Saturday, March 22, 2014

Comfortable: Manchester United 2 - West Ham United 0

photo by OliBacvia PhotoRee

Manchester United rode two Wayne Rooney goals to victory over West Ham United in a game that meant little to either team, but did manage to keep United's momentum moving forward before the Manchester derby early next week.  The first Rooney strike, from nearly 50 yards out, easily recalled the exploits of the watching David Beckham, with the United forward spotting the West Ham 'keeper off his line before volleying home from near the center line.  The Englishman's second goal was a poacher's delight, Rooney the recipient of a poor clearance attempt and able to slot the ball into an open net after shuffling his feet to corral the errant pass.

Although it was true the Reds' offense looked more fluid today in a game that saw Rooney supported by both Juan Mata and Shinji Kagawa, the visitors were unable to capitalize on their lead after the break, flubbing several opportunities to widen their margin of victory on a day that saw no lack of quality goals in the League.  Herewith,  the individual player ratings on a relatively comfortable away win.  

De Gea: Needed to stop Carroll's early header and did so. A little indecisive on a late cross, but didn't have much else to do tonight. 7.5

Rafael: Early yellow and beaten by Downing; aways looks one rash decision away from a red card of late. Improved as the game wore on. 7.0

Jones: Outleaped by Carroll on occasion, but had help keeping the Hammers' big man in check. 7.5

Carrick: Great distribution from the back and a confident performance in defense from the midfielder.  7.5

B├╝ttner: Did well enough filling in for Evra, although did not face the same kind of test he will endure in the Champions League.  7.0

Mata: Great touch, fluid movement and beautiful passing.  7.5

Fletcher: Cleaned up a bunch of messes.  Looked solid in the middle.  7.5

Fellaini: Denied early and fell back to contain Carroll.  Another winning game from the big Belgian.  8.0

Young: Offered a decent cross for Fellaini but was otherwise kept in check. 7.0

Kagawa: Cut loose by Mata but slammed the ball directly into the keeper. Missed picking out Hernandez late on with the net begging. 7.0

Rooney (c): A Beckham-esque volley from near the center line for the first goal tonight, and right place / right time for the second. 8.5


Hernandez (Rooney), 77: A rare late cameo.  N/A

Welbeck (Mata), 77: N/A

This is farlieonfootie for March 22.

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