Rating Manchester United Players in the 1-0 Win Against Fulham

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Rating Manchester United Players in the 1-0 Win Against Fulham
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images
Wayne Rooney scores the winning goal against Fulham at Craven Cottage

Here are the player ratings for Manchester United's close 1-0 victory against Fulham at Craven Cottage.

David De Gea: There were no signs of his recent jitters from the Spanish stopper as he earned a much deserved clean sheet. The first half saw him make a couple of excellent saves to prevent United from going behind. His fingertip save from Bryan Ruiz's shot in particular, was world class. There was even an early catch in traffic from a Fulham corner to show he was feeling confident. 8/10

Rafael Da Silva: It is a mark of how much Rafael has improved this season that his performance in this season felt rather like normal service. He defended diligently and got forward in support of Valencia, and then Nani. There was also a goal-line clearance in the second half which contributed immensely to the clean sheet. 7/10

Rio Ferdinand: Once again, Rio showed he still retains his class despite being 34 years old. He was calm and assured and did whatever was asked of him defensively during the game. His calming influence in this game cannot be understated, especially with Jonny Evans suffering a torrid opening 10 minutes, and Fulham enjoying periods of pressure throughout the match. 7/10

Jonny Evans: As said above, the Northern Irishman endured a torrid opening 10 minutes on his return to action from injury. However, once he got over his initial jitters, Evans was commanding and effective, despite having Hugo Rodallega to contend with. To cap it all off, Evans also got the assist for the winning goal. 8/10

Patrice Evra: Much like Rafael, Evra put in a quietly effective performance for most of this game. As usual, he showed initiative in going forward to link up in attack. However, his defensive positioning was questionable a few times in the second half, especially when Fulham turned up the pressure. 7/10

 

 

Antonio Valencia: Once again, United's Ecuadorian winger failed to impress despite having the prospect of facing up to a pedestrian John Arne Riise. His form is probably the most worrying aspect of United's current form, and his performance today did nothing to alleviate this anxiety. His ineffective evening came to an end around the hour mark, when he was replaced by Javier Hernandez. 5/10

Michael Carrick: The main man in United's engine room put up another accomplished performance. This despite the presence of Bryan Ruiz, who was tasked with marking Carrick every time he received the ball. It is a testament to his importance to this United side that most teams now see pressing Carrick as the chief strategy behind stopping the Red Devils. 7/10

Tom Cleverley: The United midfield does seem a different beast when Cleverley and Carrick are paired together. His mobility is certainly a big strength, and his passing accuracy (a game high 97 percent) helped the midfield gain control of the match. However, one would have expected Cleverley to dominate much more against a relatively static opposing Fulham midfield. 6/10

Luis Nani: The divisive Portuguese winger had one of his better games today as he caused the right side of the Fulham defence no end of problems. His trickery, footwork and ability to play out of tight corners were all on display as he looked to be the most likely creator of any United goal in the first half. Unfortunately though, his crossing left a lot to be desired. 7/10 

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Wayne Rooney: The man-of-the-match by a long distance, Rooney was at the heart of everything good about United's game today. He reveled in his role in the hole in the first half, and was unlucky not to score despite fashioning many chances. He provided everyone a reminder of his enduring quality late in the second half though, with a powerful run and exquisite finish for the winning goal. 9/10 

 

 

Robin van Persie: RvP had his second consecutive quiet game this season as he failed to score for consecutive games for only the third time since his summer move. Having said that, he was involved in much of United's attacking play in the first half. More important though was his contribution to defending set pieces, especially his headed goal line clearance right at the death. 7/10

 

Substitutes:

Javier Hernandez: United's game-plan changed once Chicharito came on around the hour mark, as they looked to play the ball forward quickly and exploit the space behind Fulham's centre-backs. It was one such ball by Evans that found Rooney and led to the goal. However, he should have scored in a one-on-one situation in injury time. 6/10

Ryan Giggs: Sir Alex introduced Giggs in place of Cleverley, probably to infuse some more creativity into United's midfield. However, the move only caused United to lose control of the midfield, as Fulham's pressure exposed his defensive deficiencies. Having said that, Giggs did have a couple of good interceptions and blocks late on. 5/10 

Danny Welbeck: There wasn't really enough time for Welbeck to make an impact as he came on for Nani late on in the game. It seemed a tactical decision by Sir Alex, who just wanted a player on the wing who would track back for the rest of the game. 5/10

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