Monday, 14 February 2011

United player ratings

Hart Could not have done much more with either goal - certainly not the second one. Punching and distribution better than for England in midweek. 7

Richards Continued in the trend of recent improvements with a fearless performance down the right flank. Given the occasion, this was his best game this season. In the opening spell, his direct running was an important contrast to our midfield ball-players. He needs to learn to cross but even without that he's a threat. Completed 8 from 8 tackles, although Ryan Giggs had some fun with him once or twice. 7

Kompany One of his best games yet in a towering season. For 78 minutes he dealt masterfully with Wayne Rooney, making every tackle and interception perfectly. To see important players do so well in the biggest games is rewarding, especially given that our top performers haven't always shown up to recent derbies. Might just have reached the cross for Rooney's goal, but one wouldn't want to be too critical. 8

Lescott Surprisingly preferred to Kolo Touré but he was strong and competent. Even distribution, not always his strongest point, was fine. 7

Zabaleta Stayed at left-back as Aleksandar Kolarov was kept on the wing. He was fine, really, except for when he wasn't: shamefully sloppy in pursuit of Nani for United's opening goal. There are moments when you wonder whether he's quite good enough, and this was one of them. Attacking play limited by Kolarov's presence. 5

Milner Nominally replacing Nigel de Jong, he shuttled manfully out to the right, never really creating much but keeping the ball well. Went off injured after an hour. 6

Barry Got through some important midfield work, and his passing was fairly competent, completing 48 from 56 passes. I think his big game performances have improved this season after a few evasions last year. 7

Silva Hard to describe. Started by inspiring a beautiful piercing move in the second minute, which climaxed with him skewing the ball wide from three yards out. Then went on to play glorious football for an hour, drifting and turning and passing better than anyone else on the pitch, before finally scoring a goal - with his back. As with Kompany, it was impressive to see our best players bringing their best game to the biggest stage. 8

Yaya Touré Completed more passes than anyone else on the pitch (61 from 79), and he was dynamic and subtle in our enjoyably strong start. Only had space to run into once or twice but he moved the ball well and worked harder defensively than usual. 7

Kolarov Looked very unfit and blunt. I don't know whether it's because he played for Serbia in mid-week but he was slow off the ball and his first touch would have embarrassed Kelvin Etuhu. Hooked early in the second half but it could have been sooner. 4

Tévez Very quiet at the start, which owes something to the excellence of the United defenders. Had he been in the game more we might have turned that early possession into chances or goals but he was very well-smothered. Improved when Džeko came on, as he could play deeper and with one of the defenders distracted: he completed more passes in the 30 minutes he was behind Dzeko (23) than he did in the hour when he was on his own (19). 5


SWP Livened City up with some width and vigour. His cross led to Silva's goal and he was a surprisingly effective option. City career might just be salvaged. 7

Džeko Expert assist for Silva's goal. Otherwise quiet. n/a

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