Man Utd winners, losers & ratings as super subs Rashford & Martial rescue Red Devils

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Marcus Rashford Anthony Martial Cristiano Ronaldo Manchester United 2022-23
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The substitutions of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial saved Manchester United from embarrassment against Omonia Nicosia.

Heading into half-time a goal behind thanks to a great finish from Karim Ansarifard, Erik ten Hag needed changes, desperately.

He replaced Jadon Sancho and Tyrell Malacia - who had torrid first halves - with Rashford and Luke Shaw and the rest is history. The former took less than 10 minutes to drag his side level and he would be involved in the other two goals that the Red Devils would score.

Anthony Martial was also brought into the action and he combined with his fellow substitute immediately after coming on to give Manchester United the lead.

As the game opened up, Cristiano Ronaldo continued to hunt a 700th club career goal and it was one of his shots that brought the third goal as Rashford tapped in at the back post with an open goal at his mercy.

After all that, there was time for more panic from the visitors as they allowed the hosts a glimmer of hope. Nikolas Panayiotou found the back of the net in the 85th minute but Manchester United were able to cling on for an important victory.

Below, GOAL runs through the winners and losers from the 3-2 win in Cyprus.

  1. The Winners
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    The Winners

    Marcus Rashford:

    The 24-year-old continues to enjoy something of a renaissance for Manchester United this season. Having been rested, he came onto the pitch at half-time for Jadon Sancho and changed the game almost single-handedly.

    Less than 10 minutes after being introduced, he dragged his side back on level terms with an excellent finish into the far corner. Another 10 minutes later and he turned provider, supplying a lovely flick to Martial before adding a second goal of the night with a simple tap-in from Ronaldo's cross-cum-shot.

    Anthony Martial:

    Speaking of the Frenchman, he's another who came out of the game shining. He replaced Fernandes in the 61st minute and scored a brilliant goal in the 63rd minute.

    Like Rashford, he has injected some much-needed life into his Manchester United career recently and he extended his run of providing a goal contribution in every game he has played this season. In just over 100 minutes of football in the Premier League and Europa League, he has scored three goals and added one assist.

    Cristiano Ronaldo:

    The 700th club career goal still eludes the 37-year-old but it was his most complete performance of the season. His link-up play was much improved and his runs helped his teammates, most notably the one he made which gave Rashford space for the equaliser.

    Yes, he should have scored at least once but it was a performance from Ronaldo that shows he can still play a key role in a fluid attacking line-up. His combination and relationship with Rashford could also be very important for Ten Hag as the season goes on.

  2. The Losers
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    The Losers

    Jadon Sancho:

    It couldn't have been a much worse evening for him. He struggled to impose himself on the game in the first half, stitched up Malacia for the opener and was replaced by the goalscoring Rashford at half-time.

    A couple of goals this season are still failing to mask a really poor start to life at Old Trafford. United supporters are still waiting on the return on the (significant) investment on the 22-year-old from last year.

    Tyrell Malacia:

    A rare blot on a rather strong copybook for the young left-back this evening. Going forward, he was largely invisible and he made the crucial error that could have brought disaster for Manchester United.

    The second-half goals from Rashford and Martial ultimately bailed him out but it is unacceptable to make such a costly mistake against opposition like Omonia. Fortunately, he was taken out of the spotlight at half-time by Ten Hag.

    Erik ten Hag's team selection:

    While his substitutions changed the game in a positive way, his decision to start a very strong team backfired. The Manchester United boss will have been hoping that the game was wrapped up early on so that he could rest his players for the Premier League clash on Sunday night.

    That wasn't the case at all and he actually had to strengthen his side from the bench to ensure they picked up an important victory. The win was important but it will still be worrying just how complex the visitors made it look against their Cypriot opposition.

  3. Ratings: Defence

    Ratings: Defence

    David de Gea (5/10): Only made one save all night but had to pick the ball out of his net twice. Couldn't really do much for either of the goals but such is the business of being a goalkeeper.

    Diogo Dalot (6/10): A solid, if unspectacular, performance. Defended well when asked and even created a gilt-edged chance for his compatriot Ronaldo which he somehow missed.

    Victor Lindelof (6/10): Similarly to Dalot, did enough when he had to but still part of a defence that conceded two goals against extremely inferior opposition.

    Lisandro Martinez (7/10): The stand-out defender for Manchester United, by some way. His passing through the lines was excellent and his defending was typically aggressive and perfectly-timed.

    Tyrell Malacia (4/10): After a relatively bright to start to life at United, it was an evening to forget for the youngster. It was his indecision that led to the hosts pinching the ball and scoring the opening goal. He was rightly replaced at half-time.

  4. Midfield
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    Casemiro (6/10): An unsurprisingly solid performance from the five-time Champions League winner. It wasn't quite a stand-out performance but he did the basics with ease.

    Christian Eriksen (6/10): Another visiting player who was solid and nothing else. He looked after the ball well every time he had it but didn't do anything extraordinary.

    Bruno Fernandes (5/10): These are the kind of games where you'd expect him to stand out and dictate the attacking proceedings but he wasn't good enough. Although, his performance was saved by a pinpoint long-range ball that brought Rashford's equaliser before being substituted for Martial.

  5. Attack
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    Antony (5/10): A frustrating night. A brilliant piece of goalkeeping denied him an opening goal but nothing really came off for the wideman and he was replaced in the second half.

    Cristiano Ronaldo (7/10): A performance that had everything but a goal, and he really should've scored. He was denied by a great save in the first half but hit the post with a wide-open net at his mercy in the second half. His cross-cum-shot was turned in at the back post by Rashford.

    Jadon Sancho (4/10): Like Malacia, he was deservedly withdrawn at half-time. He didn't offer anything going forward and somewhat stitched Malacia up in the incident that led to Omonia's goal. His replacement then scored the goal to level the scoreline.

  6. Subs & Manager
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    Subs & Manager

    Luke Shaw (7/10): Almost impossible to turn in a worse performance than Malacia but the England left-back was faultless in his defending and provided a threat going forward. Did his hopes of a return to the starting XI no harm at all.

    Marcus Rashford (8/10): Made an instant impact after being introduced at half-time with a brilliant finish to make it 1-1. Soon after, he turned provider with a neat flick path into the path of Martial who put the away side in front.

    Anthony Martial (7/10): Another immediate impact from the bench. He replaced the disappointed Fernandes and finished brilliantly to put the visitors in front.

    Fred (6/10): Did everything that would've been asked of him after coming on

    Scott McTominay (6/10): Didn't have long enough to positively or negatively affect the game.

    Erik ten Hag (6/10): Poor initial team selection meant he had to turn to his bench to change the game. Although, his subs were immaculate and they ensured the awful first half was rectified. An important win for Ten Hag and his players