Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Brace Me: Manchester United 4 - Norwich City 0 -- Game Recap and Player Ratings

Photo by Lucas McDaniel

A Javier Hernandez brace, followed by unexpected scoring contributions from Phil Jones and Fabio, resulted in a comfortable 4-0 victory for Manchester United over Norwich City in the Capital One Cup at Old Trafford on Tuesday night, and moved the home side into the competition's fifth round. The pair of goals from the Mexican striker, coming on either side of the interval -- one from the spot and one off his head -- broke open a contest that United largely dominated.  While the Red Devils may be struggling for form in the Premier League, last night's performance was another free-flowing performance outside of the League from the home side.

The manager saw fit to hand Wilfried Zaha his first start of the season, while blending a lineup the featured both youth and experience, as is United's custom in the Cup. Once again, it was young Adnan Januzaj who added a dash of verve to the United attack, with the crowd gasping virtually every time the Belgian touch the ball. Herewith, our thoughts on the individual player performances in what can only be described as a comprehensive team victory:

Lindegaard: A light evening's work in the first half, but had to dive to deny Robert Snodgrass after the break. It was his reaction after the save, though -- to check on the badly injured player -- that was his best work of the night. 7.5

Rafael: The newly shorn look made his bombing runs appear even more aerodynamic. 8.0

Ferdinand: Cruise control in the middle of the park. 7.5

Vidic (c): Still our undisputed first choice at center back. 7.5

Buttner:  Above average service on offense, but needs to hit the books to learn some proper defending. 6.0

Young: Some of his deliveries were better than normal tonight. 6.5

Cleverley: Moved the ball well, but could stand to work some on his shooting. 7.5

Jones: We don't love him in a midfield role, but he proved once again he's nothing if not versatile. His well-struck finish began to match the scoreline with the home side's dominance.

Zaha: Pace on the right hand side of the pitch and the ability to deliver a nice cutback: a decent first outing for the new guy. 6.5

Januzaj: His movement unsettled the Norwich defense -- and no one more so than the beleaguered Leroy Fer, who unecessarily bowled over the young Belgian in the box to send United to the spot. One thing's for sure: he's not afraid to take people on. 8.0

Hernandez: A fox in the box with the movement to match. Dispatched the penalty like an old pro and made the second one - a classic Chicharito follow up to his own inspired header -- look deceptively easy. Narrowly missed a stoppage time hat trick. 8.5


Rooney (Zaha), 78: Classy pass to pick out Fabio for the evening's fourth goal. 7.5

Anderson (Cleverley), 89: N/A

Fabio (Januzaj), 93: One touch and a goal.  7.5

This is farlieonfootie for October 30.

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