Posted on Monday, 21st January 2013 by Chudi
David De Gea: Continues to split opinion but I’ll go on record as saying I love him.
Has some rough edges, but seriously has the potential to be a BRILLIANT goalkeeper. His reflex save against Dempsey with the Yank through at the start of the second half was remarkable, whilst he kept United in the lead in the first half after a deflected effort from Bale required him to use his feet to keep the ball out.
Some will blame him for their equaliser but under such pressure very little he could do in terms of his punch. 7.5
Rafael: The London Met will want to question the Brazilian as AGAIN he took Gareth Bale hostage, holding him against his will in his back pocket.
Kept the Welshman quiet, limiting his influence on the game and was also able to get forward too, almost creating a goal for United when Cleverley introduced him into an attack. 7
Patrice Evra: Always seems to struggle with Aaron Lennon.
An early nutmeg set the tone and he would later pick up a yellow for a rash challenge on the nippy winger. Luckily he had Michael Carrick to help out, otherwise Lennon could have been more effective today. Getting forward he did well, as is to be expected, but Lennon appears to have his number. 6.5
Rio Ferdinand: It seems the vogue thing is to write off Rio Ferdinand these days. His performance against Tottenham at the start of the season saw many calling time on his United career, but if he hadn’t done it already, today he silenced his critics.
Back beside his partner in crime Nemanja Vidic for a second game, Rio Ferdinand was immense and at a number of junctures in the game intervened to keep United in the lead. Was good in the first half but in the second really came to his own following an early lapse that lead to a Defoe chance.
His block on Defoe when the striker looked certain to draw Spurs level displayed his quality and he denied Defoe again later on when the England striker was bearing down on goal. Was also able to head a Spurs chance past the post when it appeared De Gea had been caught flat footed. A super display that deserved a clean sheet. 9
Nemanja Vidic: As Spurs attempted an aerial bombardment of our box, Vidic turned them away every time.
We have missed the Serb as our defence seems more organised and assured with him back, even if it was Ferdinand’s display that stole the show. Appeared to get in De Gea’s way when the Spaniard attempted to clear Assou Ekkoto’s cross that lead to the Spurs equaliser. 8
Michael Carrick: If you think the praise of the midfielder has been somewhat overboard this season, you just have to look at his contribution in this game.
His defensive shift was awesome as he helped neutralise the threat of Lennon with the struggling Evra, and still had time to bring United forward, with his pass finding Welbeck in the build up to Van Persie’s goal. 9
Phil Jones: Early on it seemed that Jones was just stomping around without actually doing anything of note, but when he settled down he really began to play.
Played in a number of roles including center back, central midfielder and wing back in an impressive and selfless display for the team.
Bursting forward he was a threat, using what he has learned from his stints at right back to put threatening balls into the box. But defensively he helped keep Dembele, Parker and Dempsey under wraps as well as helping Rafael with Bale. 8
Tom Cleverley: Has definitely announced himself as a first team starter with yet another impressive showing.
His cross for Van Persie’s goal was, dare I say, Beckham-esque, picking out the Dutchman at the back post to power the ball past Lloris. Was good on the ball but what he did when Spurs had the ball was just as impressive, harrying them into mistakes.
United suffered when he came off. 7.5
Shinji Kagawa: Starting to see the best of the Japanese player as he, Cleverley and Welbeck all link up well to cause mayhem in the finally third.
Could have got an assist when he held up the ball and layed it off to Welbeck whilst under serious pressure, but the striker’s shot was blocked.
Physically struggled at times, bouncing off Dembele but a promising display nonetheless and like Cleverley his substitution saw the game swing further in the home side’s favour. 7.5
Danny Welbeck: I fail to see how any United fan can dislike him.
As with Liverpool last week, his running and movement caused problems for Spurs as he dropped deep as well as ran off their defenders. Collected Carrick’s pass and found Cleverley for RVP’s opener, also linked well with Kagawa but saw his effort blocked and was inches away from sliding in a low cross.
For all his consistent good work, needs to get a goal and soon. 8
Robin Van Persie: The ex Arsenal striker was again a thorn in Spurs’ side as he opened the scoring with a powerful header at the back post.
Whilst it wasn’t one of his better games offensively, he again showed he can do more than score goals with a solid defensive display that at times alleviated the pressure Spurs piled on. 8.5
I think the substitutions are where the points were dropped. Being over run in the midfield I assumed we would see Anderson come on…
Antonio Valencia: Some may feel that the winger is being made into a scapegoat but his form is a major concern.
Could have been an asset on the counter with Spurs pushing forward to get an equaliser but had little impact on the game. Helped out defensively but wasn’t the outlet expected, preferring to pass the ball backwards or into dangerous situations rather than carry it forward/beat his man. 6
Wayne Rooney: Was extremely unlucky not to have won a penalty after being scythed down by Steven Caulker but beyond that looked every bit like a player returning from injury.
Today’s performance was in juxtaposition to his showing against Tottenham at Old Trafford earlier this season where he almost dragged United back into the game. Today, like against West Ham, he lacked the intensity and energy we expect of him. 6