Manchester United vs Sunderland - Player ratings
Manchester United responded well after their defeat to Swansea City last week to beat Sunderland 2-0 at Old Trafford. United had to wait till the 66th minute to open the scoring through a penalty from Wayne Rooney. For the penalty, Wes Brown was mistakenly sent off for Jon O' Shea's foul. Wayne Rooney scored another late goal from a rebound to seal the deal.
Let us look at how the players performed on the night:
David de Gea - 7/10
Despite United having so much possesion, the Spaniard had to be on his toes. Especially in the first half when Sunderland had more shots on target than United. He, however, managed to see off the danger with relative ease.
Antonio Valencia - 7/10
With United having more than 70 percent possesion, the full-backs’ priority was to attack than defend and Valencia was up for the task. He was a regular threat on the right side.
Chris Smalling - 6/10
Apart from few nervy moments in the game the defenders hardly had much to defend on the night. Smalling did well whenever called upon.
Jonny Evans - 6/10
Due to United's domination on the night, the defenders priority was to involve more with the passing move, which he did well. Also Evans defended okay on the night.
Marcos Rojo - 6/10
The Argentine looked soild at the back, but did not offer much in attack.
Daley Blind - 6/10
He looked comfortable and his passing was decent on the night. However, he looked lightweight in the middle of the park. Blind is definitely not the replacement for Michael Carrick.
Ander Herrera - 6.5/10
It wasn't a spectacular performance from the Spaniard, however he continued his recent revival under Van Gaal this season. His passing was good and he regularly popped up front to add another body in attack.
Angel Di Maria - 4/10 (Flop of the match)
The Argentine has to do a lot more to justify his huge price tag. He looked completely out of sorts against Sunderland. Neither his passing, crossing nor shooting was good. He was rightly replaced at half time.
Ashley Young - 7.5/10
He was United's best source of attack on the night. He was a nightmare for Sunderland defenders with his sizzling runs on the left side.
Wayne Rooney - 8/10 (Man of the match)
Rooney finally ended his barrant goalless run with a well taken penalty and scored another from a rebound. Other than that his overall game wasn't at his usual best. Nonetheless, he did what was asked from him.
Radamel Falcao - 6/10
Another game went without Falcao scoring, nonetheless the Colombian's work rate was very good. He also played a crucial role in winning the penalty.
Adnan Januzaj (45') - 7/10
He came on for the ineffective Di Maria and was direct with his approach. It was from his shot United got the second goal.
Maroune Fellaini (68') - 5/10
As United had the game under their control by the time he came on, Fellaini's heading prowess wasn't required on the night. Nonetheless, he helped the Reds see out the game.
Juan Mata (86') - N/A
Hardly any time to make an impact.
Costel Pantilimon - 7/10
The keeper did a good job in between the sticks and kept everything out that was hit at him apart from the two goals, which he can not be blamed for as the first came through a penalty and he was on the floor after saving Herrera’s shot for the second.
Anthony Reveillere - 5/10
He had a horrid time against Young on the night. He found it difficult to control the winger on his own on that side of the field. He also offered little in attack.
Wes Brown - 6/10
He was unfortunate to be sent off in the second half. He defended resolutely and looked soild at the back until he was sent off.
John O’Shea - 5/10
It was his foul for which the referee mistakenly sent Brown off the pitch. Also, he was lucky to not concede an own goal in the first half when his block came off the post.
Patrick Van Aanholt - 6/10
Just like his full-back partner, he had a difficult time on the wide areas as most of United's attack came from the flanks. However he offer good threat with his pace.
Lee Cattermole - 6.5/10
He sat in front of his defenders and offered good support for his centre backs. But, he did not go forward much.
Sebastian Larsson - 6/10
His workrate was good and defended admirably well, however he, too, offered little in the attacking third.
Jordi Gomez - 5/10
With United having more ball, his priority was to defend and he did that well.
Adam Johnson - 5/10
The former Manchester City winger enjoyed a lot of space in the first half, however his final shot or pass let him down.
Connor Wickham - 6/10
He got an early chance and he produced a good shot to test de Gea. But, that was the closest he came to score. He tracked back the defenders well.
Jermain Defoe - 5/10
He had couple of good chances in the first half, but was unable to make the most of it. In the second half along with his team, he faded away.
Santiago Vergini (67') - 6/10
He slotted in Brown's vacated position and defended well.
Danny Graham (67') - 5/10
Came on for Defoe, but couldn't do much on the night.
Steven Fletcher (81') - N/A
Hardly anytime to make an impact.