Ryan Giggs rolled back the years to help United to a 2-0 win at home to Everton as the Welsh veteran’s first half goal sent United 12 points clear of Man City at the top of the league.
Giggs, who maintains his phenomenal record of scoring in every Premier League season, opened the scoring on 13 minutes with a right footed effort that trickled over the line after hitting the post. This came moments after RVP had rounded ‘keeper Tim Howard but his right footed effort cannoned off the post and away from goal.
United, who made 4 changes to the starting lineup, began well but allowed Everton a foothold in the game, however United repelled all attacks and kept Everton at bay with relative ease. Phil Jones, who started in Central Midfield alongside Tom Cleverley, did a particularly good job in keeping Fellaini quiet. Wherever the big Belgian went, Jones followed.
The result was sealed on the stroke of half time when Rafael’s lovely through ball found Robin van Persie, the dutchman took the ball around Howard once again, but this time, the Dutchman did what he does best, and found the back of the net, despite the efforts of Heitinga.
United defended resolutely throughout, without the United goal ever really coming under threat. David de Gea only having 2 saves to make, one in each half, as well as a couple of first half punched clearances. The often under fire keeper kept his doubters quiet today.
David de Gea: Didn’t have a lot to do apart from a couple of saves and clearances but a spectator for the most part. Great to keep his clean sheet. 7/10
Rafael: Had a brilliant game, a few crosses let him down but everything else was excellent. Tackled, ran, blocked, made things happen, including providing the assist for RVPs goal. 9/10
Jonny Evans: Another good game for the Northern Irishman, which is fairly usual for him these days. Replaced in the 2nd half due to cramp. 8/10
Nemanja Vidic: Great to have our Captain back. Its no surprise the clean sheets are coming thick and fast. Marshalled defence well. 8/10
Patrice Evra: Lots of runs down the left, but not his most productive game. Steady. 6/10
Antonio Valencia: Best perfomance from Valencia whilst in the famous No.7 shirt. Shades of Valencia from last season. Attacked and pressured down the right, linking well with Rafael. 8/10
Phil Jones: Had a really good yet understated game, didn’t do anything special, but what he did do was mark one of the Everton dangermen, Marouane Fellaini, out of the game. Tracked the big Belgian’s every move and stopped him from playing. Effective. Replaced due to a slight knock. 8/10
Tom Cleverley: A decent game for Tom, but not his best. Almost scored with a fine second half volley apart from a good save from Tim Howard. 7/10
Ryan Giggs: 39 years old, and still tearing it up like its ’99. Scored his first League goal of the season, maintaining his amazing record. Despite a poor start to the season, Giggs is one of the form players in the side. Wonderful to watch. 8/10
Wayne Rooney: After his goalscoring exploits of late, Rooney wasnt at his best against his childhood team, but he did work hard and tracked back throughout. 7/10
Robin van Persie: After his relatively barron run (by his standards), RVP was back amongst the goals today. On another day, he would have had a hat trick. Denied by the post in the first half and shot wide in the 2nd. Some delightful touches and movement for the dutch master. 8/10
Michael Carrick: Came on for Jones who took a knock, but carried on where Jones had left off. A decent outing. 7/10
Chris Smalling: Not a lot to do when he came on for Jonny Evans in the 2nd half. 6/10
So thats it. 12 points clear of City at the top of the league, and no more league games for a couple of weeks. Next weekend we face Reading at home in the FA Cup but between now and then, United have the small matter of a trip to Madrid to face Mourinho’s ‘Galacticos’ in the Santiago de Bernabeu. Lets hope Ronaldo cant bring himself to hurt his old team.
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