Home » Man United 1-1 Athletic Bilbao: Player Ratings

Man United 1-1 Athletic Bilbao: Player Ratings

by Vatsal Gupta

Manchester United scored late on to draw against Athletic Bilbao 1-1 in a friendly at Ireland’s Aviva Stadium today. Here are our player ratings for the game.

(A score of 6 is around average)

Tom Heaton 6- Couldn’t do anything about the goal. The improvement he has shown in his ball-playing skills at this stage of his career is appreciable. Will easily find Premier League suitors if the club allows him to leave.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka 7- Would have been disappointed to be a part of the “Second XI” but after another composed performance here, combined with Diogo Dalot’s error yesterday, should be the one to start against Wolves on Matchday 1.

Victor Lindelof 6- Doesn’t look as good next to Maguire as he did next to Luke Shaw/Lisandro Martinez last year. Played his trademark raking passes and had a surprise spell at left-back.

Harry Maguire 4- Culpable for Bilbao’s first goal. Stuck in a vicious cycle of bad performance->criticism->low morale->bad performance. Needs to leave for his own sake. Did come back well from his mistake though by assisting Pellistri’s leveller.

Alvaro Fernandez 5.5- Tyrell Malacia’s injury afforded him precious minutes this pre-season but has done nothing to suggest he should be preferred over the Dutchman. Remains defensively suspect and almost gave away a penalty. Promising in attack.

Christian Eriksen 6.5- Kept things ticking from deep and played some good passes into dangerous areas but the difference in athleticism between him and Mason Mount makes a night-and-day difference to United’s general play. Almost scored with a free-kick.

Dan Gore 7- Threw himself about as usual. Getting a reputation for being an aggressive player but has probably impressed Ten Hag enough this pre-season with his authoritative game. A loan might help him develop more than youth football now.

Donny van de Beek 5-  Found himself as the furthest player forward at times in a reprisal of his Ajax role. That’s where the Ajax similarities end. Played some cute passes but likely not suited to this iteration of Ten Hag’s United and was the only player subbed off at half-time.

Facundo Pellistri 8- He continues to look direct and electric whenever he plays and punctuated a great performance with the leveller in the 92nd minute. Amad’s injury might open up some minutes for him. Shouldn’t be loaned again this season. There’s a real player there.

Omari Forson 7- Looked more enterprising and fearless than in his previous appearances. Remains some way off first-team contention, but a good season for the U21s could open professional football’s doors for him.

Jadon Sancho 7.5- After uncountable experiments with his role, Ten Hag might have found the ideal role for him as a False 9. Linked play brilliantly, and used his nifty dribbling to great effect in close quarters but finishing remains a pain point.


Hannibal 7- More involved in the build-up play than Van de Beek and almost drew United level. Forced a red card for Bilbao after winning the ball off the last defender. Will probably go on loan with United’s midfield crowded.

Joe Hugill 5- A Marcus Rashford-like emergence on the first-team would have secured his United future in the absence of natural strikers in the squad but has shown little to suggest he’s ready for such a spotlight. Another season in youth football beckons.

Jonny Evans 6.5- Partnered with Harry Maguire in what might be one of the slowest centre-back pairings. Showed some good defensive awareness with interceptions and well-timed tackles. Almost scored late with United a man up. Got yellow-carded for a clumsy challenge after getting nutmegged.

Noam Emeran 6- Came late on and showed some nice attacking endeavour but didn’t play a huge role in United breaking Bilbao’s resolute defence.

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