Manchester United player ratings: No van Persie, no Kagawa, no chance

Wayne Rooney

Manchester United suffered a humiliating 4-1 defeat at the hands of their fierce rivals earlier today.

Vincent Ralph rates the Manchester United display player by player…

David de Gea 6

Given that the Spaniard conceded four goals you would expect his rating to be considerably less. But in truth the United ‘keeper could do little about any of City’s goals. He almost fumbled the ball into the net late on after taking two attempts to claim an Edin Dzeko shot, but he will have worse performances during which he concedes far fewer goals.

Chris Smalling 6

Playing at right-back, it was Smalling’s mistake that led to the vital second goal just before half-time. He did his best in the second half to take the game to the Blues, bounding down the flank at every opportunity. But by then the damage was done.

Nemanja Vidic 7

Were it not for the Serbian skipper, this would have been an even more embarrassing afternoon for David Moyes’ men. Putting in vital challenges in both halves, and doing his best to lead from the back, Vidic did all he could. Unfortunately for United, it was nowhere near enough.

Rio Ferdinand 6

As with Vidic, Ferdinand will look back on this match and wonder quite what happened. The damage was done with United’s midfield failing to stem the flow of City attacks. A far more comfortable second 45 minutes, as Manuel Pellegrini’s side took their foot off the gas.

Patrice Evra 7

The French full-back did everything in his power to take the game to his opponents. While the game was over just after half-time, Evra continued to charge down the flank, and was unlucky not to get a goal after his header came back off the post. While Ashley Young struggled to create anything of note from the left, Evra was a constant threat.

Antonio Valencia 6

The winger’s performance against Bayer Leverkusen suggested he was back to his best. And yet this afternoon he had little opportunity or inclination to beat his man. More regularly repeating his frustrating trait of turning back into trouble, it was only on the rarest of occasions that he showed what he could do. His failure to track back led to the opening goal; and while he did not repeat the mistake, he will know his error played a considerable part in the end result.

Michael Carrick 6

With United crying out for creativity, Carrick just could not create it. Completely overrun in the first half but a free-flowing City midfield, the England man got his foot on the ball in the second half, which is relatively easy when your opponents have little need for it.

Marouane Fellaini 6

A fantastic debut on Tuesday was swiftly replaced by this. He did his best, but with no time on the ball he could do little more than run around. He got stuck in and never shirked a challenge, but he was shown up by the midfielder he (and many others) aspires to be – Yaya Toure.

Ashley Young 4

Criticised by his manager for diving last weekend, Ashley Young got off lightly, with the criticism this week likely to be for his entire performance. His over-hit crosses and ineffectiveness saw him take an early shower, replaced by Tom Cleverley after 52 minutes.

Wayne Rooney 7

The United striker tried…really hard. And yet in Vincent Kompany he came up against a man in inspired form. Having not had a worthwhile kick in the first 20 minutes, Rooney slowly played his way into the game, and his late free-kick was an absolute peach of a strike. His effort cannot be faulted; he just came up against a defence in outstanding form.

Danny Welbeck 6

Some would say that United lost this match when the team-sheets were handed in. And while Danny Welbeck did what he always does, he is no match for Robin van Persie. He tried hard, with little end product, and questions will be asked at to why Rooney did not play up top with Shinji Kagawa in behind.


Tom Cleverley 7

The midfielder was far more effective than the man he replaced (Young), and his introduction saw a change of formation for United that suddenly prevented City from playing in between the lines. His bustle and energy was much-needed and it was clear he intended to change the game just as he did in the Community Shield match of 2011. But it was not to be.

image: © nasmac

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