Manchester United vs. Wigan: Complete Player Ratings for Red Devils

Paul MurphyCorrespondent ISeptember 15, 2012

Manchester United vs. Wigan: Complete Player Ratings for Red Devils

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    Manchester United returned to Premier League action after the international break with a hard-fought win over a spirited Wigan side.

    Alex Ferguson's 500th EPL game as manager at Old Trafford wasn't a classic, but three points are three points.

    More importantly, the win helped close the gap to league leaders Chelsea, who dropped two points at Queens Park Rangers.

    A strong second-half showing more than made up for a poor first half.

    The team showed five changes from the one that beat Southampton, with Ferguson keeping one eye on Wednesday night's Champions League opener.

    Ryan Giggs and Javier Hernandez were handed their first starts of the season, while Alexander Buttner made his Manchester United debut.

    United spurned an early chance to take the lead, with Hernandez seeing his weak penalty saved.

    In the end they did enough, as goals from Paul Scholes, Javier Hernandez, Alexander Buttner and Nick Powell gave United a 4-0 win.

    Here are my rankings for all Red Devils involved.


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    Anders Lindegaard: 8/10

    With Lindegaard starting his second game in a row, one must assume it's now his jersey to lose.

    It was another solid outing from the Dane, as he looked assured between the sticks. Given very little to do, he dealt with the threat posed by the Wigan front three with ease.

    He was alert in the 70th minute when Arouna Kone got in behind the United defence, and he also claimed a couple of tricky crosses, which will help his manager sleep better at night.

    He may not be as talented a shot-stopper as David De Gea, but he is much less error prone.


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    Rafael: 8/10

    Rafael continued his bright start to the season, offensively at least. He bombed forward at every opportunity to give us width on the right, allowing Nani to cut inside.

    Defensively, he is still prone to lunging into tackles and being caught out of position, but he made up for any lapses in concentration.

    If he continues to work on his defensive game, he has a great future at the club.


    Nemanja Vidic: 7/10

    Still finding his feet after an extended spell on the sidelines, Vidic appears to be rounding into some form.

    While he wasn't at his dominant best, he did enough to ensure United secured the three points.

    But it's another game on the road to full fitness, and the whole back four will benefit from Vidic and Rio Ferdinand getting a run of games together.


    Rio Ferdinand: 7/10

    Ferdinand is another player just coming back from injury, and his continued presence is key to United going forward.

    The whole back four looks more at ease with the former England captain anchoring it.

    With Phil Jones and Chris Smalling still sidelined, United will be hoping he can stay fit.


    Alexander Buttner: 9/10

    A brilliant start for the young Dutchman as he begins life at Old Trafford. He looks a ready-made replacement for Patrice Evra, defensive mistakes and all!

    He showed great pace, and though looked very raw defensively at times, a few rash challenges don't take away from his performance.

    He thoroughly deserved his goal for his hard work and endeavour and even laid on an assist to complete an exceptional debut.


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    Nani: 6/10

    The much-maligned Portuguese international did little to further his cause today. He drifted in and out of the game without ever really stamping his mark on it.

    One promising run, picked out by Ryan Giggs, was wasted as Nani went for the spectacular rather than just hitting the target.

    He played a key role in the United goal but failed to build on that and faded back into obscurity.


    Paul Scholes: 8/10

    The ginger maestro was back pulling the strings in midfield in his first start since opening day, and he controlled the tempo of the game throughout.

    In his 700th game for United, he ghosted into the box to slot home the rebound after Al Habsi saved Nani's shot/cross.

    A few meaty, well-timed (for the most part) tackles helped get the crowd into the game.


    Michael Carrick: 8/10

    A classic Michael Carrick performance: He did nothing that will grab headlines but was exemplary throughout.

    Cool on the ball, he always found the right pass. His pass to Nani in the buildup to the opening goal showed great vision and awareness.

    Defensively, he made a host of timely interceptions and provided an outlet for the defenders once they won the ball.


    Ryan Giggs: 7/10

    Though he's not the player he was a couple of years ago, there is still life in this old dog.

    He showed his usual intelligence on the ball, bringing the best out of everyone around him. I would question playing him on the left wing, but he put in a decent shift today.

    He played a key role in the buildup to the second goal but appeared to tire as the game reached the 60-minute mark


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    Danny Welbeck: 8/10

    His performance today had everything but a goal, as he worked tirelessly all afternoon. On a different day, he might have had a couple.

    He showed the full range of his skills today, with great close control, well-timed runs and some fantastic ball striking.

    His pace is a huge asset, as is his hunger for harrying defenders and tracking back into midfield.

    If I had any criticism, it is that he still overplays the ball at times and fails to bring in those around him.

    A goal would have been great for his confidence, but he will give defenders nightmares all season long if he plays like this.


    Javier Hernandez: 7/10

    He was ungraceful at times, and some of his passing was shocking, yet he finished the game with a goal and an assist.

    The 90 minutes might have been a lot smoother had he converted the early penalty, but his goal sealed things for United.

    With Hernandez still struggling to find form, his goal, however simple, could be the spark that reignites his career at Old Trafford. 

    Once he got on the scoresheet, there was a skip in his step.


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    Robin van Persie: 6/10

    He seemed surprisingly off the pace when he entered the fray, but the fact he played will be a boost to United fans in the wake of Tuesday's injury.

    He struggled to get into the game and had little or no impact on proceedings.


    Jonny Evans: 6/10

    Brought on to get some minutes in his legs, Evans had very little to do, as the game was dead by the time he entered the fray.

    His return eases the defensive crisis further, and Ferguson will be glad he had the chance to ease him back into action.


    Nick Powell: 7/10

    Powell introduced himself to Premier League football in spectacular fashion. Receiving the ball on the edge of the box, a drop of the shoulder and shimmy of the hips gave him the space to slot the ball into the corner of the net. 

    Anyone who watched him in League One last season won't have been surprised by the class he showed in opening his account.

    He didn't seemed phased by the occasion, and his time at the club may be sooner than many thought.