Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Wrecking Ball: Player Ratings -- Manchester City 4 - Manchester United 1

Manchester City's attacking troika of Sergio Aguero, Yaya Toure and Alvaro Negredo conspired to give Manchester United well more than they could handle on Sunday, easily dispatching last year's Premier League champions in an emphatic 4-1 derby day victory on Sunday afternoon.  Although the pregame questions may have concerned the severity of Robin Van Persie's injury situation, post-game questioning will shine a more difficult spotlight on the lineup selection of United's new manager, David Moyes.  United were outplayed, outhustled and outscored during a 60 minute battering by their cross-town rivals, who turned the atmosphere at the Etihad into a Sunday carnival of sorts for their fans.   Although the visitors performed better over the game's final half hour, the turnaround was much too little, too late to reverse the three goals by City scored within minutes of either side of the interval.

Herewith our player ratings for individual performances in what was a damaging and demoralizing team loss:

De Gea: Little he could have done on City's goals, but his spill of Dzeko's long-range strike showed how badly his confidence was shaken by conceding four times. 5.0

Smalling:  Struggled mightily to handle the left side of City's attack  and went missing in the first ten minutes of the second half. Tellingly, was often the United player furthest forward on attack. 4.0

Ferdinand: Never saw Aguero coast in behind him for the fourth of the afternoon.  May need a rest -- what ever happened to that Jonny Evans guy? 4.0

Vidic: Key first half interception kept the scoreline from being even worse for the visitors. 4.5

Evra: Had a close-up view of Aguero's stunning 16th minute strike that set City on their way,  and was unable to keep up with a rampaging Jesus Navas at the start of the second half.  Was unfortunate not to score with his 80th minute header that hit the woodwork. 4.5

Valencia: Lost his man to allow City's first goal, and played Toure onside for the second from his position on the post. A shadow of the player we saw in the second half against Leverkusen. 4.0

Fellaini:  Worked hard in a vain attempt to contain City in the middle of the park, but lost Toure when it mattered most just before the interval.  His lack of pace in the middle of the park was exposed badly today. 4.5 

Carrick: Was unable to gain a foothold in the match early on and struggled with his passing accuracy, often trying to force something that wasn't there. 5.5

Young: Failed to add anything on the offensive front, and his consistent presence in the United lineup is rapidly turning into a bone of contention between the new manager and the club's fans. 4.0

Welbeck: Missed some early opportunities to get his team off to a flying start, and seemingly never got out of 3rd gear. Still bedeviled by a lack of touch and shooting prowess.  4.0

Rooney:  Failed to link with Welbeck and grew ever more frustrated as the first half progressed, eventually boiling over into a yellow card. Dropped steadily deeper as the half progressed. Conspired to miss a golden opportunity near the hour mark, but deserved the superb free kick goal on the basis of his second half hustle alone. 7.0


Cleverley (Young): Must have been as surprised as anyone to get the Manager's nod with the team down 3-0.  The team did look better after he came on, though. 6.0

This is farlieonfootie for September 22.

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