Date: 1st November 2012 at 12:43am
Written by:

Anders Lindegaard: Got a hand to Luiz’s penalty but couldn’t manage to keep it out, nothing he could do with the 5 he conceded and was largely reliable when called upon. Almost caught out by Sturridge when late coming out to claim a ball, fortunately the mediocre striker shot straight at Lindegaard. 7

Rafael: Says a lot that of the 11 that played on Sunday just Rafael remained in the team tonight. The most experienced player in an inexperienced backline and lead by example; almost kept Cahill’s equaliser out and made an important sliding tackle to thwart Sturridge late on. 7

Scott Wootton: Had the game finished 2-3, he would have been praised along with Keane for his performance against such a strong and experienced Chelsea team but it was in those dying moments that his game began to unfurl. His good work was undone by a clumsy challenge on Ramires to give away a penalty from which Chelsea got their 3rd and then his short header allowed Chelsea’s 4th. Will have learned tons from this. 6

Michael Keane: Another player who didn’t do too badly in the face of the strong Chelsea attack that he faced. Caught out at times but also showed his class with timely interceptions as well as an excellent reading of the game for a defender so young. Last season’s reserve player of the year will also have learned a lot from tonight, and in future years will have what he learned to fall back on. 6.5

Alexander Buttner: Replaced one ‘problem’ with another in terms of Buttner and Evra. Whilst the Dutch left back is very capable going forward, he needs to work on the defensive side of his game as he showed against Braga last week as well as tonight. Gave away a penalty after rashly challenging Victor Moses and was subbed off at half time. At 23 has time on his side and this first taste of big game football in England will provide a better insight into what is required to make it here. 5

Anderson: No coincidence that when the Brazilian came off, Chelsea started getting back into the game. Was knackered when he was replaced and rightly so as he worked tirelessly and showed, even if only for 70 minutes a game, that he is capable of being ‘United quality’. Good passing all night, intercepted for Giggs’ opener and an inch perfect pass for Hernandez’s goal, United fans would love if this Anderson could show up every game. 9

Giggs: Another string to his bow as Giggs tried his hand as the midfield hard man and did a decent job. Some poor showings this season have confirmed the Welshman is on the wane, but he is still capable of solid showings like these. 39 next month and bagged a brace as he completed 120 minutes, there is a reason why Giggs is a legend. 7

Fletcher: A great game to help Fletcher get back to speed after his illness and he gave a good account of himself. Keane had to save the day after a wayward pass early on but was on a whole fine. Moved to right back in the second half, and whilst he may be a footballing genius, a right back he isn’t as Bertrand and Chelsea found time and space coming down his flank. 6

Nani: Was claimed that this was the game that could save Nani’s United career and in a sense it encapsulated the Portuguese winger. A potent threat throughout, Nani started and finished off a brilliant United move to give us the 3-2 lead, but just when it seemed that his goal would be the winner, he needlessly gave away the ball, Chelsea broke and won and won a penalty to level the game in the last minute. Unfair to lay the blame solely with him but should have known better. 7

Danny Welbeck: Not afraid to roll up his sleeves and get his hands dirty as he was shunted out onto the flank. Had an interesting battle with defender Azpilicueta, but should really be played upfront as out wide his talents are wasted. 6

Javier Hernandez: The Mexican’s stock continues to rise as he continues to score. Has really reminded people of his ability in the past week or so and tonight was no different. Put in a decent shift up top alone, taking his goal well when it came as well as winning a penalty in the game’s dying moments. Was guilty of skying a chance mid way through the second half though, very un – little pea – like. 7

Subs

Nick Powell: Drifted in and out of the game but started the second half strongly as he fizzed with energy. Saw a long range effort pushed wide by Cech and after that put himself about as United battled against Chelsea in the middle of the pitch. Was unaware of how strong he was as he continually shrugged players off the ball. 6

Ryan Tunnicliffe: Not afraid to put himself on the line for the team and made a number of sliding blocks and interceptions. Had a tough tasking in replacing the brilliant Anderson and struggled to influence the game in any way. Hazard got the better of him for Ramires’ goal but better players have suffered a similar fate so nothing to worry about there. 6

Macheda: n/a