UEFA Champions League Final: Manchester United Player Ratings
The 2011 UEFA Champions League Final has just come to it's exciting finale, with Spanish Champions FC Barcelona defeating English Champions Manchester United at Wembley Stadium in London, United Kingdom.
Manchester United supporters can take plenty of positives and negatives from the match, but individual performances put in by the squad say a great deal about the team's overall performance.
Edwin van der Sar
On his last performance before retirement, van der Sar would have certainly hoped to end on a high.
His individual performance on the night was the standard, calm, consistent fair the Dutchman has been known for, although not particularly outstanding.
He was comfortable in a number of saves, and unfortunate to concede the second of Barcelona's goals to Lionel Messi, as not only did the goal appear from nowhere, but the ball appeared to take a bounce just as veteran keeper might have made contact.
Applause for an outstanding career and a man unfortunate to be runner-up to the Spanish again.
Fabio (Off 68 min.)
Excellent work from the 20-year-old in his first Champions League final appearance, as he didn't really look out of place amongst his illustrious competition.
Seemed to hurt his hamstring in the second half of the match, but was well composed to clear danger from the box before he hurt himself.
A reasonable performance from the competent centre-back, who was mostly tidy throughout the match.
Overshadowed completely by the performance of his defensive partner and Captain, Nemanja Vidic, however.
Despite Manchester United's loss, put in an excellent performance all around with a number of crucial tackles in and around the penalty area.
Completely overshadowed his defensive partner Ferdinand, and was the only defense the left side seemed to have all match from United.
Justified United manager Sir Alex Ferguson's decision to make him Captain this season. He will certainly be gutted at seeing his team lose the match, but can hold his head high with the way he lead by example.
Easily the weak link in the defense for United, left-back Patrice Evra found himself caught out of position far too often throughout the match.
This was particularly the case for Barcelona's opener, where Evra let his concentration lapse and drifted far too centrally, leaving space for Pedro.
Did what he could to counter in the second half, but just wasn't up to it.
Right-winger Antonio Valencia seemed more than happy to bring his physical side to the match at Wembley, but unfortunately he didn't bring much else. He was particularly clumsy during the first half of the match, and was fortunate not to be booked early on.
His counter-attacking nous was missing for much of the match, and Valencia didn't really demonstrate the form he's shown for United this season. While not the worst midfield performer, he didn't do enough.
Ryan Giggs didn't seem affected much by the controversy swirling around his personal life, but rather, simply looked incapable of coping with the class of the Barcelona midfield.
Showed his skill and vision by playing the important ball to Rooney for United's goal, but wasn't as present as could be hoped.
Michael Carrick (Off 77 min.)
Michael Carrick had the misfortunte of being the worst player on the pitch at the final, but it was completely his own doing.
Carrick has come in for a significant amount of criticism from English Premier League supporters this season, and the reasons for that were fully on display in London tonight.
He was seemingly a passenger for much of the match, failing to chase balls or close down midfielders as you would expect a holding midfielder to do. That role, instead, was picked up by Park Ji-Sung, and Carrick was rightfully substituted in the 77th minute.
I'd argue it should have been earlier.
Midfielder Park Ji-Sung ran. And ran. And ran. And ran.
I've never been a massive fan of the Korean and his ability on the pitch, but he put the rest of the United midfield to shame with his performance this evening.
Park played the holding midfield role far better than his partner Michael Carrick, and that's not a role that would normally suit him.
Put in all of the effort and heart you would expect from a player at the UEFA Champions League Final despite the fantastic midfield he was up against.
Had the rest of the midfield put in a similar shift, things could have been different.
As many in the media have been happy to bring up the last week, Wayne Rooney was seemingly anonymous in Manchester United's last UEFA Champions League Final in 2009.
Expected to make good on his potential for the Red Devils, he simply failed to deliver.
Tonight, on the other hand, observers witnessed the maturing of Wayne Rooney on the grandest stage of all.
He ran and battled for every ball from start to finish, and although he cut a forlorn and frustrated figure in the last 15 minutes of the match, all of the effort and skill were there.
He was well rewarded for his work with his finely-taken goal in the first half, and he truly kept his United team involved for much of the match even as hope began to fade.
Javier Hernandez: "Chichirato"
22-year-old striker Javier Hernandez looked lively for United in the first half of the match, although he found himself off-side a number of times.
By the second half, however, he had definitely begun to fade. Despite all of the talent and skill the young Mexican possesses, it seemed like United could have really done with a more experienced and calm head in the latter portion of the game.
Plenty of running, but not much else to speak of. The experience will hopefully pay dividends for him in the future.
Nani (On 68 min.):
The winger barely had an opportunity to make any positive impact before he brought the negative. Late shot on goal, but fired wide. He had told the media before the final that if United manager Ferguson chose him to play, he would deliver. Not quite.
Paul Scholes (On 77 min.):
Brought on as a late substitute, Scholes had little time to do much, as the last ten minutes of the match was spent on time-wasting by Barcelona before the inevitible.
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