Player Ratings: Manchester United 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur
The highs and lows for players from the season opener of the Premier League season 2015/16.
Manchester United began their campaign on a bright note as they pipped Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs 1-0 via a Kyle Walker own goal. It was a shaky performance from both the teams and especially from the hosts, who had four debutants in their starting lineup.
Louis van Gaal might not be pleased by the way his boys secured the three points but he’ll surely take enough positives from a winning start to the campaign. Spurs’ talisman Harry Kane had a subdued afternoon as he smartly ousted from the game by the United defense led by Chris Smalling.
In the end, it was a game of nerves and the boys in red surely held theirs better than their counterparts in white.
Here are the player ratings from the match:
Sergio Romero – 7/10
The Argentine stopper was the surprise selection for the game and he did surprise everyone with his performance. Romero previously had played only 14 league games in the past two years and he hardly showed any signs of rustiness. Apart from few nerves with the ball at his feet, he had a good debut. His saves in the dying minutes of the game were top notch and helped United keep Spurs at bay.
Matteo Darmian – 8.5/10
The Italian was by far the best United player on the field for over 65 minutes. Darmian’s positional awareness and his ability to snuff out the opposition passes were the highlights of his entertaining debut. If not for cramp in the last 10 minutes he would’ve had a full debut. His forward runs too were what the team needed without sacrificing too many defensive responsibilities.
Chris Smalling – 8/10
He was one of Van Gaal’s trusted lieutenants and he repaid his faith today as well when he started him over Phil Jones. Smalling was a bit shaky in the initial stages of the game but like rest of the team, he too settled in as the game wore on. He was immense in the final stages of the game when United were under the cosh from Spurs’ raids in the dying minutes.
Daley Blind – 6/10
The makeshift centre-half was unconvincing to say the least. He showed flashes of his of good form but invited trouble with misplaced passes on a number of occasions. A lot of things need to be sorted if LvG plans to use Blind as his ‘left sided’ centre half.
Luke Shaw - 7/10
The young Englishman had a decent outing in the inaugural game of the season. The ghosts of last season have seemingly been eradicated from his mind and that reflected in his performance. This can be his breakthrough season at Old Trafford.
Morgan Schneiderlin – 7/10
Another debutant a decent runout in front of the home fans. He was relentless throughout the 90 minutes and gave this United midfield enough bite to shove Spurs creative midfield away with comfortable ease. He made a couple of poor passes but his best moments of the game came after the introduction of Bastian Schweinsteiger.
Michael Carrick – 6/10
Carrick has always been a slow starter and today was no different. United’s midfield lynchpin was sluggish for majority of the first half yet he had his moments where he showed us why he is so crucial to this United team. He ran out of steam in the second half and was rightly substituted at the hour mark.
Ashley Young – 6.5/10
The phoenix of last season looked sharp today and hassled Kyle Walker for most part of the game. His work rate was noteworthy, especially in the latter stages of the game where he helped out his defence many times. Physicality has never been his strength and this was evident as Walker used his physique to contain the twinkling feet of his compatriot.
Juan Mata – 8/10
The Spanish playmaker was at the heart of Manchester United’s best moves. He kept the ball well and kicked off a few good moves after picking the ball in midfield for United. He seems to have brought some of his form from last season back for this year.
Memphis – 6.5/10
One of the most exciting prospects in European football was on show at Old Trafford as the Reds kick-started their campaign. Manchester United’s new no.7 had a decent debut and looked promising especially in the first half. Sadly he fizzled out in the second half and was rightly replaced by Ander Herrera. The Dutchman looks a bit unconvincing in the hole behind the striker but it’s still early days in the new season.
Wayne Rooney – 7/10
Manchester United’s captain led from the front as he had a good outing in his favoured centre forward role. Rooney had a solid game and if not for Kyle Walker’s unceremonious poke, he would have had his first goal of the season.
Bastian Schweinsteiger – 6/10
One of the biggest signing of the summer made his debut for the Reds as he replaced Michael Carrick around the hour mark. He looked solid and gave a new thrust to the United midfield. His all-round dynamism was refreshing and easy on the eyes. A needless yellow card marred his debut although that can be discounted for time being.
Ander Herrera – 6/10
He replaced Memphis around 70-minute mark and was welcomed with a warm applause from the Old Trafford faithful. The Spaniard looked decent in the number 10 role.
Antonio Valencia – 6/10
The Ecuadorian replaced the star of the day in Matteo Darmian and had a good run of 15 minutes on the field. He was caught napping couple of times by Christian Eriksen but held his nerve when it mattered the most.
Michel Vorm – 6/10
The Dutch stopper had a good game at Old Trafford as he was rarely tested by Manchester United forwards. Vorm had a good game which was marred by Walker’s own goal.
Kyle Walker – 6/10
Spurs’ right-back haunted forever after his own goal at Old Trafford. He made a good recovery after being decimated by Ashley Young and Daley Blind in same fixture last season. This time around the Englishman was outfoxed by Young.
Toby Alderweireld - 7.5/10
Spurs’ summer recruit put up a solid show at Old Trafford as he kept an attack comprising of Wayne Rooney and Memphis at bay. He also looked quite a presence in the opposition box. It looks like he picked up from right where he left off during his time at Southampton.
Jan Vertonghen – 7/10
Spurs’ defensive marshal looked competent in the company of his compatriot and erstwhile partner in crime, Alderweireld. The Belgian defender was one of the top performers for the Lilywhites.
Ben Davies – 7/10
He was drafted in at the last minute after Danny Rose was ruled out via a knock, and he surely didn’t disappoint. He kept Manchester United’s right side in check. It was a good game for the young left-back.
Eric Dier – 7/10
This was purely tactical selection as Pochettino slotted in his joker to take care of Memphis. The Scot did his job but was let down by his midfield partner, Bentaleb.
Nabil Bentaleb – 5/10
It was a forgettable game for the Algerian youngster. He was erratic for most of his time on the pitch and was rightfully taken off inside 55 minutes.
Nacer Chadli – 6/10
Last season’s surprise package at White Hart Lane was unlucky today to be facing an absolutely elegant pair of full backs. He was easily negated by the impressive Darmian and didn’t have much success against Shaw as well. It was a forgetful game for him.
Christian Eriksen – 6/10
The Dane was impressive in the opening minutes of the game and also had couple of chances but sadly he didn’t capitalise. After then it was a sorry story for him as he had miniscule influence on the game.
Moussa Dembele – 6.5/10
He too like Dier was a tactical selection as he set out the negate the buccaneering left flank of Manchester United which blew them away in 15 minutes last time around when these sides clashed at Old Trafford. Dembele, did his job as he gave adequate cover to Kyle Walker but had no impact going forward.
Harry Kane – 6.5/10
The PFA Young Player of the Year entered into the game with high expectations and reputation. But with all his running and efforts he couldn’t take advantage of a shaky United defence. This are still early days but Kane flattered to deceive on the opening day of the new Premier League season.
Ryan Mason – 6/10
He replaced Nabil Bentaleb within 10 minutes into the second half and he just about did his job. He was far more stable in the heart of midfield along with Dier as compared to the Algerian.
Erik Lamela – 6/10
The Argentine was just about pedestrian for 20 minutes he mustered on a bright day in Manchester.
Dele Ali – 6.5.10
The promising youngster brought in some freshness along with him as he replaced Eric Dier on 77th minute. He gave Antonio Valencia and Chris Smalling some hard time for his brief stay on the pitch.