Tuesday, May 6, 2014

One Door Closes and Another Opens: Manchester United 3 - Hull City 1 -- Game Recap and Player Ratings

photo by berevia PhotoRee
On an evening in which time was called on the Manchester United career of club captain Nemanja Vidic -- and potentially on that of player-manager Ryan Giggs, as well -- youth was served in the form of striker James Wilson, who bagged a brace in his senior level debut to lead the home side to a 3-1 victory over Hull City.  After the game the crowd said an emotional goodbye to their widely-admired captain, and witnessed manager Giggs' request for the fans to continue supporting the club during the inevitable re-building that will follow at season's end. 
If the game marked the end of an era, the atmosphere at Old Trafford was strangely subdued for much for the evening, as if the crowd were contemplating the many changes to come and thinking back fondly on the magical memories shared with the players on the pitch.  David De Gea made a fine save to preserve his side's slim lead before the game was truly ended by Robin Van Persie's strike -- with the assist coming from none other than late-game substitute Giggs.
Herewith we look back at the individual player ratings from another special night at Old Trafford:  
De Gea: Would've needed some No-Doze before the half, but looked as if  any effects had worn off by the time Fryatt unloaded to pull back a goal.  Showed great reflexes to save the victory with twelve minutes left and the game still in the balance. 7.5

Valencia: Serviceable, at best. 5.5

Jones: Another dim-witted challenge saw him end up on the training table. 5.0

Smalling: A couple of nice clearances and interceptions after the half. 6.5

B├╝ttner: Nearly stranded his 'keeper with a very poor header. 5.5

Carrick (c): A fairly invisible performance, if we're honest. 5.0

Fellaini: Two headers in one half, with the latter accounting for the Belgian's first assist of the campaign. Should've scored after the break but saw Wilson put in his rebound.  Performance got worse as the evening drew on. 6.0

Kagawa: Misplayed passes were a specialty of his evening. 6.5

Januzaj: Denied a clear penalty only minutes into the contest and was unafraid to run directly at defenders. Looked electric at times with his play, especially in the second half. 8.5

Lawrence: Showed a flash of pace to start the second half and offered a generally composed performance for his inaugural bow.7.0

Wilson: Quick reflexes to bury the header for a first half lead and showed some vivid imagination with an attempted finish after the break. Tucked in his second to top off an unforgettable night for the next winning graduate from the reserves. 9.5


Vidic (Jones), 22: Oh Captain, my Captain, in his final appearance. 10.0

van Persie (Wilson), 64: He's baaaack! 8.5
Giggs (Lawrence), 70: Even the best of stories must come to an end, this time with an assist. 10.0

This is farlieonfootie for May 6, reporting on the end of an era at Old Trafford.

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