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07th Mar 2019

Single Manchester United player given 8/10 in l’Equipe player ratings and Bailly gets lucky

Conan Doherty

Well, to be honest, l’Equipe’s 8 out of 10 is another man’s 23

It takes a lot to get any kind of a bump up from the most notoriously stingy quality assessors in the business.

The news that Dusan Tadic got a 10 out of 10 for Tuesday night’s demolition of Real Madrid should never have really been a talking point for what was one of the all-time great Champions League performances from the Serb but, as it transpired, it was only the 10th time l’Equipe have bestowed that honour on any player, going back decades.

So the fact that Romelu Lukaku was awarded an eight is a pretty big deal, even if he was the match-winner in a phenomenal European night that was brought about by magic against all the odds.

It wasn’t as good a night for Eric Bailly who you’d be more critical of if he wasn’t hopelessly out of position.

It was bad enough that the stand-in right back didn’t seem to grasp the offside line because he was moved a few metres wider on that very same horizontal line, but he was intent on tucking inside for no apparent reason and allowing Angel Di Maria the freedom of the Parc des Princes.

After a while, PSG smelled blood and overloaded the left-hand side until Bailly did everyone a favour 36 minutes into the game and went off with an injury. It was strange with Dalot on the bench and Young ahead of him on the pitch that Solskjaer persisted with the centre back on the flank and, if l’Equipe weren’t sparing him by not offering a rating, you’d be fearful that they’d be considering minus numbers, given whatever metric they use and given his night.

Smalling was justly served a 7/10 – again, another man’s 9 – for what was a colossal display at the heart of defence, never mind having to content with Mbappe all night.

Lindelof rated the same beside him whilst the stone-cold Marcus Rashford also got a 7.

By comparison, 5 out of 10 was PSG’s best, with Buffon given a 2 – perhaps mostly for dropping the clanger that led to United’s second goal.