Player Ratings: Cardiff City 2-2 Manchester United – Rooney tops the poll

by Tom Parker

David de Gea 7 – United’s No. 1 commanded his box throughout and made two good claims from Cardiff’s excellent set-pieces in the second half. The Spaniard wasn’t at fault for either goal and his kicking was impressive.

Chris Smalling 6 – Mucked in well defensively but rarely looked anything but awkward at full-back. Smalling offered little offensively down the right flank and squandered a decent chance in added time when he fired wide. Guilty of conceding the foul that led to the equaliser.

Rio Ferdinand 6 – A reasonably comfortable outing for Ferdinand who was rarely truly tested by Cardiff’s frontline but he might have done more to prevent Kim’s late equaliser. Calm in possession too.

Jonny Evans 7 – Was outpaced by the live-wire Frazier Campbell for Cardiff’s first but the Irishman was decisive defensively. Made one fantastic interception in the second half. Evans’ ability to bring the ball out of the defence was impressive.

Patrice Evra 6 – Notched his first of the season just before the interval with a super header but the experienced Frenchman was caught napping for Kim’s equaliser. Defensively he was passable and might have expected a little more support from Januzaj in front of him.

Antonio Valencia 6 – His quick thinking and early cross led to Rooney’s opener but Valencia may have contributed a little more offensively in an overall subdued performance which was fairly typical of the Ecuadorian’s standards this season.

Tom Cleverley 5 – Failed to grab the game by the scruff of the neck and his passes were too often either sideways or backwards. Cleverley’s recycling of possession was OK but as is so often the case was a little too safe, and zero tackles won tells it own story.

Marouane Fellaini 6 – One of Fellaini’s better displays in a red shirt. The former Everton man put himself about well and was a big threat from set-pieces as well as being reasonable in possession but like Cleverley, he appears to lack a killer pass and was at times too clumsy.

Adnan Januzaj 6 – A tough afternoon for the 18-year-old as his opposing full-back Theophille-Caterine got the upper hand. Januzaj drew fouls in good areas throughout the contest but was noticeably more subdued than previous displays today.

Wayne Rooney 7 – Lucky to avoid a red card for a rash, unnecessary kick on Jordan Mutch early on but put in a great display after with one goal and assist. Rooney’s link-up play was sharp and he was United’s brightest attacking outlet with eight created chances.

Javier Hernandez 5 – The little Mexican was a willing runner but didn’t have any meaningful attempts on goal. His deft touch set Rooney away for United’s first but it was a frustrating evening in Wales for Hernandez who was subbed after 73 minutes.

Substitutes

Danny Welbeck 6 – Linked expertly with Rooney on his injury return but squandered a fabulous opportunity to seal the victory when he blazed over late in the contest.

Ryan Giggs 6 – The Welshman was inventive from the bench against his boyhood club with two perfectly weighted diagonal balls creating good chances late on. Giggs is still an excellent option from the bench despite approaching his 40th birthday.

Image: Twitter/premierleague

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