Champions League 2012: Manchester United vs. Galatasaray Player Ratings
A hard earned victory for Sir Alex's men was just what the doctor ordered after last year's Champions League debacle. A strong United line-up struggled at times against a Galatasaray side who threatened consistently but were ultimately found wanting.
A solitary goal from Michael Carrick was enough to get the job done heading into the weekend's game with Liverpool.
Here's how they rated.
David De Gea: 8/10
In one of his very best nights in a Manchester United shirt, De Gea proved plenty of doubters wrong with an assured display that included a sensational double save late into the second half. He was constantly thrust into the game following a series of blunders by the defence, but remained composed.
Sir Alex has had the Spanish international on a rotational policy lately but that could change following such an impressive performance.
Rafael Da Silva: 5/10
Same old game for Rafael. It was a performance that epitomised his United career to date.
He was a constant threat going forward and won the penalty that Nani missed. Still, his positional play at the back leaves a lot to be desired.
He was at fault for at least two golden chances for the visitors and it will be very interesting to see if Ferguson trusts him at Anfield on Sunday.
Nemanja Vidic: 6/10
Vidic was very fortunate not to concede what looked like a stone wall penalty inside the opening five minutes, but got better as the game went on. He was a threat coming forward and United have clearly missed his presence, but Vidic still looks a little off the pace picking up runners. Burak Yilmaz gave him a tough time throughout.
Will need to be at his best when marking Suarez at the weekend.
Jonny Evans: 7/10
Evans was probably the best of United's defenders tonight, although that wasn't too difficult a feat considering some of the other displays.
He was his usual consistent self and has now emerged as a first choice central defender over the last two seasons.
Evans made some excellent covering runs and tracked Bulut and Elmander well when the pressure was on.
He might see a move to right-back at the weekend in place of Rafael with Ferdinand coming in at centre-back.
Patrice Evra: 5/10
It was not the best night for the Frenchman who found himself out of position on numerous occasions. Emmanuel Eboue and Hamit Altintop both had plenty of success from the right as Evra struggled to cope with the increased workload.
A bad tackle on Amrabat led to a booking late in the first half and that may have restricted him a bit in the second half.
Antonio Valencia 6/10
He didn't do much wrong on the night, but wasn't at his very best by any means. Although credit must go to Hakan Balta who stuck to his task pretty well throughout.
Valencia failed to come inside from his wide role and was limited to a handful of threatening crosses mainly aimed towards Van Persie, but the visitors did enough to quell the danger.
He will probably get more of a free role against Liverpool.
Michael Carrick: 8/10
Carrick took his goal superbly well and could easily have gone down under the challenge of goalkeeper Fernando Muslera, but it was his overall display across the field that earned him the Man of the Match award.
He was assured in possession and, along with Paul Scholes, gave the side plenty of structure when others were struggling to do the same.
He made a sensational tackle to prevent Altintop from shooting and was a big reason why United were able to get their first three points of the Champions League campaign.
Paul Scholes: 6.5/10
With others faltering around him, Sir Alex must be so relieved to see Paul Scholes back out on the field. He was his usual consistent self and worked well with Kagawa and Valencia throughout.
Per usual, he was the source for most of United's attacks through the middle and distribution was excellent.
Yes he took an awful penalty and missed some chances, but Nani was by far the most active attacking presence on either side. He was his usual frustrating self at times but did not shirk away from wanting the ball when things were going against him.
Nani is without doubt one of the most improved players in the United side over the last three years and has truly emerged from Cristiano Ronaldo's shadow.
He should have had at least two assists and if it wasn't for a wasteful Hernandez in the final few minutes — perhaps more.
Sill, his penalty will be the talking point and something he will want to put right as soon as possible, provided he gets the chance.
Shinij Kagawa 7/10
Kagawa wasn't at his best, but was the most likely to make a positive impact and that was just the case when he set up Carrick for the only goal of the game.
The Japanese international has obviously added a new dimension to United's play and his pass to Carrick was simply sublime.
Robin Van Persie 5/10
Really poor night from United's main man. He struggled to get into the game and was unusually quiet throughout.
He did have a couple of chances, but should have done better with them, especially in the second half when shooting across the face of goal.
But the most bemusing aspect of the night was why he didn't take United's penalty that Nani missed.
After missing one against Southampton, it seemed the perfect opportunity to get back on track—obviously not.
He will certainly have to play a bigger part against Liverpool.
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