Cardiff vs Manchester United player ratings: Who shone in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's first game?

United struck five in the league for the first time since Sir Alex Ferguson's final match

Harry Latham-Coyle
Sunday 23 December 2018 09:38
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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's career in numbers

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer enjoyed a dream start to life at the helm as Manchester United wound back the clock at Cardiff and scored five goals in a Premier League match for the first time since Sir Alex Ferguson retired.

Poor performances and notable background issues cost divisive Jose Mourinho his job on Tuesday, with the Old Trafford giants turning to a fan favourite and former reserve team boss for the rest of the campaign.

United could scarcely have wished for a better start as they struck five in the league for the first time since Ferguson's final match at the helm in May 2013. Marcus Rashford, Ander Herrera and Anthony Martial all scored in an entertaining first half, with Jesse Lingard's second-half brace sealing a 5-1 win at Solskjaer's former club Cardiff.

Entertaining, coherent and attack-minded - it was all that United had not been under Mourinho.

Here's how both sets of players rated:

Cardiff

Neil Etheridge: 6 out of 10

A couple of strong saves, and without error or fault for any of the goals.

Bruno Ecuele Manga: 6 out of 10

More typically a centre-back and Martial’s pace ruffled him at times, but looked more solid than most in the Cardiff team.

Sean Morrison: 5 out of 10

Not entirely sure he won a single header despite being the target for a slew of long throws.

Sol Bamba: 6 out of 10

Gave away a penalty with a clumsy challenge on Lingard, but without him Cardiff could well have conceded more.

Greg Cunningham: 5 out of 10

Though the deflection was unfortunate, could have done more to close down Herrera.

Aron Gunnarsson: 5 out of 10

Combative in midfield, earning a deserved yellow after a string of fouls. His long throws never really threatened.

Harry Arter: 5 out of 10

Barely noticeable in a quiet showing in midfield as Cardiff constantly gave the ball away, and hauled off on the hour mark.

Victor Camarasa: 6 out of 10

Perfectly-taken penalty and some dangerous deliveries from corners and free kicks.

Camarasa scored from the spot

Junior Hoilett: 5 out of 10

All but anonymous throughout. Substituted on 73 minutes having barely touched the ball.

Callum Paterson: 5 out of 10

Not a natural striker and it showed. Cardiff had no-one to hold the ball up and their possession woes were not aided in this regard.

Josh Murphy: 6 out of 10

Bright in the first half and with better service from teammates could have caused Manchester United more bother.

Subs:

Kenneth Zohore (61 minutes): 6 out of 10

Added something to Cardiff’s attack, forcing David De Gea into a good low save. He can be an asset for Neil Warnock if back in the manager’s more permanent thoughts.

Kadeem Harris (73 minutes): 5 out of 10

Failed to really impact the game after coming on.

Joe Ralls (82 minutes) N/A

Manchester United

David De Gea: 6 out of 10

Made the saves he had to, and conceded solely the penalty, even if he wasn’t threatened too often.

De Gea couldn't do anything about the penalty

Ashley Young: 7 out of 10

His delivery was consistently threatening. Untested defensively.

Phil Jones: 6 out of 10

Didn’t have too much to do during the course of the game.

Victor Lindelof: 7 out of 10

Similar to Jones. Earns an extra point for a confident rampage forward that should have earned him an assist, Rashford missing after a clever threaded pass through.

Luke Shaw: 6 out of 10

Junior Hoilett barely saw the ball, and thus Shaw was not troubled in his primary capacity. Offered himself as an outlet often.

Ander Herrera: 7 out of 10

A deflected strike to double Manchester United’s lead in the first half. Ran superbly without tiring.

Herrera scored an excellent goal

Nemanja Matic: 7 out of 10

Broke things up when he had to though Cardiff had enough trouble finding teammates without his presence. Won every Gunnarsson long throw over Sean Morrison in impressive fashion.

Paul Pogba: 7 out of 10

Started brightly but faded a little bit, perhaps a tad leggy in the second half, but popped up at the death with a well-weighted assist.

Jesse Lingard: 8 out of 10

Confidently seized the penalty-taking opportunity after being fouled and took it nicely. Seemed to have been given considerable freedom, which he relished and utilized well, his movement particularly impressing. Took his second nicely.

Lingard scored twice

Marcus Rashford: 7 out of 10

Cleverly hit free kick to open the scoring, though poor to concede a very soft penalty after handballing. However, Rashford threatened constantly both in behind and in front of the Cardiff defence, though his decisiveness and technique in front of goal could have been better.

Anthony Martial: 8 out of 10

Scorer of a gorgeous team goal, started and finished by him. Really impressive on the left, menacing with the ball at his feet and with his movement without it.

Subs:

Fred (79 minutes) N/A - not on long enough to rate

Marouane Fellaini (86 minutes) N/A - not on long enough to rate

Andreas Pereira (86 minutes) N/A - not on long enough to rate

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