There were a few bright displays in a game where Manchester United failed to impress.
Manchester United drew 1-1 with West Ham United in an FA Cup quarter-final, with Anthony Martial and Guillermo Varela the standout performers on the day.
A stunning free-kick from Dimitri Payet handed the Hammers the lead in the game, but Martial rescued a replay when he bundled home from Ander Herrera’s excellent cross.
Varela, who seems to have ousted Matteo Darmian from the side, played well at right-back. He showed tremendous pace to catch Payet when the forward was clear through on goal.
In the end, a draw was a fair result, but West Ham will fancy their chances against a mediocre United side when the two meet at Upton Park in a replay. Here are the player ratings from the game.
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David De Gea: 7
The Spaniard did well to claim a number of dangerous crosses and, as usual, his distribution was impeccable. He may, however, feel he could have done better to stop Payet’s free-kick, given how far out it was. De Gea did showcase his shot-stopping ability late on when he palmed Michail Antonio’s driven effort around the post.
Guillermo Varela: 8
The Uruguayan has performed brilliantly since the turn of the year. Now that he has seemingly fought his way into the starting XI, his display vs. West Ham should ensure he stays there. He was bright and adventurous in attack. His blistering speed was on show when he caught Payet to prevent him from running through on goal. Varela appeared to go off with an injury, which will be a blow for United.
Chris Smalling: 7
There appear to be two sides to Smalling. On the one hand, he is commanding and uncompromising when up against attackers. On the flip side, though, he is far too hesitant in possession and sometimes uses the ball poorly. Against West Ham, he played well without reaching the heights of some of his early season performances.
Daley Blind: 6
The Dutchman continues to look fatigued and really, really needs a rest. His corner-kicks against the Hammers were so poor. His passing wasn’t as crisp as it normally is. Although the free-kick that was awarded in the buildup to Payet’s goal was contentious, it was Blind who conceded it.
Marcos Rojo: 5
The Argentine was perhaps fortunate not to concede a penalty moments before Payet scored. Throughout the game, he came off second best in so many challenges. Despite getting forward reasonably well and creating United’s best chance in the first half, Rojo played clumsily and won’t remain in the starting XI when injured players return.
Michael Carrick: 6
The captain on the day passed the ball fairly well but seemed to be a yard off the pace, as he has been all season. Deployed in his best position at the base of a three-man midfield, Carrick performed much better than he did at Anfield on Thursday, although a misplaced pass almost led to a second West Ham goal late in the match.
Marouane Fellaini: 5
The Belgian is one of the least intelligent players of all time. When a free-kick wasn’t given for a foul on Jesse Lingard, Fellaini – for some reason – bundled Mark Noble to the ground and picked up a yellow card seconds later. It was brainless, stupid play from someone who continues to commit so many needless fouls. There were few complaints – none at all, in fact – when he was substituted.
Jesse Lingard: 6
The right-winger was missed at Anfield on Thursday, but in this game, his lack of flair and creativity came to the fore. United needed some invention, and Lingard was never likely to provide it. He did, however, combine nicely with Herrera to create the equaliser.
Ander Herrera: 7
The Spaniard was energetic and industrious, but should have done better with a shot on the edge of the penalty area in the first half. In the second period, his clever one-two with Lingard and well-placed, chipped cross put the ball on a plate for Martial to score. It was precisely that type of attacking play from Herrera that United had lacked all game.
Anthony Martial: 8
In this game – and indeed the season as a whole – the Frenchman was the one United player to offer a consistent threat. The Hammers doubled up well on him in the first half, but he still managed to create a few openings. In the second half, he did well to hook a left-footed shot back across goal and earn United a replay.
Marcus Rashford: 6
The teenager has started six games in a row for United now and looks tired. Playing as the No. 9 in the team, Rashford worked hard, ran throughout the match, turned the West Ham defence with a nice flick, but failed to have any real impact.
Bastian Schweinsteiger: 7
Despite appearing to foul Darren Randolph in the lead-up to United’s goal, the German showed why he has been sorely missed in the last two months he’s spent injured.
Memphis Depay: 6
The Dutchman continues to shoot wildly from outside the penalty area. One such effort rebounded into Payet’s path and nearly set the attacker through on United’s goal. Memphis did, at the very least, inject some pace into United’s play.
Matteo Darmian: 6
The Italian appears to have lost his place to Varela in the starting XI but may now return if the Uruguayan is injured.
Overall, in a game where United failed to really string together attacking moves in the way you might expect, it was bright performances from Martial and Varela that helped to secure a replay.