Saturday, April 2, 2011

How Manchester United Rated vs West Ham

Tomasz Kuszczak- Lets face it, even if United's Polish keeper had saved both Mark Noble's penalties, and scored with a diving header in the last minute, he wouldn't have booked a long term stay at United. Ferguson's hunt for VDS' replacement will not include even just a cursory glance over Tomasz Kuszczak. However, for now at least, Kuszczak is a Manchester United player and he put in a solid performance for United, producing nothing terrible, but nothing sensational either.

Rating: 5

Patrice Evra- Subbed at the half, Evra was by far United's worst player, gifting the Hammers a penalty with a needless handball in the box. To add to his misery, the Frenchman looked fairly toothless upfront, and he failed to produce any of the lightning quick one-twos that have come to define his game in the last few years.

Rating: 2

Chris Smalling- Over the international break, Sir Alex Ferguson has done nothing but laud former Fulham defender Chris Smalling, and rightly so as the English defender has been terrific this year. However, today's match won't be remembered to fondly by the youngster, who looked shaky, much like the rest of the back four, and managed to miss several decent opportunities off corners.

Rating: 3

Nemanja Vidic- Usually a rock, Vidic was absolutely hopeless today, and it was his mistimed challenge that led to West Ham's second penalty. It could have been worse for him though, late in the first half he rugby tackled Demba Ba to the ground, and was lucky that the referee only deemed the challenge worthy of a  yellow card.

Rating: 3

Fabio- By far the best of Manchester United's defenders, Fabio looked solid at the back, and dangerous in the attacking third. His link up play with Valencia was superb all game, and his fabulous wing play won United a penalty which was converted by Rooney.

Rating: 7

Ryan Giggs- At his age, it is simply phenomenal that Ryan Giggs is still playing, and he put in another decent shift today. Although his crossing was a little off, Giggs' overall passing and midfield play was solid. In the second half, Giggs was moved to left back, a position change which suited United quite well as they came from behind to win.

Rating: 6

Ji-Sung Park- Returning from injury, Park looked a wee bit off the pace for large periods of the first half. With United two-nil down, Park was presented with the Red Devils' best chance of the first forty-five which he blasted straight at Robert Greeen.

Rating: 4

Antonio Valencia- Since making his return against Arsenal, Valencia has been in fabulous form and that run was continued today. His link up play with right-back Fabio was superb, and his pace and trickery caused Wayne Bridge all kinds of problems, especially in the first half.

Rating: 8

Darren Gibson- Given a rare start due to the suspension of Paul Scholes, Gibson played a solid, if not too spectacular game. Known for his amazing shooting, Gibbo's radar seemed to be a little off today, as demonstrated when he blasted Dimitar Berbatov's pull back miles over the bar late in the second half.

Rating: 4

Michael Carrick- Once again Carrick lacked the guile and the creativity to make something happen at the heart of United's midfield, and one wonders how long Ferguson will persist with him in the starting line-up. Returning to his old club, it must have been a some what emotional game for Carrick, but his performance was mediocre at best.

Rating: 4

Wayne Rooney- Since his return to form, Rooney has shown a knack for scoring goals at the right time, and he was at it again today, with a second half hat trick stealing the points for United. On all three of his goals Rooney showed terrific composure, and his touch to set himself up for the equalizer was simply sublime.

Rating: 11 (not a typo)

Dimitar Berbatov- One of two brilliant substitutions from Ferguson, Berbatov helped United retain the ball in the latter stages, as well as provide a decent threat up top. As usual his touch was magnificent, and his strength majestic, the only thing missing from Berba's cameo was a goal.

Rating: 9

Chicharito Hernandez- Truly the man to make the impact for United, Chicharito came on for Patrice Evra at half time, and showed the sort of enthusiasm and movement that has earned him such a high reputation. Simple at first glance, Chicharito's goal was actually the result of a brilliant bit of off the ball work, with his gamble to make a run to the front post paying off hugely.

Rating: 8

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