Player Ratings: Manchester United vs. Everton

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By Mark Young.

Manchester United 1 – 0 Everton

Javier Hernandez scored a vital 83rd minute header to blow the roof off Old Trafford and give Manchester United three points against Everton.

United huffed and puffed but could not blow Everton’s door down until a deflected Valencia cross was converted by the Little Pea. United now only need seven points from the remaining four games but Ferguson wants to win the league in the next two games, away at Arsenal and at home to Chelsea.

Man United

1. Edwin Van der Sar

Van der Sar had nothing to do all game until Rodwell had a deflected shot that was going to find the bottom corner of the net. The big Dutchman got down well and tipped wide to give his side the platform to go and grab the late winner. 6 (out of 10)

20. Fabio da Silva

Fabio showed pace and energy. The attacking full back didn’t stop running all afternoon. He dovetailed well with Valencia on the right and the young Brazilian definitely staked his claim for a regular start in the run in after a solid performance. He accumulated some fouls early on but grew into the game. 7

5. Rio Ferdinand

As captain for the day, Ferdinand had a solid game. He was found wanting for pace in the second half by Anichebe on one occasion but he had a decent game apart from that, keeping Beckford, in the first and Anichebe in the second relatively quiet. A Vidic-less defence needed some leadership and in Ferdinand, United have that. 6

23. Johnny Evans

After a good season last year, Evans seems to have been found out by the opposition this year. His inclusion was a surprise to most but he imposed himself well putting in some solid challenges to keep the Everton attack quiet. 6

22. John O’Shea

The Irishman only lasted an hour as he struggled at left back. Where Fabio on the right was supporting Valencia, going forward O’Shea seemed to be off the pace to help Nani. He was getting forward early on and even sneaked a shot in, but it was a tame one. 5

25. Antonio Valencia

The Ecuadorian winger was up against his ex Wigan team mate in Leighton Baines but there was only one winner on the day. He showed superb strength by brushing Baines off the ball down the right wing before he passed back to an oncoming Nani in the area, only for his shot to deflect wide off of Hernandez. Valencia’s closing down on Distin and cross for Hernandez set up the winner. Brilliant, powerful performance. MAN OF THE MATCH 8

8. Anderson

The Brazilian midfielder had a poor game against Newcastle in mid week but fared much better at Old Trafford. He had more time on the ball to pick out killer passes which he did on a number of occasions. One criticism would be that he tried these passes too often; it wouldn’t hurt to go short sometimes but still an encouraging performance. 7

28. Darron Gibson

The game seemed to pass Gibson by and didn’t impose himself at all. Whenever he hears the crowd say shoot he does just that but a little too often. He had a few shots, especially in the first half that wasted some good possession. 5

17. Nani

Nani had a lot of possession of the ball in attacking positions in the first half but tried doing too much with it. Nani is at his best when he doesn’t elaborate as much, a good cross instead of trying to take the tough Tony Hibbert on. He was also wasteful with corners with many finding an Everton player. 6

10. Wayne Rooney

Rooney once again dropped off of his Mexican strike partner and was pulling the strings for United. Rooney and Hernandez are looking more and more dangerous together and the ex Everton man deserved a goal in the first half. His frustration was clear as United squandered chances but didn’t give up. Epitomised the United performance. 7

14. Javier Hernandez

Hernandez is quickly becoming as important to United as Rooney is. His vital goals are coming at vital times and a comparison with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would not be far off being accurate. His movement off the ball was fantastic again and he never stopped running. 8

Subs:

3. Patrice Evra

Evra came on to replace John O’Shea with half an hour left and looked really good going forward always causing a threat down the left hand side. 6

7. Michael Owen

Owen has said he feels an important goal coming in the run in but it didn’t come today. He looked sharp though and is a good weapon to bring off the bench. 6

11. Ryan Giggs

The Welshman replaced Gibson with 15 minutes left and was comfortable in possession. 5

Everton

24. Tim Howard

It looked for a long time that the ex United goalkeeper was going keep his former club out. He was finally beaten but Howard will feel hard done by. His handling and decision making were good but could do nothing about the winner. 8

2. Tony Hibbert

Nani had a tough game against Hibbert as the Everton man stuck to his task against the tricky winger. A few tough challenges in the first half showed Nani he was really in a game. Solid. 6

6. Phil Jagielka

A dominant display from the England man who will also feel hard done by to have his clean sheet ripped up by Hernandez. He dealt with the Mexican’s movement well and put his body on the line to stop United getting the vital goal. His commitment is unquestionable and his display proved just that. 8

15. Sylvain Distin

Distin’s awful clearance was the start of the move where United got the winner. After being chased down by Valencia the ball wasn’t cleared, the ball landed at Anderson’s feet who fed Valencia. The Ecuadorian beat Distin and delivered the cross. He struggled to gain the same kind of composure as his defensive partner. 5

3. Leighton Baines

Baines has had a terrific season but he more than met his match in his ex Wigan team mate, Valencia. He was beaten for strength and pace by the Ecuadorian. Could not impose himself in an attacking sense because of Valencia’s high position. 6

18. Phil Neville

The ex United player broke up play and was solid in defensive midfield throughout. Solid challenges and simple passing throughout gave a good display against his former club. 6

26. Jack Rodwell

The reported United target almost won the game for the Toffee’s but Van der Sar got down well enough to tip wide. He was disappointing in other aspects of his game, especially struggling to pick up the floating Rooney. 6

23. Seamus Coleman

The PFA Young Player of the Year nominee had little effect on the game in an attacking sense. United nullified his attacking play but performed well enough defensively with some strong tackles and hard work. 6

7. Diniyar Bilyaletdinov

The Russian did very little in the first half as it looked like the heat was getting to him. Struggled to make any impact and hardly had a touch on the ball. He was subbed at half time for the returning Tim Cahill. 5

21. Leon Osman

A very hard working display from Osman who had a first half shot fall tamely towards the United goalkeeper. Another player who failed to make much of an impact in an attacking sense but his industry and efficiency in possession all added up to a good performance. 6

16. Jermaine Beckford

The former Leeds man struggled to make the same kind of impact he had with the Elland Road club in the FA Cup last season. He hardly had a sniff and was replaced at half time by Victor Anichebe. 5

Subs

17. Tim Cahill

A welcome return to the Everton team but he struggled to have any impact in the second half as United dominated. 6

28. Victor Anichebe

The tough Nigerian out did Ferdinand for pace in the second half but he was otherwise not much of a physical presence, which was the reason why he replaced Beckford. Evans and Ferdinand dealt with him comfortably enough despite having half a shout for a penalty. 5

19. Magaye Gueye

Gueye had very little impact on the game as he replaced Coleman with 15 minutes to go. 5

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