Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford made the difference off the bench as Manchester United came from a goal down to beat Omonia Nicosia 3-2 on Thursday.

Manchester United started the game strongly, dominating the proceedings in the opening quarter. While they took some time to create their first chance, they engineered a flurry of opportunities, only for their profligacy to leave Erik ten Hag frustrated. And Omonia Nicosia punished Manchester United after the half-hour mark.

Bruno Felipe won the ball from Tyrell Malacia before setting up Karim Ansarifard, who made no error in beating David de Gea. Manchester United continued to push for chances, but Omonia went into half-time with a slender advantage. Erik ten Hag introduced Marcus Rashford at the break, and the English international made the difference.

Rashford brought Manchester United back on level terms less than ten minutes into the second half with a superb strike from the edge of the Omonia box. Rashford then set Anthony Martial just seconds after the Frenchman’s arrival. Martial finished off a slick team move to hand the visitors the lead.

Manchester United continued to push for more goals before doubling the advantage through Rashford, who tapped in from Cristiano Ronaldo’s scuffed shot. But there was time for some late drama as Nikolas Panayiotou pulled a goal back a minute later. However, the Red Devils held on to grab the win, and The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Erik ten Hag’s men.

David de Gea: 6/10

David de Gea could not have done much to keep out either Karim Ansarifard or Nikolas Panayiotou. But he continued to look uncomfortable while trying to play out from the back. Something has got to give at Manchester United.

Diogo Dalot: 6/10

Dalot was one of several players who seemed determined to deliver the assist for Cristiano Ronaldo’s 700th club goal. But the Portuguese international saw his compatriot smash the upright from his cutback. Otherwise, there was very little to write home about his performance.

Victor Lindelof: 6/10

Lindelof has not played much this season, and that showed as he was slow to acclimatise to the game’s pace. But the Swede was decent enough for the most part and completed all but five of his attempted passes.

Lisandro Martinez: 6.5/10

Martinez oddly seemed Manchester United’s best bet to make things happen at times. And the Argentine was involved in the build-up to Anthony Martial’s goal, finding Marcus Rashford before the Englishman set up the French attacker. He was reasonably solid defensively but should have done better to track back in the build-up to Omonia’s second.

Tyrell Malacia: 3/10

Malacia lost the ball inexplicably before Omonia embarked on an express counter-attack for the opener. The Dutchman remained untroubled other than that moment, but he did not carry a threat in the final third, a side of his game he needs to address.

Casemiro: 6/10

Casemiro needs to produce colossal performances to usurp Scott McTominay, but that did not happen on Thursday. The Brazilian international was decent enough at times but allowed the opposition players to drift past him on a few occasions. A first Premier League start might continue to elude him for some time.

Christian Eriksen: 6/10

Eriksen endured a mixed bag of an outing on Thursday. While the Danish midfielder played a game-high five key passes and looked dangerous on the ball, he was sub-par in the defensive phases. And the ball deflected off him on its way to Panayiotou for Omonia’s second.

Antony: 5/10

Antony was a bright spark in the game’s early stages and set up a chance for Ronaldo. The Brazilian international also came close to scoring with a long-range curler, only for Fabiano to palm the shot away. But he faded as the minutes wore on, particularly in the second half, which was the Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial show.

Bruno Fernandes: 6/10

Bruno Fernandes showed good form in the game’s early stages and engineered a few openings. The Manchester United skipper even came close to scoring, only to smash the woodwork from close range. But he opened play brilliantly in the build-up to Rashford’s first strike before making way for Martial.

Jadon Sancho: 4/10

Sancho seems like a different player after the long break. He was brimming with confidence in September but is now playing well within himself. The outing on Thursday was another dreadful display by the Englishman, who brought nothing to the table apart from completing all his attempted passes. He desperately needs to improve.

Cristiano Ronaldo: 4/10

Ronaldo was the player to watch in our preview. But he produced a disastrous performance in his desperate search for his 700th club goal. Ronaldo saw several chances falling his way, but his finishing was lacklustre.

The worst miss of the lot was from point-blank range when he had the goal at his mercy. But Ronaldo inadvertently set Rashford for the match-winner, even though it was likely another poor shot. Nonetheless, that bumps his rating slightly.


Marcus Rashford: 8/10

Rashford has enjoyed a solid 2022/23 campaign thus far. And he produced his best performance yet this term. The Englishman was a bundle of energy off the bench and showed remarkable link-up with Martial, who he set up for Manchester United’s second.

But Rashford’s best moments came in front of the goal, with his finish for the equaliser coming right out of the top drawer. Rashford also showed superb game awareness to tap in from Ronaldo’s scuffed shot. He might start on the left flank ahead of Sancho this weekend.

Luke Shaw: 7/10

Shaw was much better than Malacia in the second half, showing superb chemistry with Rashford and Martial. He also constantly attempted to push Manchester United forward, while Omonia did not threaten him from his flank.

Anthony Martial: 8/10

Martial was impressive off the bench against Manchester City, and he also made his mark on Thursday. The Frenchman linked up brilliantly with Rashford, who teed him up for his strike. He should start against Everton this weekend.

Fred: N/A

Fred produced a professional cameo after replacing Antony, completing almost all his attempted passes to keep Manchester United in control.

Scott McTominay: N/A

McTominay was a solid presence in the game’s dying embers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

I agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.


Welcome Back!

Login to your account below

Retrieve your password

Please enter your username or email address to reset your password.