Wayne Rooney and David De Gea.

Where are they now? The last Man Utd XI to beat Liverpool at Anfield in 2016

On January 17, 2016, Manchester United beat Liverpool 1-0 in what remains the Red Devils’ last victory at Anfield. 

Wayne Rooney scored the game’s only goal as United completed a league double over their rivals for a second consecutive season.

We’ve taken a look back at United’s side from that day to see how they’ve fared since.

GK: David de Gea

The Spanish goalkeeper racked up over 500 appearances for the Red Devils across 12 seasons with the club. Despite things ending on a sour note, there’s no doubting De Gea’s status as a modern-day legend.

Since being released in the summer, the 33-year-old has bided his time before committing to his next club. He reportedly snubbed a lucrative offer from Saudi Arabia in the summer in the hopes of landing a contract elsewhere in Europe.

He’s not the only former United player that’s currently out of work either.

David de Gea during the UEFA Europa League match between Manchester United and Barcelona at Old Trafford, Manchester, February 2023.

READ: 6 former Man Utd players we can’t believe are currently free agents: De Gea, Lingard, Jones…

RB: Ashley Young (Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, ’42)

Young reinvented himself as a full-back during Van Gaal’s tenure, becoming a consistent and reliable performer in his new role.

The 38-year-old is still going strong in the Premier League today playing under Sean Dyche at Everton. In the current United squad, only Diogo Dalot, Bruno Fernandes and Andre Onana have racked up more minutes than Young in the Premier League this season which is some going.

One of 15 academy graduates under Van Gaal, Borthwick-Jackson was released by United in 2020 and now plays for Slask Wrocław in Poland.

CB: Chris Smalling

Smalling won the United Players’ Player of the Year award in 2015-16 but fell out of favour after the arrival of Harry Maguire in 2019.

Following a successful loan stint at Roma in 2019-20, the centre-back then joined the Serie A side on a permanent deal, bringing an end to his 10-year spell at United.

CB: Daley Blind

After playing under Van Gaal at international level for the Netherlands, Blind reunited with the manager at Old Trafford in 2014.

The versatile defender won the FA Cup, League Cup and Europa League at United but slipped down the pecking order under Jose Mourinho.

After enjoying stints with Ajax and Bayern Munich, Blind must be loving life at Girona right now. The Spanish club currently top La Liga and look like a fierce competitor for Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Daley Blind

READ: An ode to Daley Blind, the slender defender who defies modern logic

LB: Matteo Darmian

Darmian only ever had a bit-part role during his four years at Old Trafford and returned to his native Italy in 2019, joining Parma in a £1.4million deal.

The full-back has since joined Inter Milan and has managed to get his hands on five trophies while in Italy. Darmian also went close to winning the Champions League, only for Inter to fall short in the 2023-24 final.

CM: Marouane Fellaini

Despite being a much-maligned figure at Old Trafford, Fellaini was a regular in the United team under Van Gaal and Jose Mourinho.

But he was immediately deemed surplus to requirements by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and joined Chinese Super League side Shandong Luneng in January 2019.

The 36-year-old has spent the last five years playing in China but is now on the lookout for his next club upon leaving Shandong Luneng earlier this year.

READ: Nine of Marouane Fellaini’s most crucial goals for Manchester United

CM: Morgan Schneiderlin

Having impressed in the Premier League with Southampton, Schneiderlin joined United in 2015 but failed to recapture the form he had shown on the south coast.

He played just 11 league minutes under Jose Mourinho and went on to rejoin former manager Ronald Koeman in Everton in January 2017.

After a bright start, things didn’t go as planned there either and the midfielder then had spells in France and Turkey before joining Greek side Kifisia in the summer.

CM: Ander Herrera (Memphis Depay, ’72)

Herrera became a fan favourite at Old Trafford but called time on a five-year stay at the club when his contract expired in 2019. The midfielder spent three years in France with Paris Saint-Germain before rejoining Athletic Bilbao last year.

Depay failed to live up to expectations during his 18 months at Old Trafford but he has found success elsewhere. His most prolific stint came with Lyon and after a short spell with Barcelona, he joined Atletico Madrid last season.

RW: Jesse Lingard (Juan Mata, ’66)

Lingard broke into the United first-team under Van Gaal and scored the winning goal in the 2016 FA Cup final, which turned out to be the manager’s last in charge of the club.

The 31-year-old currently finds himself without a club after being let go by Nottingham Forest in the summer. Despite going on trial with Saudi outfit Al-Ettifaq, a contract didn’t follow.

Mata undoubtedly provided some memorable moments for United – including his overhead kick winner against Liverpool in 2015 – and he’s now in the twilight of his career playing in Japan for Vissel Kobe.

ST: Wayne Rooney

A boyhood Everton fan, Rooney ended his 11-year Anfield goal-drought by netting a 77th-minute winner in this fixture.

After a half-decent return to Goodison Park, he spent a couple of seasons in MLS with DC United before ending his playing career with Derby County.

He’s since gone into management and following spells with DC United and Derby, he managed to land the Birmingham City job in October. It’s certainly not been smooth sailing for Rooney at St. Andrew’s so far as he’s won just two of his first 10 games in charge.

LW: Anthony Martial

Martial made his United debut in the reverse fixture against Liverpool in 2015-16, coming off the bench to score a sensational solo goal at Old Trafford.

Now 28, the France international is the only player from United’s starting XI in 2016 who is still at the club today. While he has shown glimpses of talent in a United shirt, it is the main consensus that Martial hasn’t really lived up to expectations at Old Trafford.

His contract with the club is up in the summer and while United do hold the option to extend his deal by a further year, they are not expected to trigger this option.

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