Monday, November 25, 2013

Donation: Manchester United 2 - Cardiff City 2 -- Game Recap and Player Ratings

Photo by Matthew Burpee on Flickr

David Moyes' side may be unbeaten in ten, but the talk on the ride home from Wales was likely less about extending the streak than it was about donating two points in the 90th minute to a gritty Cardiff City side in a game played at Cardiff City Stadium on Sunday.  Kim Bo-Kyung popped up late to equalize the scoreline at two in a game that never quite got going -- both teams combining for a disjointed, stuttering attack.  While certain of the visitors' problems can be laid at the doorstep of injuries, with medical issues necessitating a number of changes to the lineup in key areas, the Red Devils' Manager will be increasingly worried that the substitutes he recalled to action largely failed to perform.  

United put in an uneven and shaky performance without several marquee names in the lineup, particularly in the contest's second half.  Still, the visitors largely kept the home side at bay in the final frame, and could easily have emerged with all three points intact: Danny Welbeck and Wayne Rooney both misplaying gilt-edged opportunities late in the action.  Herewith the ratings of the players' individual performances in a loss that will smart at least until next weekend

De Gea: Busy early and might have done better on Campbell's goal. Good distribution from the back. 6.0

Smalling: Still looks a fish out of water offensively but was powerful in the air. Can't blame anyone but himself for the 90th minute free kick that led to the loss of two points. 5.5

Ferdinand: Showed his experience and positioned himself well throughout. 6.5

Evans: Beaten for pace by former Red Devil Frazier Campbell on the first half equalizer. 6.5

Evra: Kept the peace and linked up well with Januzaj. Well-taken unmarked header to re-establish the lead just before the half. Disappointingly flat footed on the late equalizer. 6.0

Valencia: Demonstrated great anticipation on the interception that led to his side's opening strike. 6.0

Fellaini: Paid the price for his reputation, as he was repeatedly called for fouls he didn't commit. Sat deep but came forward and should have done better on the corner kicks. Better today, but still little to write home about. 6.0

Cleverley: Was extremely lucky his giveaway didn't relinquish a 2-1 lead, and added a level of feistiness when the game called for calmer heads. 4.5

Januzaj: Showed a new side to his game today with a set play kick, but lacked the cutting edge we've grown accustomed to seeing in prior outings. 5.5

Rooney: Lost his temper early and easily could have been sent off for his indiscretion.  Cardiff paid the price for the Englishman's continued presence when he grabbed the opener in the 17th minute and contributed to the second on 45 minutes. Will be disappointed he underhit the cross to Welbeck in extra time. 7.0

Hernandez. The Little Pea's hustle caused Ben to Turner-over, and his flick of Valencia's ball kept the play moving for Rooney to stab home. Was unable to add much in the second half. 6.5


Welbeck (Januzaj), 67: Unobtrusive on the left and needed to put the ball on target with a chance to seal the result in the 80th minute. 5.0

Giggs (Hernandez), 73: Last game of his thirties. Brilliant pass to pick out Rooney in stoppage time which went for naught. 5.5 

This is farlieonfootie for November 25.

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