Manchester United vs. West Ham: Player Ratings from FA Cup Third Round Replay

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Manchester United vs. West Ham: Player Ratings from FA Cup Third Round Replay
Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

Here are the player ratings from Manchester United's mostly comfortable but sporadically nervy 1-0 victory over West Ham United in the FA Cup.

Anders Lindegaard: The Danish goalkeeper got his first opportunity to start in goal since early December, and he could not have wished for an easier time. He did well on the few occasions he was called into action. However, he had trouble on a couple of occasions in the second half when West Ham loaded the box and whipped crosses in. 6/10

Rafael Da Silva: Rafael was the only player to retain his place from the weekend's victory over Liverpool. He once again showed why he has become a fixture at right-back. Along with solid defence, he also got up the pitch in support of Antonio Valencia with good effect (especially in the first half). This was another performance by the Brazilian to emphasize his position as United's first choice right-back. There was one hairy moment though—when he could have conceded a penalty for a hand ball. 7/10

Chris Smalling and Phil Jones: The centre-back pairing of Smalling and Jones truly worked as a partnership here, as they did superbly against West Ham's aerial threat. The centre-backs were outmuscled a couple of times by Carlton Cole and Ricardo Vaz Te, but they never looked like they were conceding. This was definitely a performance that would give both young centre-backs a lot of confidence. 7/10 for both

Alexander Buttner: The young Dutch left-back made a rare appearance for United and once again made an impression with his forward runs and link-up play with Nani. There are still kinks in his defensive game, with positioning and the tendency to give away silly fouls being a concern. However, Buttner has every reason to be satisfied with his performance today in a young defence that earned United a rare clean-sheet. 7/10

Wayne Rooney scores the winning goal vs West Ham

 

Anderson: The Brazilian midfielder made his comeback after another of his long layoffs. His touch was off and he tended to repeatedly overrun the ball with his dribbles. The lack of match sharpness showed as well, especially in his anonymous second-half performance. But he also provided the pass of the match with the through ball to Javier Hernandez that led directly to United's goal. It is to be hoped that the Red Devils will see more killer balls from Anderson as he regains his match fitness. 6/10

Ryan Giggs: It is hard to believe from this performance that Ryan Giggs is 39 years old. The United veteran rolled back the years with an accomplished performance. First, he pulled the strings from the centre of the park in a dominant first-half performance by the Red Devils. However, his best work came in the last quarter of the game when he switched to the left wing. His pace, dribbling and choice of passes were just too much for West Ham. To top it off, he also won United a penalty which Wayne Rooney then failed to convert. A Man of the Match performance. 8/10

Antonio Valencia: Valencia had one of his better games in recent times, which really shows how poor he has been lately. The Ecuadorian winger was full of running and did create a couple of openings. However, his crossing was poor once again, and the lack of end product in his game must be worrying Sir Alex Ferguson. 5/10

Nani: Another player who was making a comeback from a long injury layoff, Nani gave another of his trademark frustrating performances. On one hand, there were instances of good link-up play with Alex Buttner and Wayne Rooney. And he tracked back well this game. On the other hand, there was also the tendency to shoot wildly and go down softly. In addition, he does look way short of match fitness. 6/10

Chris Brunskill/Getty Images
Rooney reacts after missing a penalty

Wayne Rooney: He scored the winner in the ninth minute of his comeback game. However, he did look slow and seemed to want to pace himself through the game. Hence, there was none of the high intensity running and tracking back. Also, Rooney seemed content to sit quite deep in midfield, almost as if he was worried about having the fitness to track back when United lost the ball. Worst of all, he skied the penalty attempt that could have calmed United nerves. Greater things are expected of United's No. 10. 6/10

Javier Hernandez: Chicharito looked really lively through the game with his intelligent runs. The first of these off the shoulder of the last defender set up United's first goal. It also showed his unselfishness as he chose to square the ball to Rooney rather than take the shot himself. However, he was guilty of missing a gilt-edged chance to put United two goals up—the kind of chance that he rarely misses. 7/10

 

Substitutes:

Michael Carrick: Sir Alex Ferguson sent him on for a tiring Anderson to put an end to a period in the second half where West Ham were on top. And the ex-Hammers man did not disappoint as his presence helped United reassert their control in midfield. He also showed his quality by starting off several good United moves with his neat, precise passing. Right now, Carrick looks to be as important to United's success as Robin van Persie. 7/10

Paul Scholes: The ginger maestro didn't do much except keeping things ticking over nicely alongside Carrick. He also picked up the usual yellow card for a trademark Scholes tackle. 6/10

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