Date: 17th January 2013 at 10:46am
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Wayne Rooney celebrates his goal against West Ham in the FA Cup

Anders Lindegaard: In his first appearance since December 1st, the Danish keeper had a pretty easy time. Rarely called upon and when he was, was able to deal with any danger presented. 6

Rafael: The Brazilian has nailed down the right back spot as his and after an impressive showing against Liverpool on Sunday, put in a solid shift last night. Defensively alert, whilst able to get forward and support Antonio Valencia down the flank, the only blot on his ledger was a penalty scare when the ball struck his arm in the box in the second half. 7

Alex Buttner: The young Dutchman again showed how good he can be getting forward even if he still suspect defensively at times. Backed up Nani with some excellent runs down the left. 7

Phil Jones & Chris Smalling: There have been questions over Jones’ ability to play center back but last night he did excellently, whilst Chris Smalling always looked in control. A physical attack in Carlton Cole and Ricardo Vaz Te attempted to out muscle and hustle United’s young defensive pairing but they stood up to them and kept a rare clean sheet. 8

Ryan Giggs: There comes a time every season when the question of a new contract for Ryan Giggs is raised. On his showing against West Ham, it could be handy to keep him around. Controlled the game efficiently in the middle of the pitch, and when later shifted out wide was able to further take the game to the visitors. A jinking run won United a penalty late on that Rooney missed. 8

Anderson: The Brazilian’s long awaited return was encouraging with strong runs and hold up play in the middle of the park. His passing was as impressive as ever, bending a ball to Javier Hernandez who squared for Rooney to give United the lead. 7

Antonio Valencia: An improved performance from the winger as he showed he hasn’t forgotten how to beat his man. His crossing is still off though, worryingly. 6

Nani: Another player returning from injury. Nani had an up and down game, showing why he earned the ‘frustrating’ tag. Worked well with Buttner and saw a volley cleared off the line, but poor decisions and execution (having broke with ball early in the second half, could have played Javier Hernandez in but his pass was easily cut out) was perhaps evidence of lack of game time. 6.5

Wayne Rooney: Having been out for weeks, Rooney struggled against West Ham even if he scored United’s winner. He lacked the energy and intensity that we come to expect of him, and late on could have settled what was becoming a nervy affair but skied a penalty. 6.5

Javier Hernandez: Set up United’s goal unselfishly and looked exciting all night with intelligent runs and good link up play, impressive again as he has grown as a player. Uncharacteristically blazed over when through one on one in the second half. 7

Subs

Michael Carrick: Replaced a tiring Anderson  to stem the tide as West Ham attempted to get back into the game, was also able to help get some United attacks going with his passing. 6.5

Paul Scholes: Was also brought on to control the game and whilst his short passing will always be an asset in this respect, his biggest contribution to the game was a crunching tackle on Taylor that earned him a yellow. 6

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