Jack Grealish points out standout performer in Man Utd vs West Ham FA Cup tie
West Ham may have been booted out of the FA Cup on Tuesday, but it was one of their players who stood out at Old Trafford – at least in the mind of Jack Grealish.
The Aston Villa captain was watching on as Man Utd battled their way into the quarter finals thanks to Scott McTominay's strike in extra-time.
United had been forced to call on the cavalry to find a way past their East London opponents, with McTominay, Bruno Fernandes and Edinson Cavani all coming off the bench late on.
Much of that was down to the Hammers' dogged and organised defending, with Grealish reserving special praise for their midfield enforcer Declan Rice.
As on a field littered with talent and big-name superstars, it was his England colleague who Grealish believes stole the show.
"What a player," Grealish wrote on Instagram during the match, accompanied with applause emojis.
The praise was certainly justified too, given Rice won more tackles than any other player on the pitch (according to FBRef.com ).
BBC pundit Ian Wright was also in full agreement as he raved about Rice's talents, which have unsurprisingly drawn admiring glances from the Premier League's elite.
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“He’s a leader and when you look at his numbers, it’s not just defensively, he gets forward, his passing accuracy, his interceptions," Wright said.
"He’s matured. The responsibility he’s got, he’s playing well, he’s leading by example, he’s doing everything. Not only can he pass it but he can run with it as well.
"He obviously needs to add more goals to his game, but he cannot be stopped with aggressive running, powerful running, passing, interceptions, everything, he’s got the lot."
Who was the best player on display at Old Trafford on Tuesday? Have your say below.
Sadly for Rice, the credit will probably come as merely a scant consolation, given West Ham's only chance of a trophy this season disappeared when McTominay found the net in the 97th minute.
And it was Rice's heavy touch on the edge of United's box which allowed the hosts to break away down the other end to score.
"Absolutely devastated. Really wanted to progress in this competition," Rice wrote on Twitter after the game.
"Apologies for the goal, needed to be better.
"Proud of the lads tonight, massive effort. Focus back on the league now! We go again."
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