Player Ratings: Manchester United vs. Chelsea


By Mark Young.

Manchester United 2 – 1 Chelsea

Manchester United beat Chelsea 2-1 at Old Trafford to set up a potential semi-final tie with Schalke. Fantastic displays from Carrick, Rooney, Giggs and Park put the hardworking Red Devils through. The treble is still on as United now look forward to Wembley and Manchester City at the weekend. As for Chelsea; all hopes of a trophy are over. Ancelotti now seems to be clinging to his job whereas Ferguson’s side just gets stronger and stronger.

Man United

1.Edwin van der Sar

It is going to be a sad day when van der Sar hangs up his gloves after another solid display. He did everything right and made some routine yet vital saves; especially in the first half from Lampard. It may have been a different story if that hit the back of the net. United’s number one even put an inch perfect sliding tackle in on Anelka on the edge of the box in the first half after he was set free down the right. Class. 7 (out of 10)

22. John O’Shea

The Irishman kept his place after the Fulham win on Saturday after Rafael didn’t make it.  He is one of United’s hard workers and showed that again. He played a wonderful ball inside to Giggs before the Welshman set up the opener. He played Drogba onside for the equaliser but was his reliable self throughout. 6

5. Rio Ferdinand

Rio got himself back to fitness for the double header with Chelsea and didn’t disappoint alongside Vidic. The pair of them kept Torres under lock and key for the first 45 minutes and although Drogba saw more of the ball than Torres did after half time he still looked comfortable. He was hobbling around for a few minutes in both halves but his commitment and adrenaline saw him through. I would not be surprised if he did not play on Saturday. 7

15. Nemanja Vidic

A lot of the talk in the build up was how Torres had torn Vidic to pieces in past clashes. But the big Serb proved that was the past as he gets stronger with every game whilst Torres fades. The proposition of Drogba in the second half did not faze the United captain as he and Ferdinand looked solid and compact. 7

3. Patrice Evra

Evra seems to be lacking a little on the defensive side of his game recently, especially shown at West Ham and at Stamford Bridge where he was caught out in the first leg before bringing Ramires down. He was caught off guard again as Drogba got in behind the Frenchman before he fired home the equaliser. Still looked good going forward but he will be hoping to be back to his brilliant best soon. 6

17. Nani

Nani was not at his best at all at Old Trafford but his pace, skill and acceleration still had the desired threat. The Portuguese international was impressive on the break and having him in full flow will really tilt future challenges United’s way.  7

16. Michael Carrick

One question; Where has this man been? The Michael Carrick that has been controlling midfield, been strong in a challenge and been creative going forward, is not the same man that has been turning up, probably since his double against Roma a few years back. He was magnificent in this match and has really taken the mantle in midfield since Fletcher has been injured. Now, if he can keep this level of performance up an England recall has to be in the reckoning. 8

11. Ryan Giggs

Ryan Giggs is one word, unbelievable. He is continuing to show how good he is, even at 37. All three goals in the two legged encounter have been assisted by him. His low cross to Hernandez and his delicate chip to Park were just the start of a brilliant performance by the Welshman. At this rate, he can go on forever. Ryan Giggs really is unbelievable. MAN OF THE MATCH 9

13. Ji-Sung Park

The hard working Korean, has shown once more, why he is always preferred in the big games. The temptation to start Nani and Valencia must have been there for Ferguson but he stuck with the Park and it paid dividends when he finished off a terrific United move just moments after Drogba had equalised. Players like Park are worth their weight in gold. 8

10. Wayne Rooney

Rooney is without doubt, back to his best. The confidence is flowing through his veins and that was shown when he tried beating Cech from distance twice. Once from the half way line near full time was on target but Cech got to it. He was energetic, and again played just behind Chicharito. His turn of pace was also a highlight when he ventured onto the wings. By the 85th minute Rooney was at walking pace. On this form, he will be a huge miss for the FA Cup semi final. 9

14. Javier Hernandez

Another player who has gained Fergie’s trust on the big occasions proved himself again. The Little Pea’s movement is incredible and his tap in was no more than he deserved on the night. His partnership with Rooney looks deadly as they just seem to be on each other’s wavelength. The Mexican could have had two goals as a close range header early in the second half was ruled for offside. It was a very close call. 7


25. Antonio Valencia

Valencia was United’s solitary change in the second half after scoring at the weekend he had a positive effect on the right wing. His run down the right and pass back to Rooney was the first act in the second goal, before Giggs set up Park’s grand finale. 6


1.Petr Cech

Nothing that Chelsea’s number one could have done to prevent either of the goals. He produced a standard display, with competent handling and control of his area. Cech can look nervous at times, but not in this game; he left that for the team in front of him. 6

2. Branislav Ivanovic

Moved back to right back at Old Trafford as Alex took up the centre back role. He was solid defensively but couldn’t get forward enough to support his team, with Nani and/or Park and Evra pressing forward whenever they could. When he did get forward his final ball was not up to standard. 6

33. Alex

The Brazilian kept his place after returning at the weekend. He didn’t look confident in dealing with Hernandez or Rooney and looked a little bit off the pace. Chelsea will be wishing it was David Luiz at centre back and not this Brazilian. Disappointing performance from him. 5

26. John Terry

Viva John Terry. He was barracked all night long about the penalty miss in Moscow. Terry was not at his best and did not look comfortable beside He also didn’t have a clue how to deal with the United frontline. The Chelsea captain will clearly be disappointed at not lifting a trophy this season after last season’s double. 6

3. Ashley Cole

An okay performance from Cole who was another to get a barracking at Old Trafford. He showed good pace trying to get forward but could never seem to shrug off the tireless Park. 6

7. Ramires

Ramires was having an all round good display until his second booking. He was bursting forward and tracking back in equal measure but his second yellow was clumsy and naive. No one will be more disappointed about that result than Ramires but if there is a silver lining for Chelsea he is looking a decent find. 5

8. Frank Lampard

Lampard looked better in his attacking midfield role but struggled to find any form in front of goal. This was proven in the first half when he was through on goal only to scuff along the ground to make it easy for van der Sar to gather up. 6

5. Michael Essien

The Ghanaian produced a decent display as the midfield anchor but could not force himself upon the Reds’ midfield. Carrick and Giggs ran things in the middle of the park. Essien produced a lovely ball over the top for Drogba’s equaliser. 6

15. Florent Malouda

Ancelotti picked the Frenchman ahead of Zhirkov who started at Stamford Bridge. He had a couple of decent efforts throughout the match and sent Lampard through for his tame effort in the first half. Didn’t give enough support for the strikers and his final ball left a lot to be desired. 5

9. Fernando Torres

Another ineffective display from the Spaniard made Ancelotti change him for Drogba at half time. He had no effect on the game and Vidic must have been wishing he’d been playing against this version of Torres a couple of years ago. 4

39. Nicolas Anelka

Anelka was as equally as ineffective as Torres but he did have a couple of close shots. Even though the shots were close he was still poor in the build up. He was slotting in just behind the striker and nothing seemed to work for him. He was rightly replaced on the hour and was even tackled by van der Sar. 4


11. Didier Drogba

The Ivorian completely changed Chelsea’s game. He should have started but United will be thanking the lord that he didn’t. He was powerful and looked like he had a point to prove. He proved that point scoring the equaliser and his all round performance deserves more starts ahead of Torres. 7

21. Saloman Kalou

Kalou replaced the ineffective Anelka on the hour and showed that his first touch leaves a lot to be desired. His first touch was poor on the edge of the United box and didn’t really do much after that. 5

19. Paulo Ferreira

A very defensive substitution with hardly any time left on the clock. N/A

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