David de Gea 6 – Quiet afternoon for De Gea who had little to do in the way of shot-stopping. Couldn’t do much about Sunderland’s goal.
Chris Smalling 5 – Almost always awkward in possession and his distribution was poor before coming off with a hamstring complaint.
Phil Jones 7 – Started slowly but made a big tackle in the first half to deny a certain goal. Surprisingly measured in the middle of Keane and Blackett, where he swept up well.
Tyler Blackett 6 – The youngster showed maturity which belied his years, reading the game well and looking much more composed than Smalling. Improving.
Ashley Young 4 – Gave away several silly fouls and was bettered by debutant Buckley. Offensively his final ball was typically underwhelming.
Tom Cleverley 4 – Cowardly midfield showing from a man who seems destined for the exit door. No imagination or drive with the ball.
Darren Fletcher 4 – Gave away the ball too often and seems to have fallen off a cliff after a great pre-season. Little bite or energy and was hooked after the hour.
Juan Mata 5 – Found the net from close range to give United the lead but was a peripheral figure at times in his favoured position.
Wayne Rooney 5 – Another who didn’t do much. A free-kick was his only real sight at goal on a frustrating afternoon. Often dropped deep.
Robin van Persie 5 – Good movement but like Rooney, had little in the way of chances. A little lethargic at times and Welbeck’s introduction changed things.
Michael Keane 5.5 – A couple of shaky moments but strong in the air on his Premier League debut.
Adnan Januzal 6 – More forward thinking than Fletcher and at least injected more directness from the centre.
Danny Welbeck 6.5 – Welbeck’s intensity and pace caused a few headaches for O’Shea and Brown. Directness changed the game and gave United a new edge.