Player Ratings: Manchester United vs. FC Schalke 04

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By Mark Young.

Manchester United 4 – 1 FC Schalke 04

The famous Man United are off to Wembley after a dominant performance from what was very close to a second string. Antonio Valencia put United ahead to settle some early nerves. A double from Anderson and a Darron Gibson strike settle the tie for the Red Devils.

United will now have to battle Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona in the final on May 28th but attention now turns to Chelsea on Sunday. Sir Alex Ferguson changed nine players from the defeat to Arsenal and will probably change the same amount back for the visit of Carlo Ancelotti’s men to Old Trafford this weekend.

Manchester United

1. Edwin Van der Sar

Van der Sar had very little to do throughout the game and could do nothing about Jurado’s strike. He smothered a late Schalke chance when substitute, Klaas Jan Huntelaar ran through the middle of the United defence. The Dutchman also saved a good late shot from Edu. 6 (out of 10)

21. Rafael da Silva

The Brazilian replaced his twin brother at right back and was energetic, as always throughout. He always tried getting forward and his defending is showing signs of maturity. He picked up a knock just before the hour mark and was replaced by Patrice Evra. 6

23. Johnny Evans

It hasn’t been Johnny Evans’ season but he showed good composure in the heart of United’s defence. Jurado’s goal took a deflection off of the Northern Ireland international but it was very unlucky. 6

12. Chris Smalling

The surprise of the season had another solid performance but he will have to take some of the blame for the Schalke goal. He gave the ball away in his own half and it eventually lead to the goal. He dealt with Raul really well and will be happy with his efforts this season as he is now considered third choice at centre back. 7

22. John O’Shea

United’s captain for the night is a different prospect to the da Silva’s or Evra in the full back positions but he uses his experience well. His pace doesn’t trouble many defenders but he did try to attack when he could. His reliability to fill a gap is second to none. 6

18. Paul Scholes

Scholes was allowed, by the Schalke defence to pick out pass after pass in the heart of midfield. It wasn’t one of Scholes’ best performances but his experience in the side was needed and his passing was spot on. He was booked from refusing to move a free kick back. 6

28. Darron Gibson

Gibson showed what he could do when he doesn’t shoot all the time. He played a fantastic ball to Valencia for the opener and his powerful strike forced Neuer to make a mistake for the second goal. His passing was good and even when the crowd shouted for a shot, he was always looking for another pass. One of his better performances. 7

8. Anderson

An all action display from the often criticised Brazilian as he doubled his goal return for United. He could have settled the tie with a curling shot early in the second half. He then showed good composure as he seemed to lose the ball from a Nani pass but got back on his feet to score from near the penalty spot. His second goal was a tap in after good work and a good pass from Berbatov. 8

25. Antonio Valencia

Another powerful display from the Ecuadorian on his comeback from injury, which he suffered in United’s first game at home in the Champions League this term. He struck home to settle the home fans’ nerves with the opener. He also played the pass to Gibson for number two and played a good ball to Berbatov before the Bulgarian set up Anderson for the fourth. MAN OF THE MATCH 9

17. Nani

The Portugese winger was trying to over elaborate on a lot of his play in the first half when the simple ball would have been the better option although he was always a threat on the break. He was brilliant in the set up for the third goal with a good run down the wing, showing a good turn of pace and composure to give Anderson the ball. 7

9. Dimitar Berbatov

Never usually seen as a lone striker the Bulgarian started his first game since his two misses in the FA cup semi final. He has fallen behind Rooney and Hernandez at Old Trafford but he is still t he top scorer this season and showed good touches throughout. He set up Anderson’s second with a good run and simple ball across the Schalke area. 7

Subs:

3. Patrice Evra

Was rested for this game but had to come on for the injured Rafael. He could have scored late on but the Frenchman will definitely play on Sunday from the start. 6

24. Darren Fletcher

Fletcher has been a big miss for United so the twenty minutes he got under his belt after a battle with a virus will be very welcoming. He may have a big part to play still. 6

7. Michael Owen

Owen will probably be disappointed to have only got just under 15 minutes of action. He was unlucky to be judged offside when it looked like he would go on to at least test Neuer. He did have one good shot saved.6

FC Schalke 04

1. Manuel Neuer

The much fancied German did not put in the kind of performance everyone had expected after his heroics last week. His mistake made Gibson’s goal sneak and probably should have done better with Anderson’s first but he did make some top draw saves from Anderson and Owen.5

22. Astuto Uchida

The Japanese full back showed good ambition going forward and was somewhat of a threat. The problem for him was that United dominated the second half so his attacking intent was gone and was always on the back foot.6

4. Benedikt Howedes

There were worse performances than Howedes’ in the Schalke defence. He had a good game after coming back from injury. He cleared an effort off the line but did look a little bit off the pace. He was subbed for Huntelaar as Schalke had to eventually chase the game.6

23. Cristoph Metzelder

Another slow performance from Metzelder who is clearly not as good as he once was. He must have been thanking god that he didn’t have to put up with Rooney and Hernandez again. He couldn’t deal with the movement of the United attack. Not good enough and looks like it’s near the end of the road for the German. 5

3. Sergio Escudero

The Spaniard’s inexperience showed in a game where he was out of position for long periods especially in the build up to Antonio Valencia’s first half strike. The Ecuadorian beat him with ease on a number of occasions and Escudero will be very disappointed with his performance. 5

14. Kyriakos Papadopolous

A vastly improved performance to the first leg but still not good enough. He is still young and shows signs that he will be a decent player with some very good touches. He struggled to contain Anderson and Gibson who had the freedom of the Schalke half after the break. 6

18. Jose Manual Jurado

Jurado is an easy on the eye playmaker that had a relatively lively game for a Schalke player. He was the only player that looked like making anything happen for the German side. He did just that after capitalising on some sloppy United defence with a brilliant finish. 7

17. Jefferson Farfan

At times the Peruvian looked like he was playing in a free role. He is very quick and that should have troubled United more. Every time he got into good positions his ball was wasteful. He started where he left off in the first leg and didn’t, again have the desired, attacking impact. 5

11. Alexander Baumjohann

Before Baumjohann was replaced at half time by Edu, he had very little effect. He was supposed to be the link between midfield and in attack but he failed to do this as most of Schalke’s attacking play was stuck to the wings. 5

31. Julian Draxler

Draxler seemed to feel the pressure of the big occasion and froze at Old Trafford.  He looked like he was getting into the game just before half time but he struggled to build on it after the break. 5

7. Raul Gonzalez

The legendary Spanish forward looks like he could have played his final game in the Champions League. No one has scored more goals than Raul in Europe but when Edu came on at half time he dropped into a midfield role. He looked good in midfield but his presence was needed up front but with nothing going for Schalke it was not to be for Raul. 6

Subs

9. Edu

The journeyman striker had a few good shots but he is not good enough for Champions League football on this performance. 5

25. Klaas Jan Huntelaar

The Dutchman had just come back from injury and could not help his struggling side. 5

32. Joel Matip

Matip came on late after playing in the first leg but could not help save a sinking ship. 5

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