Sunday, December 1, 2013

Unsatisfactory: Manchester United 2 - Tottenham Hotspur 2 -- Game Recap and Player Ratings

Fientes sur une voiture
Photo by Frederic BISSON on Flickr

The result was a draw when a win was needed: Manchester United dropped points yet again, this time against a gritty Tottenham Hotspur side at White Hart Lane on Sunday, drawing 2-2 in a tense, nervy contest. Although enticing viewing for the neutrals, both sets of supporters likely watched the contest through their fingers, hoping for the best but fearing the worst. As per custom this season, Wayne Rooney was the Red Devils' best player by a country mile, twice pulling his team level through sheer force and determination after Spurs had taken the lead.

The absence of Michael Carrick and Robin Van Persie continued to plague the visitors, who were outplayed in middle of the park by the home side and consequently unable to create much in the way of offense. Although United held more of the ball, it was Spurs who looked the likelier of the two sides to win the game in its waning moments, as United repeatedly gave away free kicks in dangerous areas.   Herewith the individual player ratings in a result that will be deeply unsatisfactory to both sides:

De Gea: A couple of strong saves in his 100th outing, but was unable to spot Walker's free kick until it was desperately late.  A mere spectator for Sandro's missile. 6.5

Smalling: Same old story: comfortable on defense but didn't contribute much on the other side of the ball. 6.5

Evans: His rash decision (and a great acting job) led to the free kick which put the Reds in an early hole. 6.0

Vidic: The Serb's 50/50 tackle began the play that led to Welbeck's penalty.  7.0

Evra (C): Attempted to play tight on Lennon but was burned on numerous occasions. 5.5

Jones: One of the wall jumpers: enough said on that front. Brilliant cross partially redeemed his day. 6.5

Cleverley: Wasteful in possession and seemingly unable to pass the ball forward more than once or twice per game. Couldn't keep up with  Sandro as Spurs pulled ahead. 4.5

Valencia: Willing to take on defenders and found some considerable joy on the right hand side. Now if only he could cross the ball.... 7.0

Kagawa: Unable to influence the game in the first half and was subsequently shunted to the left. One step forward and two steps back. 5.5

Welbeck: Absolutely invisible on the left, and eventually moved to a more central role. His speed made all the difference on the penalty. 6.0

Rooney: Most notable contribution in first half hour was on the defensive end, but scored the leveler out of nothing shortly thereafter. Confident penalty to equalize at 2: a portrait of sheer footballing desire. 8.0


Hernandez (Welbeck), 73: Nary a sniff of the ball. 6.0

Nani (Kagawa), 84: N/A

Young (Valencia), 84: Gave away the ball on one of his few touches. 5.5

This is farlieonfootie for December 1st.  Rabbit rabbit.

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