Rafael 7: As has come to be expect this season, was defensively sound facing Kightly but also chipped in as United looked to get forward. Good job considering his size and the fact United were facing Stoke’s ‘giants’.
Patrice Evra 7: Would have been hard to top his impressive goal scoring performance against Newcastle but put in a solid performance, got forward well as usual and saw a chance fly over.
Rio Ferdinand 7: Could have done better with Stoke’s 2nd but was beaten by the ball’s bounce but apart from that was good on the ball and did his job when Stoke attacked. A decent performance on a day where his decision not to wear a ‘Kick Racism Out Of Football’ tee shirt will take the headlines.
Jonny Evans 7: Could have topped off an impressive week with a goal today but Begovich saved his header, beyond that defended well and helped bring the ball out from the back.
Paul Scholes 7: Used the ball well and played some wonderful passes as usual to help United maintain control. Earned a customary yellow, and some of his famed tackling was exceptionally poor today.
Michael Carrick 7: Good to see a better performance from Carrick after his poor showing for England mid week. Went about his job without fuss at both ends, shielding the back line and aiding our forays forward.
Antonio Valencia 7: Getting back into the swing of things after missing a few games and warmed up as the game went on. Put in some decent crosses but found Van Persie with a great cross that the Dutch man tucked away beautifully.
Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck & Robin Van Persie 9 1/2: Paul Merson raved about the trio today, saying the way they played off and with each other was frightening and I agree. All 3 scored, all 3 created and if they continue to play in this manner, can negate the apparent weakness of the back line.
Rooney appeared eager to make up for his own goal and buzzed about all over the pitch before heading United back into the game, Welbeck may need to work on his finishing but works so hard and has great movement. His diving header wasn’t too shabby neither! Van Persie is clinical in the box but there is more to the game and his link up play and neat passing around the box was key today. His goal was sublime and not many strikers would have been able to pull it off.
Anderson 6: Said he was up for the challenge of forcing his way into the team and won’t have done his chances any harm in the 20 minutes he was on. Showed energy, moved the ball well.
Nani 6: Looked like he wanted to be apart of the action and saw a shot saved, did little else.