Player Ratings: United 3-2 Stoke

Certainly not a classic United performance, but it was a classic way for United to win. A lacklustre performance, trailing for the majority of the game, yet van Persie and Rooney equalisers, and a Hernandez winner ensures United grab 3 precious points at home to Stoke.

David de Gea: Couldn’t do anything about the Stoke goals, was let down by the guys in front of him. Made some fine close range saves to keep United in it at 1-0. Also raced off his line in the 2nd half to clear the danger. 7/10

Chris Smalling: Surprisingly included at right back ahead of Rafael, probably selected for his height/strength, but was ripped to bits by Arnautovic and Pieters. Never overlapped Nani or really threatened in the attack. Poor. 4/10

Phil Jones: Didn’t do too bad but part of a back 4 that weren’t working as a unit. 6/10

Jonny Evans: Should have arguably done better in clearing the ball before the opener after de Gea saved. Overall, not the best performance but not the worst. 6/10

Patrice Evra: As usual these days, far better going forward than backwards. Kagawa on the left meant Evra had to be the left winger leaving him out of place defensively at times. 6/10

Nani: Another surprise selection after Valencia’s strong midweek performance, and after this one, Nani might not see his name on the team sheet for a while. Was booed off the pitch after a poor performance including shooting aimlessly wide from over 40 yards! Wasteful 3/10

Michael Carrick: Not his finest 90 mins, some loose passing from the midfield man today and didn’t get us ticking. 6/10

Tom Cleverley: Rusty performance after returning from injury, didn’t do too bad but never really made anything happen. Replaced by Hernandez as United chased the game 6/10

Shinji Kagawa: On the left of midfield, Shinji didn’t really affect the game. Stoke were too strong for the Japanese man and he wasn’t able to impact the game like he did in midweek. 6/10

Wayne Rooney: Again, the main threat, when he was on the ball, you sensed something may happen. His header in the first half was saved and followed in by RVP. Rooney scored one of his own in the 2nd half seconds after the Stoke fans had been goading him. Great response. 8/10

Robin van Persie: It was a relatively quiet game for RVP, doesn’t seem the same as last season at the moment, still finished with a goal and an assist though. Can’t wait until he is on fire! 7/10

Substitutes
Adnan Januzaj: Came on to a rapturous reception following the departure of Nani. Did well on the right, drew fouls, an made things happen. 7/10

Javier Hernandez: Moyes stook Chicharito up top with RVP, Rooney dropped deep into midfield. Didn’t set the game on fire, but did the job, scored the winner…again! The boy is born to score goals. 7/10

Antonio Valencia: Had a great impact after he came on for Smalling! Really got forward from right back, getting beyond Januzaj down the right side on numerous occasions. 6/10

A special mention has to be made towards manager David Moyes, he has been slated by fans and opponents alike over his tactics. Today, despite maybe making a few surprises in the selections, down the right side especially, his substitutions certainly were not negative! It was nice to see him going all out attack at the end and it payed off with 2 late goals and the win! Winning the United way!

Onwards for United, the Carling Cup fixture against Norwich later this week followed by Fulham away at the weekend. We need to pick up maximum points down at Craven Cottage to keep up the pressure on the others and relieve some on us


About Ben 128 Articles
27 year old football writer from South Yorkshire. United fan and Season Ticket holder in the Sir Alex Ferguson stand.