Player Ratings: United vs. Chelsea

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By Lee Savery.

Another one of those days at Old Trafford that saw the title swing Manchester United’s way once more. An excellent performance from each player wearing the famous strip. Hernandez got United off to an excellent start, within 40 seconds, by slotting past Petr Cech after great build up play by the majestic Ryan Giggs and Ji-Sung Park. Nemanja Vidic headed in from a Giggs cross to make it two after just 22 minutes. Frank Lampard pulled one back for Chelsea but this was United’s day.

Chelsea will now, very likely, have to deal with a trophy-less season and whatever ramifications that comes with that regarding Carlo Ancelotti. Man United, however, march on to Ewood Park looking for that vital point to secure, a record, 19th League title.

Manchester United

1. Edwin van der Sar

Not one of his busy days but dealt with everything he had to competently. Made a couple of important saves from Drogba in the first half. Just did what he had to do. 6 (out of 10)

20. Fabio Da Silva

The inter-changing of the twins happened again with Fabio picked ahead of his brother. Energetic as always and showed a great willingness to defend and attack. Showing great maturity just like his brother. Picked up a knock late on and was replaced by Chris Smalling. 7

5. Rio Ferdinand

Another imperious display alongside Vidic. Dealt with whatever came his way and helped keep Drogba quiet for most of the game. 7

15. Nemanja Vidic

A captain’s performance from Vidic this afternoon. Imperious alongside Ferdinand. Dealt with everything that came his way and nullified any Chelsea attack. Showed great desire to meet Giggs’ superb cross for the second goal. A captain’s goal. Superb. 8

22. John O’Shea

Just one half for O’Shea as he was substituted at half time for an injury after starting ahead of Patrice Evra who had been injured in midweek. A competent display. With no threat from the wings from Chelsea, this allowed him to have a comfortable half of football. 6

25. Antonio Valencia

This has to be one of Valencia’s best performances in a United shirt. Gave Ashley Cole a torrid time all afternoon with an all action display. A constant threat. Picked ahead of Nani and we could see why. Excellent. 8

16. Michael Carrick

Another excellent Carrick display where he quietly helped run the show alongside the superb Giggs. Made some great defensive blocks and tackles. He used the ball well throughout the game and never put a foot wrong. Some can doubt him but this is what Carrick can do on a good day. 8

11. Ryan Giggs

What more can be said about this man? He ran the show from start to finish. Excellent in defence and attack. Superb passing throughout and his non stop creativity caused Chelsea numerous problems. Was involved with both goals by sliding a superb ball to Park and put in a unstoppable cross for Vidic. Majestic. MAN OF THE MATCH 9

13. Ji-Sung Park

Always selected for the big games and the Korean was superb again. How does this man keep going? Did everything he does in every game, attacked with threat and defended with discipline. Had a superb long range effort saved by Cech in the first half. Played a big part in a superb midfield performance. Excellent. Hard to choose between him and Giggs for man of the match. 9

10. Wayne Rooney

Not a classic Rooney performance but he was a constant threat. His passing throughout was up there with Giggs’ and Carrick’s in the midfield. Unlucky not to score himself with an early long range effort palmed away by Cech and Alex blocking his shot on an open goal after a pass by Hernandez. A good performance overall. 7

14. Javier Hernandez

Sent Old Trafford and United fans around the world delirious after just 36 seconds with a well taken finish from a Park through ball. Unlucky not to have scored more but was a constant threat with his pace and movement as ever. 7

Subs:

23. Jonny Evans

Replaced the injured O’Shea at half time to play an unfamiliar position of left-back. With Chelsea’s threat on the wings non-existent, he comfortably dealt with whatever came at him. Threw his body at any blocks needed in the penalty area. Showed great desire all second half. 7

12. Chris Smalling

Replaced Fabio who had picked up a knock in a challenge with Cole. Showed some nice touches to help United see the game out. 6

Chelsea

1. Petr Cech

Probably Chelsea’s best player on a disappointing afternoon for them. Made some good saves from the likes of Rooney and Park early on in the first half to keep the score down to try and give his team a chance. Not at fault for both United goals. 7

2. Branislav Ivanovic

Lucky to be on the pitch with his constant fouling of Rooney. Looked troubled all afternoon by the lively Park. Not a match he will remember. 5

4. David Luiz

Embarrassingly hauled off at half-time with Ancelotti firmly putting the blame for the first goal on him as his poor touch allowed Hernandez through. Forgettable afternoon for him. 3

26. John Terry

A decent game for Terry. While the rest of his defence struggled he dealt with everything that came to him competently but will be disappointed with how his team conceded both goals. 6

3. Ashley Cole

Given a torrid time by Valencia all match. Was poor throughout. This will be a game he will want to forget very quickly. 3

5. Michael Essien

Had to check the team sheet to know he was on the pitch. Not the influence he usually is for Chelsea due to a superb United midfield performance. 5

12. John Obi Mikel

Had a decent half. Made a couple of interceptions as United threatened to run riot in the first half. Replaced at half time by Ramires. 5

8. Frank Lampard

Scored Chelsea’s only goal with an instinctive close range finish but was largely ineffective on a poor afternoon for Chelsea. 5

21. Salomon Kalou

Ghosted through his 61 minutes without causing any real threat to the United defence. Can’t remember him having a shot either. Replaced by Fernando Torres. 4

15. Florent Malouda

Malouda was hardly given any time on the ball and, much like his team mates, was largely ineffective. 5

11. Didier Drogba

Was the only real threat in the Chelsea attack. Forced Van der sar into a couple of saves including his effort from a free-kick. Not given a clear shot at goal, in open play, all game. 7

Subs:

33. Alex

Replaced the poor David Luiz at half time and did a better job than the rest of the defence had done in the first half. Excellent block to deny Rooney a goal. Alex can take some pride from his personal performance but he won’t want to remember it. 7

7. Ramires

A confusing choice of substitution with Chelsea needing 3 goals in the second half. He looked a frustrated in his time on the pitch. He showed some nice touches but nothing of any real note. 6

9. Fernando Torres

Replaced Kalou with half an hour to go and you could feel the desperation in Ancelotti by throwing on a man who has only scored once since joining the club. I don’t think even Chelsea fans wanted him on the pitch. Had a close range shot go just wide and that was it. Nowhere near his best at all. 5

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