Saturday, September 14, 2013

Ho Hum: Player Ratings: Manchester United 2 - Crystal Palace 0

photo by lovecatzvia PhotoRee

Manchester United overpowered a Crystal Palace side that played more than half the game with only ten men after Kagisho Dikgachoi's late first half sending off, winning in front of the home crowd by a final margin of 2-0.  Although Robin Van Persie's spot kick and Wayne Rooney's free kick gave the contest its final score, the story line lay more in Ashley Young's first half penalty.  After being booked earlier in the game for simulation, Young received the benefit of Referee Jon Moss' late first half decision, but only after the official was forced to consult his assistant after Dikgachoi spilled the United left winger in the box.

Offsetting some of the joy from the victory will be United's failure once again to score from free play against a ten man, newly promoted side playing at Old Trafford.  The Red Devils' offense, which seemed predictable and sluggish for a third game in a row, was enlivened only after young Adnan Janujaz entered the action with approximately 20 minutes left.  New signing Marouane Fellaini also impressed in his brief time on the pitch after he replaced Anderson late in the game.

Herewith, our player ratings for a game whose outcome seemed never in doubt, but still difficult for the home side to put away:

David De Gea: A virtual spectator in the first half, the Spaniard was forced to make himself big to deny Palace's Dwight Gayle before the break. Could have used a beach chair to properly enjoy the second half. 8.0

Fabio:  Adventured forward quite a bit in the early going, but failed to link up well with Valencia. 7.0

Rio Ferdinand: Not much to do in truth, but was thoroughly turned around by Gayle's speed on Palace's near miss at the end of the half. 7.0

Nemanja Vidic: How does a wrecking ball fly so gracefully? 8.0

Patrice Evra: Made numerous slicing runs through the right side of the Palace defense, but his failure to control the ball in the box led to less than optimal results. 7.5

Ashley Young: A surprise starter based on his last outing. Booked correctly for a first half dive, but repaid the Manager's faith with his first half run that led to Dikgacoi's red card dismissal. Overlapped well with Evra on the left hand side of the pitch. A thoroughly mixed bag. 7.0

Anderson: Let's just say that ball control was not his specialty in the first half. Offered a beautiful pass to unlock the Palace defense at the beginning of the second half, but Young was unable to capitalize. Looked sluggish, possibly from a large pre-game meal. 6.0

Michael Carrick: Quietly efficient, distributed the ball well. He's so good in so many little ways it's hard to quantify. 8.0

Antonio Valencia: Not much to comment on, which is a comment in and of itself.  Always seemed half out-of-control on his dribbling runs and his crosses can most kindly be described as erratic. Will be disappointed with his effort. 5.5

Wayne Rooney: Fans were shocked to see his name in the starting eleven after David Moyes virtually ruled him out during his Friday press conference. Rooney seemed out of sort and short of his best touch in the first half, but he did offer a beautifully weighted pass for RVP near the interval. Flubbed his lines when given the ball on a platter in front of goal twice in the second half, but a sublime free kick made up for the earlier misses. 7.5

RVP: Back on corners from the right hand side of the pitch and immediately made the Champions look more dangerous. The Dutchman was denied only by the bar in the first half, but coolly slotted home when given the opportunity from the spot to end his recent dry streak for the club.  Missed two opportunities after the break before being substituted. 7.0


Marouane Fellaini (Anderson): Afforded  a rapturous reception by the home crowd when he entered the game. Dangerous shot on his first opportunity, but misdirected his only header in front of goal. 7.5

Adnan Januzaj (Young): Dangerous cross on his first real touch, and looked silky smooth on the ball. Offered a completely different gear to liven up a flat United offense. 8.5

Javier Hernandez (RVP): Not afforded enough time to make an impact. N/A

This is farlieonfootie for September 14.

1 comment:

  1. Fair assessment, even if some scores are slightly higher than what I would have given (looking at Ferdinand, and possibly Evra).

    United were in total control, though admittedly against a poor side down to 10 men.

    Here's hoping performances improve as players get fitter, and results will keep improving too.