Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Beatdown: Manchester United 5 - Bayer Leverkusen 0 -- Game Recap and Player Ratings

Lonestar Beatdown - Arlington - 2/19/10
Photo by Andrew Plante on Flickr

Three days off a disappointing draw in the Premier League, Manchester United traveled to Germany Wednesday night and shook off all their problems -- at least temporarily -- with a 5-0 hammering of Bayer Leverkusen to generate their biggest away win ever in the Champions League competition.  Wayne Rooney turned in a dominating performance, playing a crucial part in four of his team's five goals, on what turned out to be a glorious evening for the English champions.  Ryan Giggs also had an exceptional night out, bringing insight and virtuoso skills to a central midfield that has been sorely lacking both qualities this season.

As if serving to remind viewers of their past glories, and with their former manager watching from the stands high above, the Red Devils swaggered their way through the BayArena, silencing the home crowd and leaving a devastated and demoralized Leverkusen side in their wake.  Herewith the individual player ratings from the Red Devils' most comprehensive victory of the young season:

De Gea: A virtual spectator in the first 45, and only marginally more involved after the interval. 7.0

Smalling: His pressure on the offensive side of the ball led to an own goal and an early 2-0 lead, and his tap volley emphasized the gap in quality between the two sides at 4-0. 7.5

Ferdinand: Beaten much too easily by Stefan Kiessling on two occasions. 6.5

Evans: Crucial challenge to deny Kiessling and keep the home side off the board in the first half. Was rewarded for his efforts with a second half tap in for the third goal. 8.0

Evra (C): A big part of his side's early offense on the break. His header led to his defensive partners' second half goal. 7.0

Giggs: A playmaker in the middle who looked full of invention tonight, crystallized in the moment he picked out Nani for the evening's final tally.  Looked years younger than 40 tonight. 8.5

Jones: Did his job and broke up play well; never let Leverkusen get up a head of steam. Almost added a fifth goal near the end of the contest. 7.0

Valencia: Made a difficult play appear easy as he volleyed in the first goal of the evening. A key part of the counterattack tonight that United used to devastating effect. His best game since the last time these two sides met. 7.5

Kagawa: Pushed the ball forward with pace. Linked up well with Giggs and looked lively throughout. Beautiful dink pass to create the fourth goal of the night. 8.0

Nani: Dragged a second half opportunity wide, but didn't miss the next time. Extremely well taken goal for the Red Devils' fifth. 7.0

Rooney: True to current form, the Englishman was involved in four of his side's goals, with two crosses, a wicked delivery, and a blocked shot leading to three tap ins and an own goal. Dominating performance. 9.0


Büttner (Evra), 70: A moonshot was his most notable contribution. N/A

Young (Rooney), 80: Managed to stay upright in the closing moments. N/A

Anderson (Valencia), 80: He must have been as surprised as anyone to see the pitch.  Could've had a goal but the dream outcome was not to be. 6.0

This is farlieonfootie for November 27.

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