Player Ratings: United 2-1 Liverpool

True to character, United made what should have been a routine win over Liverpool hard for themselves towards the end- luckily, it did not affect the result. Liverpool always, always have the game of their lives when they’re up against us, their most hated rivals- and today, they showed that to be true in the last 25 minutes.

Full credit to them for making a proper contest out of it then because United were more or less running away with it till then.

No amount of love that’s showered on Robin van Persie will quite do him justice. He was yet again the stand-out performer, scoring an excellently taken 1st and taking the free-kick that led to the 2nd goal. It would be fair to say that our players were all over them in the first half, with Welbeck (on multiple occasions) and Kagawa (at least once) contriving to miss several chances. We should have been out of sight but allowed things to become a bit tight by letting Strurridge pull one back for them. It was a good save from DeGea off Gerrard’s shot but really daft of Rafael- who was having a brilliant game till then- to let Sturridge sneak up on him and put the ball in the back of the net.

It was a bit of a ‘clinging on to what we have’ act in the end, with Fergie’s baffling substitutions bringing Jones and Smalling on (Vidic might have hurt himself) not really helping us a great deal. United did hold on though and it was a very good win eventually. It’s a vital three points and just becomes all the more important considering Arsenal folded up before City in the following game.

Ratings-


David DeGea: Funny how a regular run of games is actually bringing out the best in our young Spaniard. He was again very assured today and is increasingly looking the real deal. The goal conceded cannot really be blamed on him. 8/10

Rafael Da Silva: The best right back in the league? Maybe, although Pablo Zabaleta would have something to say about that. The young Brazilian is at least the best attacking full back at the moment. Admitted, he does still need to cut out the occasional defensive mistakes he makes, like the one that led to Liverpool’s only goal today. 7/10

Rio Ferdinand: Brilliant. Absolutely vintage display from him, in the sense we hardly noticed him. Such mistake-free displays from him have become rare of late- but boy would I be gutted if he leaves in the summer. 8/10

Vidic: A bit dodgy at times from our captain and the ‘best defender in the world’ from not too long back. He started only because Johnny Evans- our standout defender this season- was injured in the build-up. A decent performance that was cut short because he seemingly hurt himself. Hopefully, taking him off was just a precaution. 7/10

Evra:  He had one of his inspired displays- the kind someone would put against a side that was guilty of racially abusing you. His form hasn’t been patchy of late and that’s good news considering he’ll be up against Ronaldo before long. 8/10

Carrick: Excellent and assured once again. Controlled the midfield well and his job was simplified because Joe ‘Xavi’ Allen had a stinker. 8/10

Cleverley: Keeps improving every game and along with Anderson, gives a formidable option to have as a partner for Carrick. 7/10

Kagawa: It was only a matter of time before Fergie shunted him out to the left and it finally happened today. Credit to him, he did as well as he could. All of us are however still waiting for the little Samurai to impose himself on our play. 6/10

Young: Kept giving the ball away in the first half and unfortunately had to be taken off because of injury. He has recently redeemed himself in the eyes of United fans but didn’t exactly cover himself in glory today. 6/10

Welbeck: Put in one of his typical tireless performances. Being one of the two young Mancs in the starting line-up, he was obviously fired up for the contest. One can imagine him being a really menacing striker if he improves his finishing. 7/10

Van Persie: What is love? 9/10

Subs:

Valencia: Came on for Young in the beginning of the 2nd half. Still looks far from his best. It’s a real head-scratcher how he’s lost all confidence like this. 5/10

Jones: Was brought on to help us hold on to our lead and he did just that. 7/10

Smalling: Filled in well for Vidic when the Serbian had to go off. 7/10

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