Stoke City vs Manchester United – Player Ratings
Manchester United started the New Year with a less than impressive draw against Stoke City, and it was the second game in a row United failed to win. Last time the Reds were kept at bay by Hugo Lloris’s brilliance. However, this time it was United’s poor performance which kept them from getting the victory.
After Ryan Shawcross put Stoke in front, it was Radamel Falcao who scored a trademark poacher’s goal to level things for United in the first half. With both teams failing to create too many openings in the second half, the match finished 1-1 at the Britannia Stadium.
Let us look at how the players performed on the night:
David de Gea - 6/10
Hardly had anything to do other then picking the ball from the net once in the first half. Otherwise he did a decent job when called upon to collect crosses.
Ashley Young - 6/10
Did his job really well up until pulling a possible hamstring in the second half. His injury might be the last thing Louis Van Gaal wanted now.
Phil Jones - 6/10
Everytime the ball came into the box, the defenders looked shaky and Jones was no exception. He otherwise had a decent game.
Chris Smalling - 7/10
He looked better of the three defenders who were on the pitch. He did his job reasonably well. However, he was lucky not to concede a penalty in what looked to be a clear handball.
Johnny Evans – 5/10 (Flop of the match)
His performance on the night summed up United's defensive displays so far in the season. Evans was very lucky to be left unpunished when Mame Diouf stole the ball away from him in the penalty box. Other than that his defending was just about decent.
Luke Shaw – 6/10
After a long time, the full back started a match for the Reds and did quite well. He supported the attackers well and was quite efficient in the back. But, he still needs time to get back to full match fitness.
Michael Carrick – 6/10
It was a typical Carrick performance. He did nothing special other than stting in front of his defenders and dictating the play from the back.
Juan Mata – 6/10
The Spaniard saw plenty of ball on the night but, failed to do much with it. His only moment in the match came when he delightfully picked Van Persie with a lobbed pass, which the Dutchman failed to convert.
Wayne Rooney - 6/10
Just like Mata, he saw plenty of the ball but, was unable to do much with it. He was sloppy with his passing and his first touch at times was very unlike the usual Rooney. He however defended reasonably well for the team.
Robin van Persie - 6/10
As United were unable to keep up with their usual passing style, Van Persie was left alienated up front. He took his one half chance really well by superbly controlling Mata's lobbed pass and produced a clever shot. But, the ball went agonizingly wide.
Radamel Falcao – 7.5/10
He was United's best player on the pitch. He used his body well to open up spaces for his teammates and won many free kicks for his team in Stoke's half. He was the first to react to equalise for United in the first half. His work-man-like display was the only positive for United on the night.
Adnan Januzaj (64') – 5/10
He was not able to keep up with the reputation he has built for himself. His first touch and dribbling at times was just not good enough. After being made to play in an unfamiliar wing back position, he was caught out time and again in the defensive half.
Ander Herrera (64') – 6/10
Unlike Januzaj, Herrera looked very lively on the pitch. His passing was good and he defended reasonably well. His return from injury will be a big boost for Van Gaal.
Rafael (75') – 5/10
After coming on as a late substitute, he slotted into Young's position well and defended reasonably well.
Asmir Begovic – 6/10
Just like his opposite number, Begovic had nothing much to do other than picking the ball from his net. The goalie was hardly tested by the United attackers.
Geoff Cameron - 6.5/10
Defensively did a good job and supported his attackers quite well when called upon.
Ryan Shawcross – 7.5/10 (Man of the match)
He was the best player on the pitch. He defended bravely by putting his body on the line and comfortably cleared the crosses. His good performances was rewarded with a well taken opening goal.
Marc Muniesa - 6/10
He did exactly what manager Mark Hughes called his team to do, by staying solid in the back. He partnered Shawcross really well at the heart of the Stoke defence.
Erik Pieters – 6/10
Just like Cameron he stood tall defensively. However he did not support his attackers much when Stoke had the ball.
Glenn Whelan - 6/10
He sat in front of his defenders and protected the defence line really well. He hardly came forward but did his main job of defending satisfactorily.
Steven N’Zonzi - 6.5/10
He partnered with his teammate well and sat back to help his defenders. Unlike his partner though, he went forward at times but failed to make an impact in the score sheet like he had done in the return fixtue at Old Trafford, where he had scored a great goal.
Jonathan Walters – 6/10
As Stoke’s priorities was to defend more than attack, Walters did a good job in his own half by tracking back the players. He even put some good crosses in the opposition box.
Marko Arnautovic – 6.5/10
He was a lively present for Stoke on the night. His deliveries into the box was good. He could have had an assist if Crouch had managed to score from his late set piece.
Mame Biram Diouf - 6/10
Just like in the return fixture, Diouf had the two teams’ best opportunity, but the former Manchester United player yet again failed to take the chances. He was a willing runner though for his teammates.
Peter Crouch – 7.5/10
He was at the heart of everything Stoke did well in the opposing penalty box. Shawcross scored the opener from his lay back. He could have also had a goal if his late header had not hit the left hand side post of David de Gea in the second half.
Oussama Assaidi (81') – N/A
Hardly had any time to make an impact.