Manchester United player-ratings: Only Rooney and Januzaj impress

Manchester United faced Swansea City on Saturday, but how did Louis van Gaal's men perform individually?

Manchester United kicked off the new Premier League campaign with a 2-1 defeat to Swansea City on Saturday lunch-time. Ki Sung-Yueng opened the scoring for the visitors with a fine finish in the 28th minute, and the Swans looked good for their lead.

However, the second half saw a change of formation for United and they responded with a far better performance, Wayne Rooney equalising with an overhead kick eight minutes after the restart.

However, new Swansea signing Gylfi Sigurdsson put the visitors back ahead after poor defensive play from Ashley Young and that was how the game ended.

Here Vincent Ralph rates the United players’ performances:

David de Gea 7

The United goalkeeper was not at fault for either goal and did everything else asked of him well. He will want his defence sorted out as soon as possible, with one or two experienced additions necessary if the 3-5-2 formation is to prove successful.

Ashley Young 5

Gone was the swashbuckling and free-scoring wing-back of pre-season, and in his place was the Young United fans have seen for many a season. He was at fault for the second goal after a poor defensive header.

Phil Jones 7

Jones did plenty right in this match and timed some excellent tackles perfectly. He could still excel in this formation, but there needs to be a leader in the back-three and on this evidence Jones has some way to go before he is it.

Chris Smalling 7

Smalling did well against Wilfried Bony, pulling off tackles well and striding forward effectively at times. However, like Jones he was caught out by the new formation and needs time to adapt.

Tyler Blackett 6

The debutant did perfectly okay for United, not tearing up any trees but not making any notable mistakes either.

Jesse Lingard 6

The attacking midfielder will be hugely disappointed that his debut was cut short due to a knee injury. His time will come, and he showed glimpses against Swansea. But he had little time to make a real impact.

Darren Fletcher 6

Fletcher did well for the most part but he is never going to be a player who is a catalyst for those around him. He does the easy stuff well and rarely misplaced a pass, but that is about all.

Ander Herrera 6

Herrera got stuck in and played some tidy passes. But he was anonymous at times and was replaced in the second half by Marouane Fellaini. Another player who did well but not well enough, the Spaniard must – and will – improve.

Juan Mata 6

This is the season that many expect Mata to shine for United, but it was not on the cards against Swansea. The ex-Chelsea player tried hard but was shunted around the pitch in formation changes and will have much better days than this one.

Wayne Rooney 8

The only United player from the starting line-up who can really hold his head high, his goal was splendid and he could have had more but for some fine saves from the Swansea ‘keeper. It was clear he wanted to win his first match as the club’s new captain, but it was not to be.

Javier Hernandez 5

The Mexican sharp-shooter is expected to leave United this summer, and on this evidence there is little reason to keep him. There is no doubt he is a goal-threat but when he starts he rarely threatens and the same applied on Saturday.


Adnan Januzaj (on for Lingard) 8

Januzaj performed well after replacing Lingard and was the main attacking threat from the midfield in the second half. He was unlucky not to set up a goal and has nothing to be ashamed of.

Nani (on for Hernandez) 5

The Portuguese winger came on when van Gaal changed to a 4-4-2 formation and he did what he always does, ran from one side of the pitch to the other, just about keeping the ball and then doing nothing of note with it.

Marouane Fellaini (on for Herrera) 5

The Belgian midfielder was thrown on as a make-shift forward and everything that was bad about United last season resurfaced as a result. Long balls were played forward, some of which connected with Fellaini, but he failed to have an impact.

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