Manchester United V Wigan: Rating the United Players
United blitzed a lackluster Wigan side that will want to forget one of the worst performances of the season in a hurry, losing 5-0 to the Champions that barely had to leave second gear.
Sir Alex Ferguson needed to use an untested central-defensive partnership today due to the latest fallout of his stalwarts.
With Vidic, Ferdinand, Jones and Smalling out, Carrick and Jonny Evans were called upon to fulfill the duty, with Antonio Valencia starting at right full back with Evra taking his usual spot on the left.
With Carrick moved back, Giggs and Gibson started in the middle of the park with Nani out on the right wing and Park on the left wing.
Dimitar Berbatov was granted his second start in the Premier League this season, with his last coming via the 1-1 draw with Stoke at the end of September. He was partnered by speedy Mexican Javier Hernandez.
Anders Lindegaard was granted his second start in a row between the sticks for the Red Devils.
With a much lower price being paid for Lindegaard, it would be widely accepted to put his lack of starts in the Premier League down to club politics, because what we have seen of his has been good.
Lindegaard was barely needed in the game, but the stats read that it has nearly been 10 hours since the reserve keeper has conceded a goal.
Anders Lindegaard: 6/10
We've seen Antonio Valencia at right back last season on a few occasions and he often presents a massive offensive outlet for the Red Devils.
In the first half we saw no difference with the Ecuadorian dashing up and down the wing, allowing Nani to take a more central position.
Playing against his old side, Valencia was immense, and United fans will be hoping rumors of him moving off will not materialize after his 58th minute assist to Dimitar Berbatov.
A fully deserved goal came in the 75th minute for Valencia after a clearance from a corner arrived at his feet. A signature blast cemented his importance on the day.
Antonio Valencia: 8/10
The England international started at centre half in his most recent game after he scored against QPR last week from his usual midfield role.
Looking slightly uncomfortable early with Conor Sammon getting in behind him only to fluff a header that could have caused Lindegaard some trouble, Carrick's passing was still calm and reserved as ever.
With hardly any trouble given to him afterwards due to the sending off of Sammon, a very tame one at that, Carrick had barely any work to do.
Michael Carrick: 6/10
Jonny Evans is getting a lot more action than he used to in the Manchester United starting 11 these days. And due to him being the most defensively-minded players on the side today, his name was welcomed a lot more than usual.
There was not a lot of action throughout the game for Evans, but he was solid on the rare occasions he was needed.
Jonny Evans: 6/10
With a lot going on with Evra off the pitch these days, a lot of pressure must be on the Frenchman to keep up appearances.
Despite a subtle decline in the left back's form over the last season, he started well flying past three Wigan defenders on route to setting up one of his best friends, Ji Sung Park, for an early lead to take the pressure off.
Patrice Evra: 7/10
Nani is hitting a serious bit of form and playing some beautiful football lately.
He was one of the protagonists of the United attack in their most recent game, constantly probing in a freer role than usual due to Antonio Valencia's inclusion as a full back.
Looking like he is really turning into the player that Fergie thought he was when he signed him up, Nani is a key man at Old Trafford this season.
Darron Gibson, known primarily for his long-distance shooting ability, has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford since their recent League Cup exit at the hands of Crystal Palace.
Gibson went quietly about his business during the first half and managed to get himself an assist when he swung the ball in for a grateful Dimitar Berbatov. Although the success of the cross was the important thing, the Wigan defenders should have done a lot better.
Gibson put in a great performance, but will it be enough to keep him in Manchester in January?
Darron Gibson: 7/10
One of the greatest in the history of the club, Manchester United have made it known that they plan to offer the 38-year old Welsh wizard a new contract at the end of this season based on his impressive form.
In a central role, Giggs showed a lovely turn of pace halfway through the first half that saw him beat 3 players before the ball was cleared out of play. He was constantly looking for the ball and making the simple passes that challenged the opposition midfield and defense.
The experience of the player really showed, using the smallest bit of space to expliot the challenges of the bewildered Wigan defense, sumed up in a beautiful back heel to Ji Sung Park in the 60th minute.
Ryan Giggs: 7/10
Ji Sung Park
The industrious midfielder played out wide on the left, fulfilling his usual role, playing with more of a focus on defending than Ashley Young.
Maybe not as offensive as Young at the best of time, the Korean put United heads at rest early when he got on the end of a Patrice Evra pass and slotted the ball home.
He probably should have added another one early in the second when he got on the end of a Hernandez cross.
He did well throughout the game getting back and helping Evra and Fryers out down the left hand side and probably could have added a couple more if he was pushed.
Ji Sung Park: 8/10
Chicharito has made an astounding recovery from an injury he picked up against Aston Villa, that United fans originally thought would sideline him for nearly two months.
Hernandez buzzed around the box and came out wide to help the advancing play and probably took the majority of the defenders attention away from Park for the first goal in his position at the front post.
Strikers need goals and Hernandez is no different, but I'm sure this player will be firing on all cylinders again soon.
Javier Hernandez: 6/10
Back in the games, back in the goals, Berbatov's smile was one of relief when he got on the end of Darron Gibson's cross.
Berbatov was back on the sheet on the 58th minute after Valencia scorched up the pitch and made a lovely simple pass to which the Bulgarian spun into and finished precisely.
The classy forward out away a penalty to finish off the scoring and he looked like he was really enjoying his football for the first time in a long time.
And why wouldn't he after a great hat trick?
Dimitar Berbatov: 9/10
Ezekiel Fryers (On for Evans 45')
Nineteen-year old Ezekiel Fryers has been in the United squad on a few occasions this season and so far looks like a decent prospect.
The left back came on as a straight sub for Jonny Evans at half time, and seemed very capable for a young player.
Fryers put in a good performance, but was caught out by Di Santo on one occasion, so few were these moments that this one sticks out. It was nothing major for the young man, though.
Ezekiel Fryers: 6/10
Wayne Rooney (On for Giggs 64')
Wayne Rooney came on for Giggs after the left sided player was booked in the 63rd minute.
Playing a free role, the damage was already done when Rooney got on the field. He wasn't there to steal the headlines, and he played a good supporting role to Berbatov's star.
Wayne Rooney: 6/10
Federico Macheda (On for Nani 64')
After entering in the last 25 minutes in the game, Macheda played along the forward line and did a job.
Am I the only one that feels Macheda needs to really pull out some big performances to stay with Ferguson and United? Long gone are the days of him coming of the bench and causing a threat that would have the best defenders in the league breaking into sweats.
A real fan favorite, but is he good enough for this team, will another loan period do him any good?
Federico Macheda: 6/10
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