Player Ratings: Real Sociedad 0-0 Manchester United – Nemanja’s back

by Tom Parker

David de Gea 6: Relatively untested between the sticks but was decisive in coming off of his line which was important with Rio and Vidic’s lack of pace in front of him and made one excellent punch from a threatening Sociedad cross (as well as one mistimed one).

Chris Smalling 6: Did his best to get forward but there is no hiding his awkwardness in the final third where his crossing was generally poor. Was tenacious at right-back and went about his defensive duties well.

Rio Ferdinand 6: Understated but composed alongside Vidic where he sat deep and read the game well, with one headed interception particularly important.

Nemanja Vidic 8: Easily the best player on the park with a perfectly timed recovery tackle on Carlos Vela typifying a near faultless defensive display. The skipper was composed on the ball and at his usual imperious best aerially too.

Patrice Evra 7: Started slowly but grew into the game and rampged forward at will in the second half. Managed to carve out a few decent chances, despite his crossing being a little erratic, and was solid in defence too.

Antonio Valencia 6: Seemed to be a little reluctant to run at his full-back in the first half and might have done better against his opposing full-back but his confidence picked up as the game progressed. Came close with one driven effort and he did an admirable job of helping out in midfield in the first half.

Marouane Fellaini 7: Recycled possession well but lacked forward drive. Was a combative presence in the centre of the park. Recovered the ball impressively in the centre. Harshly dismissed but needs to refine his game in Europe

Ryan Giggs 6: The game seemed to somewhat pass Giggs by on his 950th appearance and while he did use possession well, he didn’t have the impact he typically does in United’s attacking third.

Shinji Kagawa 7: Performed well out wide where his trickery created problems for the Sociedad backline. His second half cross to Hernandez should have been turned home by the Mexican and Kagawa looked better through the middle in the final 30 minutes.

Wayne Rooney 6: Struggled to deal any real damage to Sociedad like he did a fortnight ago. Rooney’s link-up play left much to be desired and he was rightly substituted after an hour for Robin van Persie after an off colour display from the 28-year-old.

Javier Hernandez 6: Usually gobbles up chances around the six yard box but blazed over uncharacteristically when the goal gaped. His build-up play was impressive though and the slow tempo United played at didn’t suit the little Mexican’s off-the-shoulder style.

Substitutes

Robin van Persie 7: Might have bagged a brace on another day as he hit the woodwork with his first touch from an Ashley Young cross and he was a lick of paint away from winning the game when he crashed a near perfect penalty against the upright. Looked good with Kagawa behind him.

Ashley Young 6: Instantly involved in the action and set up van Persie wonderfully with a low cross. Won an extremely controversial penalty too and the winger did look a threat following his introduction from the bench.

Phil Jones: A very late change following Fellaini’s dismissal.

Image: Twitter/mcu_reddevils

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