ibrahima Konate – 6.5

Some good distribution and he generally kept Hojlund and Co quiet. Also did well to cover Alexander-Arnold as the Englishman wandered forward. Will be a big season for injury-prone Konate with Joel Matip out for the season.

Virgil van Dijk – 6

Very commanding game for the Liverpool skipper as he allowed United little space. The Dutchman bullied United’s attackers and he did not allow Hojlund a sniff as Ten Hag’s side looked for balls over the top.

Kostas Tsimikas – 6.5

Got forward well and kept Antony quiet as the Brazilian tried to skip past him several times. Tsimikas rarely gives possession away and has dispelled any worries Liverpool had when Andy Robertson dislocated his shoulder.

Wataru Endo – 5.5 (BOOKED)

Sloppy on the ball at times and struggled to impact the game. Broke up play well as United looked to counter attack.

Wataru Endo was sloppy on the ball at times and struggled to make an impact on the game

Dominik Szoboszlai – 5.5

Was the shining light of this Liverpool side in the early weeks of the season but the Hungary captain has lost a spark in recent weeks. A few misplaced passes and sloppy touches early on for Szoboszlai.

Dominik Szoboszlai has lost his spark in recent weeks and was guilty of a few misplaced passes

Ryan Gravenberch – 6

Glided through United’s midfield at times and the Dutchman has a good burst of pace. Struggled to really impact this game, though.

Mohamed Salah – 7

Looked the most likely to create something for Liverpool but it wasn’t Salah’s day. Had a couple of sights of goal but all of his shots on target seemed to end up in the grateful grasp of Onana.

Darwin Nunez – 5 (BOOKED)

Bad tackle on Evans early on and was booked for giving the referee some lip. Was a poor outing for Nunez overall, who has just one league goal since September. Also lost the ball too easily several times with wayward passes.

Darwin Nunez delivered a poor outing and has one league goal to his name since September

Luis Diaz – 6

Liverpool’s biggest danger early on but faded in the second half. Perhaps had Liverpool’s best chance but was thwarted by Onana. Hasn’t quite rediscovered the sky-high standards he set in the opening weeks of the season.


Cody Gakpo (for Gravenberch 61) – 6

Joe Gomez (for Szoboszlai 61) – 6

Curtis Jones (for Diaz 77)

Harvey Elliott (for Nunez 77)

Manager: Jurgen Klopp – 6

Will be incredibly frustrated as his team could not break down a stubborn United side. Klopp made four attacking changes and altered his system several times but none of his tweaks really impacted the game.

Unused subs: Caoimhin Kelleher, Adrian, James McConnell, Jarell Quansah, Conor Bradley


Andre Onana – 7.5

Some wayward passes but hard not to be pleased for Onana after many observers had already written him off. A calming presence as his distribution improved – including one that nearly sent Antony free on goal – and made several big saves to deny the likes of Salah, Konate and Diaz.

Diogo Dalot – 8 (SENT OFF)

Perhaps a weird call to give player of the match to a man that was sent off but United’s full-back put in an imperious display to keep Diaz quiet on that side. Made several last-ditch interceptions and also barely lost possession.

Diogo Dalot was imperious and kept Luis Diaz quiet with several last-ditch interceptions

Raphael Varane – 7.5

Made sure that Nunez barely had a sniff as Varane started his first Premier League match since September. A fall-out with the manager seems to be behind the Frenchman, who was commanding in an aerial sense and and showed his experience.

Raphael Varane made sure Nunez barely had a sniff throughout and was commanding in the air

Jonny Evans – 7

Passing left a bit to be desired but Evans keeps up a bizarre stat that he has never been on the losing side in this fixture. Showed good pace for his age to keep up with Salah in a late counter-attack.

Luke Shaw – 7 (BOOKED)

Salah could have had the England international on toast but Shaw ensured it ended a fairly even battle. Made a bad tackle towards the end to stop a counter-attack – some might say it showed good experience.

Kobbie Mainoo – 7 (BOOKED)

Should start every game for United when fit. Calm on the ball, always looks to progress play with forward passing, and has a good energy in midfield to break up play. If there was a bit more time, one might have fancied him for the England squad.

Kobbie Mainoo was calm in possession and should start every game for United when he is fit

Sofyan Amrabat – 6.5 (BOOKED)

Another who has been under heavy scrutiny since his summer move to Old Trafford but the Moroccan put in a decent shift in midfield here.

Antony – 6.5

United would have won this match if Antony had a bit more end product in his locker. The Brazilian got into some dangerous positions but could not find the final pass. Bought some fouls to ease pressure, though, and put in some hard yards defensively.

Scott McTominay – 6.5

A constant source of energy in United’s midfield as they ceded much possession but the Scotsman offered little going in the other direction. Had a decent sight of goal towards the end but fired straight into the arms of Alisson.

Alejandro Garnacho – 6

Offered an outlet on the left-hand side but was perhaps let down by his team-mates struggling to find him. Helped out defensively to combat the likes of Salah and Alexander-Arnold on his side.

Rasmus Hojlund – 6

Still no Premier League goal for Hojlund, who had just four touches in the first half. The Dane had some good link-up play as the game ticked on, though, and had a glorious chance on the 67th minute but shot straight at Alisson’s chest.

Rasmus Hojlund squandered a golden chance after firing his effort straight at Alisson’s chest


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Marcus Rashford (for Garnacho 71) – 6 (Booked)

Facundo Pellistri (for Antony 82)

Hannibal (for Mainoo 82)

Manager: Erik ten Hag – 8

Will be criticised for negative tactics but Liverpool would have wiped the floor with his team if the Dutchman did not keep it tight at the back. After recent stories of dressing-room discontent, all of United’s players appeared to buy into Ten Hag’s game-plan here.

Unused subs: Altay Bayindir, Sergio Reguilon, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Donny van de Beek, Daniel Gore, Willy Kambwala.

Referee: Michael Oliver – 6

Fair play to Oliver for standing up to descent from Dalot in stoppage time, although it did seem a bit strange to send him off. Managed the game fairly well otherwise.

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