Manchester United continued their resurgence under Erik ten Hag with a stirring 2-1 win over Manchester City at Old Trafford. Jack Grealish put the visitors ahead, only for late goals from Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford to turn the tide. With the visitors previously leading, however, Express Sport will now take a look at three players who have been let off the hook.
United star Anthony Martial passed a late fitness test prior to kick off, having previously been a doubt for the game.
And while he can be commended by playing through the pain, it was a dire day at the office for the France international.
Martial riled Old Trafford by refusing to press aggressively during the early embers of the contest, with supporters venting their frustrations from the sidelines.
And he was utterly toothless up top before coming off at half time.
It arguably wasn’t his own fault that the 25-year-old started, despite not being fully fit, but he clearly wasn’t at the races for his side today.
Man Utd transfers: Unstoppable XI if Amazon take over and spend big
Aaron Wan-Bissaka has shown signs of improvement for United in recent times and, for the most part, hasn’t put a foot wrong.
But he was at fault for City’s goal, allowing Grealish a free header which the former Aston Villa star then duly converted.
Wan-Bissaka also offered precious little going forward, a complaint that has been levelled at him throughout much of his time at Old Trafford.
According to reports, United are no longer looking to move the 24-year-old on this month.
But they clearly require an upgrade, especially when Diogo Dalot is stuck on the sidelines through injury.
Ten Hag’s main four transfer targets revealed
Man Utd have 10 players who may leave in 2023
Depay to Man Utd and other deals we want to see
When Raphael Varane starts, United are usually better than this.
Yet like former Real Madrid team-mate Casemiro, the France international wasn’t at his best throughout the showdown at Old Trafford.
Varane was guilty of losing Kevin De Bruyne in the build-up to City’s goal and that mistake proved costly.
Better days lie ahead for the recent World Cup finalist.
Yet Varane’s overall display wasn’t good enough and he appeared too focused on Erling Haaland to pick up the other City dangermen.
Want the latest football news? Join our brand new Facebook group by clicking here
What next for United?
United will be hoping to build on their win over City when they lock horns with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Wednesday night.
The Red Devils have been good on the road in recent times and will certainly be hoping to continue their fine form.
After that, United face Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners have been flying this term but the Red Devils remain the only team to have beaten them in the top flight.
That was back in September, with United winning 3-1 courtesy of a goal from Antony and double from Marcus Rashford.
Walton explains Man Utd goal
One big talking point was Fernandes’ goal, with many feeling Rashford was offside.
But Peter Walton, in the BT Sport studio, explained the decision to give the goal by saying: “Well let’s just say I think this is a goal.
“You’re quite right in saying that Rashford has moved for the ball, hasn’t interfered with the ball, hasn’t played the ball himself, the flag goes up because of the offside position but when VAR look at this and when the assistant discusses this with Stuart Atwell, I think this is a goal.
“The law was amended to actually counter that argument of whether he touches the ball or does he interfere with an opponent playing the ball.
“He does neither, so as the law stands he hasn’t done anything wrong, it’s actually very good play from Rashford himself.”