Published on October 27th, 2013 | by Tom Parker5
Player Ratings: Manchester United 3-2 Stoke City – Rooney rules but Nani falls
David de Gea 7 - Might have done better to keep out Marko Arnautovic’s curling free-kick but the Spaniard made two crucial games to prevent Stoke from increasing their lead in the first half, in particular a fine stop to deny Jon Walters.
Chris Smalling 5 - Rarely looked anything but awkward as a makeshift full-back. Offered precious little offensively and really struggled up against the powerful Marko Arnautovic. Substituted late on.
Phil Jones 5 - Found it tough to deal with the unique threat of Peter Crouch and fared poorly against the lanky Stoke striker in the air. At times found himself dragged out of position too.
Jonny Evans 6 - Read the game well and made some good interceptions throughout. Might have done more to prevent Crouch’s opener but looked noticeably more comfortable in the second half with United on the front foot.
Patrice Evra 6 - Looked reasonably solid defensively and was at times left a little exposed with Kagawa drifting in-field at will. Offensively, Evra was rather inconsistent but the experienced Frenchman did provide the cross for United’s winner.
Michael Carrick 6 - United’s metronome was noticeably substandard at times and appeared fatigued after 270 minutes in a week. Carrick struggled to dictate play in his usual manner and failed to grab the game by the scruff of the neck.
Tom Cleverley 5 - Alongside Carrick, Cleverley looked uninspired in the middle of the park and was often found guilty of being too shot-shy and lacking a cutting edge in possession. Was substituted for Hernandez and United were much better in his absence.
Nani 4 - A dire outing for the Portuguese international where he appeared disinterested from the right side of midfield. Nani looked to shoot too frequently and his end product was extremely erratic, although he did have a hand in United’s first goal. Booed off.
Wayne Rooney 8 - United’s player of the season so far was one of the only players to emerge from the contest with any credit. His link-up play was sublime and his looping equaliser demonstrated technique of the highest order. Influential in a man of the match display.
Shinji Kagawa 5 - Failed to influence the game in the manner he did in midweek and was guilty of drifting inside too often. Kagawa was neat in possession but struggled with Stoke’s physicality and display’s like this are unlikely to improve his chances of becoming a regular starter under Moyes.
Robin van Persie 6 - The Dutchman took his goal well with a slotted finish under Asmir Begovic to restore parity at Old Trafford. However, still doesn’t appear to be anywhere near full fitness and his isolation up top is worrying.
David Moyes 7 - His starting XI was fairly logical with Jones and Evans sure to benefit if they are allowed a solid run of games together at the heart of defence. Intelligent substitutions won United the game and it was good to see the typically conservative coach take a gamble.
Adnan Januzaj 7 - Januzaj’s introduction changed the game with the ball seemingly glued to the 18-year-old’s feet. His persistent running at his full-back caused the Stoke back line problems and he cleverly drew a number of fouls in good areas. Star in the making.
Javier Hernandez 7 - Perhaps lucky to have avoided more serious punishment after a late lunge on Huth. The Mexican has struggled for minutes so far but proved his worth with an instinctive winner.
Antonio Valencia 6 - Performed reasonably well as a makeshift full-back but didn’t have a great deal of time to make a lasting impact on the game.
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