David de Gea 6 – Sent the wrong way by a penalty in the first half. Made two strong saves after the break. All in all, though, a pretty quiet day for the Spaniard.
Ashley Young 7 – Produced a series of pinpoint set-pieces and, with the license to go forward, provided a dangerous dimension of attack on the right.
Phil Jones 6 – With Manchester United dominating possession, the Englishman did not have to do much whatsoever. Solid performance.
Victor Lindelof 7 – There were two occasions when Lindelof brought play out of Man United’s half and ended up in the box, such was his skill and determination in moving forward. A classy display.
Luke Shaw 7 – At Anfield, full-backs couldn’t cross the touchline, but with the freedom endowed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Shaw was essentially playing as a second left-winger.
Nemanja Matic 6 – Occasionally lost his position in the first half but, with United in total control, played a calming, balanced role in midfield as the game went on.
Ander Herrera 7 – Wonderful display. Zoomed around the middle winning back possession and scored a superb long-range goal.
Paul Pogba 8 – No United player looked more liberated by Jose Mourinho’s absence than Pogba. Deployed higher up the pitch, with movement around him, the midfielder controlled proceedings throughout in majestic fashion, claiming two assists.
Jesse Lingard 7 – Buzzed around the pitch like a true demon, always looking to link with players near him and maintaining a level of intensity rarely seen under the previous regime. Scored United’s fourth from the spot and rounded the keeper to claim the fifth to cap off an incredible second period.
Anthony Martial 8 – Magnificent. Absolutely tore Cardiff’s right hand side apart, weaving and charging past players at will. His goal in the first half – a wonderful team goal started and finished by the youngster – had Manchester United written all over it.
Marcus Rashford 7 – Gave away a penalty and missed a penalty but, more generally, this was a ferocious performance down the middle. Ran in behind whenever he could, using Lingard and Martial near him to good effect. Got the ball rolling with a sublime free-kick after four minutes.