Player Ratings: Arsenal 0-0 Manchester United – Small but Clever

Player Ratings: Arsenal 0-0 Manchester United – Small but Clever

David de Gea 7 – Looked comfortable with his feet throughout and was equal to a testing deflected effort in the first period. Made two good saves to deny efforts from Cazorla in the second half.

Rafael 5 – Never looked truly comfortable and his final ball let him down a couple of times. Did provide a decent attacking outlet down the right flank prior to limping off after a heavy fall.

Chris Smalling 7 – Mopped up well as a centre-back alongside a surprisingly shaky looking Nemanja Vidic and performed very well, even at right-back in the second half, a position which isn’t natural for him.

Nemanja Vidic 6 – Giroud had the beating of United’s skipper for the first half of the contest. To his credit, he did improve in the second half and made a couple of telling clearances and blocks late on.

Patrice Evra 5 – Painfully slow to get back into his position and didn’t do enough to stop crosses coming from his flank. Arsenal looked most likely to score from the Frenchman’s side.

Antonio Valencia 6 – A gritty figure on the right side, Valencia put in a decent shift and got stuck in well but his attacking contribution was limited and he might have attacked the space better when United countered.

Michael Carrick 6 – Made a few decent interceptions despite United being outnumbered in the middle. Struggled to grab the game by the scruff of the neck but was a calming influence in midfield.

Tom Cleverley 7 – Took plenty of stick this week but was combative in the centre, recovering possession well and getting the better of Wilshere. Wasn’t great in possession but did the dirty work well.

Juan Mata 5 – Struggled to influence play throughout in a floating role but did have a few moments of magic, notably one perfectly weighted pass to set Van Persie free.

Wayne Rooney 5 – Plenty of bite and aggression but Rooney was another who struggled to affect play like he normally does. Nearly teed Van Persie up with a wonderful chip but seemed to be lacking a little bit of sharpness.

Robin van Persie 5 – Isolated for large periods but looked like the man most likely to score against his former club. Should have got a goal in the first minute and had a few more decent chances, forcing a great save out of Szczesny late on.

Substitutes

Rio Ferdinand 6 – Hadn’t played for a while but made a couple of decent clearances and passed the ball out from the back well on a rare outing.

Adnan Januzaj 5 – Probably brought on a little too late to have a lasting impact. The youngster struggled to create anything from wide areas with United pegged back in their own half for large periods late on.

Ashley Young n/a A late sub for Valencia. Looked a threat from the counter but was probably introduced more for his defensive awareness than his attacking game.

Image: Twitter/manutd

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About The Author

Tom is a lifelong red who regularly goes to Manchester United games and is a fan of everything at the club, right down to the Under 18s and below.