Swansea 1-1 Manchester United: Rating the United Players in Frustrating Draw

Max TowleAnalyst IDecember 23, 2012

SWANSEA, WALES - DECEMBER 23:  Jonny Evans of Manchester United battles with Wayne Routledge of Swansea City during the Barclays Premier League match between Swansea City and Manchester United at the Liberty Stadium on December 23, 2012 in Swansea, Wales.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

On some days, it's very easy to love Manchester United. On others, they make it very difficult.

The Red Devils' performance Sunday against a Swansea City side intent on gifting them as many chances as possible left a lot to be desired, both in terms of hunger and in quality.

Countless passes went astray, some at the most vital times, as not one player in red gave a pitch-perfect performance.

Even star man Wayne Rooney struggled to have a significant impact on proceedings, as his tired legs tried to heave themselves around for much of the game.

Wingers Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia were equally poor on the flanks, their final product lacking so often.

Patrice Evra had given his team the lead early in the first half with a well-taken header, but he was also to blame for getting caught out of position moments later for the home side's equaliser.

Here are the full player ratings for Sir Alex Ferguson's side:

David de Gea: 7

A mostly flawless game for the young Spanish keeper, who has deservedly become the Red Devils' No. 1 choice between the sticks this term.

He could do little to prevent Swansea's goal, helplessly parrying Wayne Routledge's effort into the path of his fellow countryman Michu.

Phil Jones: 7

A slightly surprising choice at right-back for United, Phil Jones provided plenty of energy down the right flank, often proving far more creative than Valencia ahead of him.

The young defender still needs to work on his final ball, but his enthusiasm and dedication to the cause cannot be doubted.

Nemanja Vidic: 7

It is a welcome sight indeed to see Nemanja Vidic back in the United team. His presence has been sorely missed this season.

The beastly Serbian was not at his best Sunday, but what can you expect from a player still finding his feet following an extended spell out injured?

Jonny Evans: 6

Central defender Jonny Evans has been his team's most consistent player at the back this year, but he wasn't at his peak against Swansea.

His aerial presence was fine, but like so many of his teammates, his passing was pretty terrible at times.

Patrice Evra: 6

It is an odd sight indeed to see Patrice Evra celebrating a goal, so when he scores three in less than half a season, one has to believe the Mayans may have been right.

Still, for all he brought to the team going forward, his defending—his marking, in particular—is just not up to the standards of a title-chasing team.

Antonio Valencia: 5

Very poor from the Ecuadorian, who was ineffectual throughout his spell on the pitch. He failed to cross when he should have, and he never looked capable of beating his man one-on-one.

Matched with young defender Ben Davies Sunday, one might have reasonably expected Valencia to thrive, but only the opposite can be said.

If he is unfit as some suspect, he should never have been included in the squad for the game in the first place.

Tom Cleverley: 6

Midfielder Tom Cleverley was lively against Swansea, even if he toiled for most of the 90 minutes in his attempts to have a significant impact on the game.

He is not there yet, but given extended spells in the first team, the young Englishman may prove to become a world-class player for United with his swift pass-and-move brand of football.

Michael Carrick: 5

There are few players in the United squad who divide opinion like Michael Carrick. Some say he's an understated genius, others that he rarely contributes anything meaningful to the cause.

On Sunday, he started brightly, setting Ashley Young up with a stunning through ball that led to the opening goal. But as the game wore on, his passing became increasingly lackadaisical, while his decision-making occasionally bordered on atrocious.

Ashley Young: 5

Not much for Ashley Young to boast about in the wake of the underwhelming draw.

He may have been sharp in possession, but too often he squandered golden chances in situations that should have only led to the back of the net being bulged.

Wayne Rooney: 5

He may not have been United's worst player Sunday, but there were none more disappointing than the strangely impotent Wayne Rooney.

He looked fatigued, slow on the ball and weak shooting on goal. The talisman just could not get a grip on a midfield that he should, on any given day, dominate.

Robin van Persie: 7

Dutch striker Robin van Persie was Manchester United's best player at the Liberty Stadium, playing on a completely different wavelength than his teammates.

Unlucky not to score with a stunning volley, van Persie may have bagged a hat trick, or a hat trick of assists, had the other Red Devils played anywhere near his standards.


Javier Hernandez: 6

Without the service he needs to thrive, sub Javier Hernandez struggled to replicate his late, goal-scoring heroics of earlier in the season.

Ryan Giggs: N/A

Not the right player to win a game late on, his quickly dwindling pace let him down several times.

Paul Scholes: N/A

Like Giggs, this was not the right time for a Paul Scholes cameo appearance. Picked up a deserved booking late on for a reckless tackle.

What did you make of United's performance? Who were the standouts, good or bad?


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