Champions League: Manchester United Player Ratings vs Braga
It wasn't vintage United by any means, but somehow, Sir Alex Ferguson's men came from behind to claim all three points and win Group H with two games to spare.
Goals from Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez clinched victory from the jaws of defeat in one of the strangest turnarounds in the Champions League this season.
Here's how they rated....
David de Gea: 7/10
Spectator for the first half-hour, but made a good save down low from Alan's powerful drive. The birthday boy could do nothing about the penalty, and despite Braga's dominance, the Spaniard didn't have too much to do on the night.
Antonio Valencia: 6.5/10
Given the right-back roll, as Rafael was rested for the weekend trip to Villa. Linked up well with Nani on the overlap but was restricted throughout because of his defensive role. Rafael's introduction allowed the Ecuadorian to move up into his more accustomed position and looked far more threatening as a result.
Chris Smalling: 6.5/10
Took a knock to the head and was booked on his long-awaited return to the side. Settled in as the game progressed and was a busy man as Braga continued to threaten on the break throughout.
Jonny Evans: 5/10
Can United Win the Champions League?
Tentative early on and almost let Eder in for two early goals. Can count himself a little unlucky to have conceded the penalty, but in all honesty, he looked second best all night in a battle with Ruben Micael and Custodio. Subbed for Rio Ferdinand after the floodlight delay with injury.
Patrice Evra: 7/10
Pretty decent display from the captain and looked by far the most assured defender—but that wasn't too difficult.
After promising performances recently, Nani failed to deliver returning to his home country. Played very wide and gave the ball away too cheaply throughout. Subbed for Rafael with a knock, but would probably have been the man to make way regardless
Distribution wasn't particularly good early on as he looks to regain match fitness. Understandably wanted to make an impact going forward, but tried too hard at times.
Ryan Giggs: 6/10
Quite obviously under orders to stay deep along with Wayne Rooney and support when necessary, but made a huge contribution when playing a clever through ball that won the penalty. Wasn't his best game in a United shirt, but did a job for his manager.
Wayne Rooney: 8.5/10 Man of Match
Distribution was magnificent from almost a sweeper role, but United suffered up top as a result with a distinct lack of threat despite United's attacking formation. Pushed further forward when chasing the game and looked far more dangerous as a result. Won the crucial penalty after a long decision from the referee taking an excellent penalty under plenty of pressure and setting up Hernandez to seal the points late on.
Javier Hernandez: 7.5/10
Ran his heart out playing through the middle without much support from the wide areas. Made himself a nuisance all night and should be commended for effort. Deserved his bizarre goal from two yards out to cap off a crazy game.
Danny Welbeck: 5/10
Out wide for much of the first half and struggled to get into the game at times. Had a great chance when the ball fell to him in the box, but handled the ball at the crucial time.
Rio Ferdinand: 6/10
Provided much-needed stability to the defence when replacing Evans, but Ferguson would have preferred not to use him if at all possible.
Robin van Persie: 8/10
The man cannot do anything wrong. A nightmare from Beto allowed the flying Dutchman to latch onto a free kick and lift it over the stranded keeper, who was left in no man's land. Crucial goal, huge impact.
Has so much renewed confidence in his defensive duties, but that hasn't stopped his flourishing runs forward either. United looked so much better with him on the pitch and were duly rewarded with a comeback win.
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