Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas Cracker: Manchester United 3 - Hull City 2 -- Game Recap and Player Ratings

photo by Lauren Closevia PhotoRee

Manchester United scored as many goals as all of the KC Stadium's visitors combined this season, spotting the home side an early two goal lead before storming back to claim a much needed 3-2 victory over the Hull City Tigers on Boxing Day.  Wayne Rooney added yet another assist in a season full of them and a stunning goal from free play to his stellar campaign, while Chris Smalling and an own goal gift from the home side proved just enough to overcome a wobbly start by the Reds.   

An early injury to Rafael necessitated that David Moyes show his hand early on in the action, and the United Manager's attacking intent became crystal clear as Adnan Januzaj entered the contest from the bench in the 18th minute.  Despite being down a pair of goals due to hesitant defensive work, the team's faith in the ultimate outcome was never in doubt, as Rooney put on a virtual one man show to haul his side back level less than 14 minutes after conceding the Tiger's second goal.  Although the offense was not quite as free-flowing after the break, there was always the sense that a late winner would claim the vital victory for the visitors, and the team's industrious effort was rewarded when James Chester's own goal completed the Red Devils' fightback.  

There was still  bit of work to be done to preserve the victory, though, as a late Antonio Valencia red card required United goalkeeper David De Gea to come up big in stoppage time to claim the three points.  Herewith, the individual player ratings on a victory that saw the visitors move up another notch in the table, and within 8 points of the top spot:

De Gea: Little to do in the first 45 other than pick the ball out of his net twice. Alert when required after the break, denying Hull in stoppage time to hang onto the victory. 7.0

Rafael: Hooked early due to a groin strain. 5.0

Smalling: Made no mistake with a free header for his side's first goal of the afternoon. 7.0

Evans: An own goal wasn't quite the gift he had in mind for Boxing Day. 6.0

Evra (c): Relatively quiet day at the office. 6.0

Valencia: Lost his marker on Hull's corner kick goal in the first five minutes. Filled in admirably at right back -- right until an unnecessary red card almost cost his side two points. 5.5

Cleverley: Still lacks a cutting edge. 6.0

Fletcher: First touch was an interception. Gritty hour-long effort to continue the comeback. 6.5

Young: Little to write home about before the break. Delicious second half delivery led to an own goal and United's first lead of the afternoon. 7.0

Rooney: Picture perfect set piece delivery to haul his team part way back and a fabulously clean strike to pull them level. Another Man of the Match performance from the big man. 8.5

Welbeck: Industrious effort, dropped deep quite often. 7.5


Januzaj (Rafael), 18: Live wire on the right. Picked up a yellow and went over a couple of times too many. 7.5

Hernandez (Fletcher), 62: Didn't see much of the ball. 5.5

Carrick (Young), 78: Nice to see him back. N/A

This is farlieonfootie for December 27.

No comments:

Post a Comment