Player Ratings – Manchester United Vs. Olympique Marseille

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By Mark Young.

Manchester United sneak through, but only just, against a Marseille side that could sniff progression at only 1-0 down. Wayne Rooney was the pick of the performers and is finally somewhat back to his best. Man United march into the quarter finals.

Manchester United

1.  Edwin Van Der Sar

Another solid performance from the Dutchman who was the calm head against a nervy back four. The Dutchman had to be the voice and talk the defence through the game. Even though the defence looked uncomfortable Van Der Sar never did. A real asset and it will be a struggle to replace him in the summer. 7(out of 10)

22. John O’Shea (Replaced by 21. Rafael)

O’Shea was preferred to Rafael at right back purely because of his height against Marseille and Fergie hoped he would compensate in that area after losing Nemanja Vidic. He kept the quick Andre Ayew quiet until he pulled up just before half time. Replaced by Rafael. 5

12. Chris Smalling

Three years ago Smalling was playing for Maidstone United against Harlow Town. He has looked solid alongside Vidic where the Serb sees him through games but he seems nervy when paired with Brown. It was the latter this time around and he did look nervy. A sloppy header gave Remy a chance to equalise in the first half and also went up for the same ball as Brown at one point, which showed a lack of communication. He was solid enough but clearly more comfortable playing in the same side as his captain. 6

6. Wes Brown

Brown went up for the same ball as Smalling but where Smalling is young, up and coming, Brown should have more experience to help see the young defender through games. Since a pre season bust up with Sir Alex, Brown has struggled and this continued against Marseille. He completely missed a cross in the second half that should have been easily cleared and also scored an unfortunate own goal. 5

3. Patrice Evra

Always looking to get forward United’s captain for the night was in typical form although he was usually restricted when attempting forward runs because of Remy’s pace. Consistent and solid as always and a vital member of the first team for United. His experience in the run in will also be vital, as it was tonight. 6

17. Nani (Replaced by 25. Valencia)

A small miracle that he was included after his injury but Nani had a positive impact until he was replaced on the hour by Antonio Valencia. Nani was very dangerous on the break and even did his fair share of tracking back to help out the defenders. It’s a huge positive for United to have him back so soon. 6

16. Michael Carrick

Carrick did the simple things right against Marseille without doing too much outstanding. Playing after an injury but he still needs to give a bit more to keep his place in the side. Since his two goals in the 7-1 win against Roma a couple of years back there has been no improvement in performances. In recent weeks he has gradually improved but a little bit more positive play is needed. 6

18. Paul Scholes

The ginger genius played his usual quarter back style role with perfect passing and super vision all night. This is nothing new from him but a good performance none the less. He was always calm on the ball and never looked under pressure. He is another player United will find very difficult to replace. 7

11. Ryan Giggs

An energetic performance from Giggs who played an instrumental role in both United goals and was always available for a pass when United were on the break. He slid a pass during a give and go into Rooney before Wayne set up Hernandez. Giggsy’s wonderful first time cross along the floor in front of the Stretford End gave Hernandez a second tap in. 7

10. Wayne Rooney

After this all action performance it is safe to say that Rooney is very close to being back to his best. Dropping off of Hernandez like he did against Arsenal Rooney was spraying the ball about, especially in the first half. He covered every blade of grass and slid in Hernandez for his first goal. He also played a vital ball to Valencia in the build up to the second. MAN OF THE MATCH 8

14. Javier Hernandez

The Little Pea is becoming a scorer of important goals for United and in that respect is becoming as important as the legendary Solskjaer was at Old Trafford. Whether starting or from the bench he makes an impact. Chicharito is a bargain at around six million pounds. Two tap ins for the goals but his running and general all round game was really good. 7

Subs:

21. Rafael da Silva (Replaced by 20. Fabio)

Rafael came on for the injured John O’shea and then the substitute also got injured, by pulling or tweaking his hamstring. He made a few positive runs in the time that he was on but always seemed to try too much. Unfortunate injury. 5

