Omonia Nicosia 2-3 Man Utd: Player ratings as substitutes Rashford and Martial save the day

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Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial came off the the bench to spare Manchester United’s blushes as they both scored in a 3-2 comeback victory over Cyprus’ Omonia Nicosia.

 Manchester United were caught on the counter when Karim Ansarifard fired home a fine opener late in the first half, but second-half introductions from Rashford and Martial made things right for Erik ten Haga’s side as the duo took United to three points.

Omonia had ten men behind the ball at the start and it took around ten minutes for United to manage their first real chance. Christian Eriksen lost Antony and the ball found its way to Cristiano Ronaldo, whose low drive brought out an excellent save from stopper Omonia Fabian.

Antony then refused to shoot when he was one-on-one and instead cut the ball back to Bruno Fernandes, but his pass was behind the Portugal international and the danger was cleared.

Just seconds later, Fernandes hit the post with a fine lobbed half-volley before Fabiano produced another impressive save to keep out Antony’s curling effort.

Manchester United threw everything at Omonia to take the lead but were punished on 34 minutes when they sent nine men forward for a free-kick. The last line of defence, Tyrell Malacia, was passing the ball around in the Omonia half and the Cypriots countered into an empty United half, with Ansarifard firing past David de Gea to give the visitors a shock lead heading into the break.

Rashford, who replaced Jadon Sancho at the break, equalized seven minutes into the second half with a superb strike from the edge of the penalty area.

Martial joined in on the class fun and got on the scoresheet moments after coming on. The Frenchman combined with Rashford to pick up the ball on the edge of the box and drill a low effort into the bottom corner.

The substitution put United firmly in the ascendancy, but Omonia almost equalized through Bruno, who beat the offside trap but failed to get the connection needed to lob De Gea.

With just over ten minutes remaining, it looked like Cristiano Ronaldo would finally grab his 700th club goal when Diogo Dalot’s cut-back almost gifted him an open goal, but the experienced forward could only watch as his strike machine-gunned back off the post. .

He may not have scored, but Ronaldo had assisted Rashford’s second goal five minutes earlier. It may have been a shot from the Portuguese, but it found its way to the substitute, who tapped into the empty net.

With the celebrations still going on, Omonia pulled one back through Nikolas Panayiotou after some sloppy play at the back from United, who had only themselves to blame for the nervy finish.

Ronaldo and Rashford both fluffed counter-attacks that would have killed the game, but United held on to secure all three points.

Man Utd player ratings vs Omonia (4-2-3-1)

GK: David de Gea – 5/10 – Wasn’t particularly busy but perhaps could have done a little more to prevent the opener.

RB: Diogo Dalot – 5/10 – Really poor in the first half but put in a decent shift after the break. Some nice attacking runs.

CB: Victor Lindelof – 4/10 – Slow sideways passes and reluctant to take any risks. Played exactly like a player who knows he’s tumbling down the pecking order.

CB: Lisandro Martinez – 6/10 – Not really busy at the back and was more focused on trying to make something happen in attack. Some nice passing.

LB: Tyrell Malacia – 3/10 – Did nothing going forwards and made a stunning error to gift Omonia the opening goal. Not helped by his entire team leaving him on his own but he should still have done so much better.

DM: Casemiro – 4/10 – Not involved in much going forwards and was far too slow to get back when Omonia countered.

DM: Christian Eriksen – 5/10 – Did very little in attack but gets a boost to his rating for being the only player putting in maximum effort to get back for the goal.

RM: Antony – 6/10 – A number of dangerous moments. Asked Omonia plenty of questions but made a poor decision with his sloppy cut-back to Fernandes.

AM: Bruno Fernandes – 5/10 – Pretty quiet in the first half but a sensational pass up to Rashford for the equaliser.

LM: Jadon Sancho – 3/10 – Wasteful in the first half and was hooked at half-time, perhaps as a result of his lack of effort to get back after his poor pass in the build-up to the goal.

ST: Cristiano Ronaldo – 6/10 – Actually looked quite dangerous in the early stages but was seen screaming expletives towards the heavens more often than not. An unselfish run for Rashford’s equaliser, so fair play.

SUB: Luke Shaw (46′ for Malacia) – 6/10 – Just did his job, which was a welcome improvement from the first half.

SUB: Marcus Rashford (46′ for Sancho) – 8/10 – A goal and an assist within 15 minutes of coming on. Offered everything United had been lacking without him.

SUB: Anthony Martial (61′ for Fernandes) – 7/10 – Scored with his third touch and continued to look dangerous. A starting spot is in his near future.

SUB: Fred (74′ for Antony) – 6/10 – A quiet cameo.

SUB: Scott McTominay (81′ for Casemiro) – N/A

Manager: Erik ten Hag – 7/10 – Made gutsy decisions to hook Sancho and Fernandes but clearly got the rewards. A powerful message sent to his struggling starters.

Player of the Match – Marcus Rashford

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