Player Ratings: Manchester United 2-0 Wigan Athletic

by Tom Parker

David De Gea 6: Was a virtual bystander for the first 30 minutes of the match while United dominated proceedings. Wigan grew stronger as the match progressed but the Spaniard had little involvement aside from a few claims from set-pieces. Can expect a sterner test next weekend.

Rafael 5: Limped off injured 15 minutes into the contest. Provided good support for Zaha in the opening exchanges but didn’t have a lasting impact prior to sustaining an injury.

Phil Jones 7: Began the game at the heart of defence but moved to full-back when Smalling was introduced. Was his usual eager self at centre-back and impressed at right back, with James McClean having very little joy thanks to Jones’ dominating performance.

Nemanja Vidic 7: Relished the tussle with Grant Holt and looked comfortable throughout. Another 90 minutes under the belt is a great sign on his injury comeback. As usual, Vidic was imperious in the air.

Patrice Evra 8: With links to Leighton Baines persisting, Evra showed exactly what he brings to the table at left-back. Attacked and defended impressively, rampaging forward and thwarting Nouha Dicko late on with a brilliant tackle. Thrived on a lack of an orthodox winger in front of him and provided the cross for the opening goal.

Michael Carrick 7: Rarely entered second gear but was, as usual, his calm and composed self. Moved the ball about with ease and again demonstrated his fantastic passing range. A stroll in the park for classy Carrick.

Tom Cleverley 7: Combative from the outset, Cleverley made a good impression in the seasons traditional curtain-raiser. Moved the ball around quickly as per and his exchanges in and around the Wigan box were typically classy, especially in the build-up to United’s second. Fluffed one golden chance the edge of the box; firing disappointingly wide – the 23-year-old’s goal output could improve.

Wilfried Zaha 6: United’s star performer during pre-season could perhaps be accused of trying a little too hard during his hour on the pitch today. Often favoured the dribble over a simple pass which saw him lose possession on a few occasions. When Zaha did get his head up, his final ball was generally good with one low cross taking some fine defending to deny Danny Welbeck from close-range.

Ryan Giggs 6: Interchanged positions with Welbeck throughout and found plenty of space in the inside left channel. The 39-year-old was good in possession of the ball whether in the final third or when he dropped in as a third central midfielder.

Danny Welbeck 6: Had a couple of chances to open his account after a profitable pre-season, forcing a good save from Scott Carson after a shot on the turn. Ran the channels well, and looks to have impressed David Moyes greatly in the infancy of his reign as United boss.

Robin van Persie 8: What can one say about our Robin? A match-winning performance to kick off his second season in United was just what we expect from van Persie. Took his first goal well with Evra’s floated cross needing a lot of work to end up in the bottom corner. His second showed his clinicality in the box once more.

Substitutes

Chris Smalling 6: Introduced after 15 minutes and slotted in nicely alongside Nemanja Vidic. Was rarely tested, aside from misjudging a mazy dribble from James McClean which led to a rare clear-cut opportunity for the Latics.

Antonio Valencia 6: A bizarre change in shirt numbers will probably make the headlines but United’s new #25 was passable in his half hour on the pitch. Seems to have grown in confidence since last season, happily running at his tiring full-back. Impressive decision-making.

Anderson 6: Many expected the Brazilian to start but after being surprisingly omitted from the starting XI, an appearance from the bench proved to be rather fruitful. Anderson’s powerful foray’s forward gave Wigan problems and he came close to slipping Januzaj in the latter stages.

Adnan Januzaj 6: The 18-year-old made his competitive debut with United, replacing Robin van Persie up front for the final minutes. Struggled to make any impact but is certainly one to watch out for this year after an encouraging pre-season.

Shinji Kagawa 5: Another late change. Hardly involved aside from one acrobatic effort which he struggled to connect with.

Image: Twitter/VanPersieUpdate

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