Thursday, December 5, 2013

Cut Adrift: Manchester United 0 - Everton 1 -- Game Recap and Player Ratings

Manchester United concede late to lose 0-1 to Everton - @757LiveSports
Photo by Madhu Babu Pandi on Flickr

Everton finally overcame Manchester United at Old Trafford and David Moyes was around to see it; unfortunately for the Scot, he viewed it from the home team's bench, as the Toffees out hustled, outplayed, and most importantly outscored the Red Devils in a midweek Barclay's Premier League match on Wednesday night. The result left United 12 points adrift of Arsenal at the top of the table and virtually out of contention for the title after only 14 games -- this occurring in the season immediately after they galloped over the rest of the field and coasted to the wire 11 points ahead of their closest rival.

Marouane Fellaini once again drew the ire of  the home fans, although truth be told the blame could easily have been spread much further -- from the players on the pitch right on down to the entirety of the United coaching staff. Once again, the home side played an especially narrow brand of football, and missing their talisman Robin Van Persie, turned in another listless performance that left the home supporters fit to be tied. 

Herewith, the individual player ratings for what can best be described as a disastrous result for the Red Devils:

De Gea: Denied Kevin Mirallas before the break and creatively used his knees to stop another Everton shot.  Came up big to blank Gerard Deulofeu from point blank range in the second half. Finally beaten with five minutes to go -- not a fair result for the Spaniard, who deserved a better fate. 6.0

Rafael: Appeared more than a bit rusty after his lengthy time off. Failed to impact the game in any material way. 5.0

Smalling: Pulled off a crucial block on a Lukaku cross and denied another shot by the Belgian with his head. Will not be happy with Valencia for putting him under pressure on the late concession. 4.5

Vidic (C): His typical commanding self in the air but was outmuscled on the ground by Lukaku on several occasions before the break. 5.0

Evra: Energetic presence and strong defending on the left. Required a great Howard save to keep him off the scoresheet. 5.5

Valencia: Appeared more reluctant to take on Everton when he had the ball, perhaps because of increased defensive responsibilities. Rash challenge on Seamus Coleman almost led to an Everton goal, and then totally switched off while at right back for Coleman's winning tally. 4.0

Fellaini: On the plus side, he moved the ball quicker and helped out defensively on a number of occasions. On the minus side,  remind us why United paid £27 million for him? The Belgian ould easily have been red carded for his late game challenge on James McCarthy.. 4.5

Giggs: Narrowly missed a flicked header, but didn't aid the possession statistics. Nowhere near the standard he set last week. 5.0

Welbeck: Ineffectual and required an invitation to shoot. Too often appeared incapable of getting the ball out from under his feet. Summing up his evening, the Englishman somehow conspired to hit the bar with a wide open header and Howard flat on his back. 4.0

Kagawa: Should have done better with his first half opportunity. Pulled at the hour mark for failing to make an impact. Again. 5.0

Rooney: His first shot was blocked well by Tim Howard and a second was stopped only by the post. Much more subdued in the second half. 5.5


Nani (Kagawa), 58: The shot that began his evening is due to orbit earth again in 2018. 4.5

Januzaj (Rafael), 58: Bowled over in the box to no effect, but had a stinging shot tipped over the bar by Howard. 5.5

Hernandez (Welbeck), 81: N/A

This is farlieonfootie for December 5.

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