25. Luis Antonio Valencia

The Ecuadorian winger continued his come back with a solid and fearless 30 minutes including playing the ball into Ryan Giggs which eventually came to a goal. It will be a huge boost to United to have him back. 6

20. Fabio da Silva

The other da Silva twin came on to replace his brother but had little time to make an impact and for most of the time he was on United were sitting back so in an attacking sense there was no chance. 5

Olympique Marseille

30. Steve Mandanda

He looked very solid with his handling from crosses but his distribution was very poor. Throwing and kicking are not his strong points and that was especially evident when he kicked it straight to Nani in the first half. Luckily for him and Marseille, it went un punished by United. 6

24. Rod Fanni

He was very good defensively, strong and showed very good composure. Struggled to get forward until Marseille made it 2-1 and forced Van Der Sar into a low save.  Fanni showed good pace throughout and looked comfortable. 7

19. Gabriel Heinze

The ex United man was booed on his return after wanting to leave the Manchester club for Liverpool. In the first half he was digging at Hernandez after the Mexican got the better of him for the opener. 6

21. Soleymane Diawara

Diawara showed good strength against United. He was imposing at times but probably should have buried a free header into the back of the net in the first half to equalise for Marseille. 7

3. Taye Taiwo

Taiwo had the better of Nani in the first half but got beaten more regularly by Antonio Valencia in the final half an hour. He was also reluctant to get forward although when he did, he played a great ball into the box for Diawara to head in the first half. 6

17. Stephane M’Bia (Replaced by 15. Jordan Ayew)

A well built midfielder who has been deployed at centre back in recent times. He took up his more natural position today but lacked creativity. A good wall in front of the defence. Lasted 80 minutes. 6

7. Benoit Cheyrou

Managed to test Van Der Sar with a long range effort but didn’t stamp his authority on the game as Marseille would have liked. Overawed by United’s early pace but slowly got better. 6

11. Loic Remy

Remy is a striker who is usually played on the wing for Deschamp’s men. His pace troubled Evra at times but his final ball was that of a player out of position, not good enough. When Gignac went off he was deployed through the middle and looked much more of a threat. He had a mistimed Smalling header fall to him but he missed the target in what was at least a half chance. 6

8. Lucho Gonzalez

Lucho was another one who had a slow start to the game with mis-timed passes, sloppy set pieces and wasted shots, the first half hour wasn’t his best. But he grew into the game and was really good in the second half with his passing but there was no killer ball in the locker. He can do much better. 7

20. Andre Ayew

Ayew had a very positive performance and caused the United defence some difficulties. He always got into the final third but there was no final ball, but whoever was at right back throughout the game dealt with him. 6

10. Andre-Pierre Gignac (Replaced by 28. Mathieu Valbuena)

Gignac missed the first leg in Marseille and had a very good chance to equalise mid way through the first half. After being put through, Gignac only had Van Der Sar to beat but smashed the ball over. Ineffective. 5

Subs:

28. Mathieu Valbuena

It was a surprise that he didn’t start but Valbuena came on with 20 minutes to go to replace the ineffective Gignac. He had little impact until he delivered an in swinging corner that was converted beyond Van Der Sar from Wes Brown. 6

15. Jordan Ayew

Brother of Andre and just as quick but with little time to change the game. He was denied the space to cause the damage that Deschamps sent him on to cause. 5

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3 Responses to “Player Ratings – Manchester United Vs. Olympique Marseille”

  1. Danny Salford Red Reply March 16, 2011 at 11:37 am

    No way Gonzalex deseved a 7/10 as he was awful and id of given Tony higher than a 6/10 as I thought he was brilliant when he came on. rest pretty much spot on

  2. Yea I’d probably agree with you with the Valencia thing, he did make an impact, and I thought lucho was terrible first half but he imporved and he looked more likely to make things happen for them second half where the game seemed to pass cheyrou for example by. Whats your opinion on Carrick’s performances?

  3. Maybe a 6 would have been justifiable to be fair, I compared him too much to the rest of the Marseille midfield

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