Manchester United 2-1 Liverpool: Grading David De Gea, Patrice Evra and Team
Like Wayne Bridge rejecting John Terry's handshake, Luis Suárez left Patrice Evra hanging.
As the game finished, you would have thought Patrice Evra had just won the UEFA Champions League. He celebrated his team's 2-1 win right in front of Suárez.
Could David de Gea replicate his world class performance against Chelsea? How well did Evra play?
Here are the grades for the Manchester United players.
Goalkeeper: David De Gea
With the exception of a Glen Johnson shot, David de Gea was rarely troubled.
He had a heart-in-mouth moment toward the last few seconds when he went to punch a ball and completely missed.
But it wouldn't have mattered since the flag was raised.
Rafael had a field day because he knew Stewart "Nothing" Downing wouldn't trouble him on either side of the field.
The Brazilian took advantage of Downing and José Enrique both swarming towards the dangerous Antonio Valencia.
This allowed Rafael to constantly making deep forays into Liverpool's half unmarked. Downing being subbed off early indicated how well Rafael had played.
There was a facepalm moment in the game when the 5'8" Brazilian beat the 6'3" Andy Carroll out on a header.
Centre-Back: Rio Ferdinand
Poor old Rio Ferdinand, whose body has been fragile in recent seasons, was involved in a heavy collision with Patrice Evra. Evra was running at Luis Suárez with bad intentions and Ferdinand was blindsided by his teammate.
Ferdinand shrugged off the pain and played excellently—what a game changing interception as the last man to deny Suárez.
The credit goes to referee Phil Dowd for making a great decision. Ferdinand was at fault when Suárez scored Liverpool goal. Mind you, the Uruguayan wouldn't have scored if Jonny Evans hadn't lost him.
Andy Carroll didn't even trouble Ferdinand once.
Ferdinand just needs to ensure he plays games at this high of a level week in, week out—like the Ferdinand of old.
Centre-Back: Jonny Evans
Jonny Evans gave away a silly foul on Luis Suárez in the first half and then let the team down when he allowed the Uruguayan to get in front of him.
Left-Back: Patrice Evra
Only 30 seconds into the game, Patrice Evra was poised to clatter Luis Suárez, but alas for Manchester United supporters and Suárez haters—Rio Ferdinand got in the way.
Evra had no idea how to deal with Glen Johnson cutting into the centre. Yet, whenever Johnson attempted to veer towards the byline, Evra was solid in defending the cross.
The Frenchman almost scored—something he has yet to do this season—when he ambushed Dirk Kuyt from behind and connected with an incisive Antonio Valencia cross.
It was concerning when Evra put in a nonexistent tackle, which allowed Suárez to race on goal. Evra also didn't do much offensively, but he did complete 93 percent of his passes.
Right Winger: Antonio Valencia
By leaving José Enrique in sixes and sevens, Antonio Valencia proved his pedigree as one of the best wingers in the league.
Enrique was so anxious about Valencia's threat that the Spaniard didn't venture forward that much. He also vented at Stewart Downing for not offering him enough protection against Valencia.
The fact that Enrique was looking to double team Valencia indicates how potent the Ecuadorian is. Was it a surprise that he stole the ball off Jay Spearing before providing a defence-splitting pass to make it 2-0?
Valencia epitomises what you want in a right winger—he can play in both sides of the field.
Centre Midfielder: Michael Carrick
It's laughable how people can claim Michael Carrick offers no defence, when he's consistently intercepting the ball.
Who has made the most interceptions for Manchester United? Carrick.
Today, he intercepted the ball five times and completed 94 percent of his passes. But, it was his pointless foul on Luis Suárez which led to the Uruguayan scoring.
Centre Midfielder: Paul Scholes
What vision from Paul Scholes to make a first time cross to Ryan Giggs, which almost led to the evergreen ginger scoring Manchester United's first.
Scholes was effortlessly spraying long balls left, right and centre. What a technician.
Left Winger: Ryan Giggs
At 38 years old, Ryan Giggs can still whip in an inch perfect cross.
Glen Johnson, who is 10 years younger than the Welshman, can attest. Giggs would have had an assist if Paul Scholes had directed his header toward either corner of the goal.
Towards the end of the game, Giggs started to have less of an impact, but his calmness and craftiness was integral in Manchester United's win.
Deep Lying Forward: Wayne Rooney
That being said, Rooney was the only Manchester United player to not misplace a single pass in the first 45 minutes.
He has a high football IQ to get himself one vs. one against Glen Johnson on the corner—1-0 Manchester United.
Why is it smart? Johnson can't defend.
Rooney was fortunate that Pepe Reina didn't close his legs as he made it 2-0. The Manchester United No. 10 showed how complete of a player he is by tracking back into his own half and stripping Daniel Agger off the ball.
Centre Forward: Danny Welbeck
Danny Welbeck's pace and strength was invaluable to Manchester United because he was constantly a threat to Liverpool.
Yet, he didn't produce the end product.
However, Welbeck's partnership with Wayne Rooney has directly and indirectly contributed to 23 goals in 11 starts, compared to the 10 goals in seven games with Chicharito and Rooney starting together.
Please read 10 Replacements for Stewart Downing.
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