David de Gea 6 De Gea had little to do but fumbled the one real test Preston threw at him. Deflection didn’t help him but it was a small error in an otherwise flawless system.
Antonio Valencia 6 Potentially will have an own goal next to his name but had a solid game overall. Defended well and put in a good cross for the goal that put United ahead.
Chris Smalling 6 Looked unsettled by some of Preston’s balls into the box but managed to deal with most things admirably. Has continued to look solid as he did before Christmas alongside Rojo.
Marcos Rojo 6 As in previous cup games, showed he was up for the fight. A few rash tackles but that’s become one of the reasons fans love him. Continues to improve.
Luke Shaw 7 Very solid performance from the left-back. Defended well and used his pace to good effect but attacking and when chasing back. Hopefully now he can put a run of games together.
Daley Blind 6 Struggled at times defensively with little protection but was as cool as ever on the ball, dictated play perfectly at times.
Ander Herrera 7 A tale of two halves for the popular Spaniard. Nothing special early on but the goal changed his performance as well as the game. Has done himself no harm.
Marouane Fellaini 7 Really did the business in the second half. Moved up front and did his usual thing of causing havoc in the Preston box. Grabbed a well deserved goal that put United ahead.
Angel Di Maria 6 Frustrating but brilliant at times. Balls in behind gave Preston issues and his pace caused them even more issues. For once, final ball was lacking but at least he looked lively.
Wayne Rooney 6 Looked better up front, connected well with Di Maria and offered much needed pace in behind. Got his first goal since Boxing Day.
Radamel Falcao 4 Sadly, another night where it didn’t quite happen for Falcao. Worked hard and looked up for it but quality was again lacking. Looked disappointed to be subbed.
Ashley Young 6 Changed the game in United’s favour and continued the form he had shown before his injury. Proving to be a real outlet for van Gaal.