Manchester United vs. Tottenham: Rating the United Players in Loss
It just wasn't meant to be for Manchester United Saturday, as they fell 3-2 to a motivated Tottenham side at Old Trafford.
A first-half blitz effectively won the game for Spurs, as Sir Alex Ferguson's team fell short in their later comeback attempt.
Big questions will be asked of United, especially of those in central midfield and defensive positions.
Here are the player ratings for the Red Devils on a 1 to 10 scale, with 10 the top score.
Anders Lindegaard: 6
There was little the Danish keeper could do with all three of Tottenham's goals.
He was wrong-footed by Jan Vertonghen's deflected opener, well-beaten by a decent Gareth Bale strike and could only watch helplessly as his save fell nicely into the lap of Clint Dempsey for Spurs' third.
Expect his rotation with David de Gea to continue.
It was the same old, same old for Brazilian full-back Rafael, who continued his struggles on the back foot.
He was dreadfully caught out for Tottenham's third, when a through ball to the on-rushing Gareth Bale left him in no-man's land.
Going forward he was positive, even though many of his attempted crosses didn't always reach their intended target.
Rio Ferdinand: 4
Though he did improve in the second half, Rio Ferdinand by all accounts had an absolute nightmare game against Tottenham Saturday.
His lack of pace was ruthlessly exploited on several occasions by Bale, as the defender really began to look his age in the face of a younger, fitter model.
Scott Wootton, anyone?
Jonny Evans: 5
Perhaps not as bad as Rio, Jonny Evans was still very weak against Spurs.
Caught out of position several times in the game, the Northern Irish defender has not looked like his excellent self of the second half of last season.
Whether that's because the midfield aren't giving the back line enough protection is a question for another slide.
Patrice Evra: 6
It is ironic that Patrice Evra gave arguably his strongest performance of the season so far in a loss.
Much better defensively, and a positive, if not always effective influence in attack, Evra showed signs of improvement that will delight all at Old Trafford except Alex Buttner.
He'll likely give way to the younger version of himself in midweek, though.
This was a much better showing from the mercurial winger.
Coming off of several terrible performances, Portuguese trickster Nani had a lot to prove against Tottenham.
His first-half display was the finest in a United shirt in the opening 45 minutes, even though he dipped in the second, resorting to poor crosses and ill-advised shots.
Paul Scholes: 6
Although it was not quite as terrific a performance as we're used to, Paul Scholes nevertheless rolled back the years in periods Saturday, his excellent passing running the show.
Flaws? His touch was a little imperfect at times, as was his positioning in the fatal first half.
Perhaps it's time to try something other than Scholes and Michael Carrick in the middle, Sir Alex?
Michael Carrick: 4
Michael Carrick again looked unconvincing in the vital holding midfield role.
Rarely did he have a firm grip on the game in the first half, and only when Spurs began to sit back in the second was his influence properly felt.
It's well known that Carrick is usually poor in the early part of the season. The best idea would probably be to freeze him until January.
Ryan Giggs: 5
A non-factor in the first half, and understandably withdrawn at the half, Ryan Giggs has yet to click into gear this season.
Whilst Ashley Young remains on the sidelines, Sir Alex is bereft of options to play on the left flank.
But based on Saturday's performance, Giggs is definitely not the man to fill the void.
Shinji Kagawa: 5
Despite scoring a tidy goal, Shinji Kagawa looked well off the mark for most of Saturday's encounter.
His first touch, in the first half especially, was poor. As was his passing, which often missed the mark.
Unless he improves, Wayne Rooney's return from injury may result in less first-team action for the Japanese playmaker.
Robin Van Persie, 5
Van Persie blew the chance of the game with the score at 3-2 in the second half, when he shot wide having been played in one-on-one with Brad Friedel.
Wayne Rooney's invigorated display once he arrived on the scene may give the Dutchman reason for concern, but now is the time for both to breed familiarity with regular playing time.
I expect both to play in the Champions League this week.
Wayne Rooney: 7
Changed the game with his energy and passion in the second half. Almost scored from a beautifully curling free kick.
Danny Welbeck: 6
Decent link-up play, but was never able to get himself into positions where he'd have an effect on the game.
Javier Hernandez: N/A
Brought on in injury time, I'm not even sure the Mexican striker got a touch.
What did you think of United's display?