Manchester United u23s drew their league opener against Leicester City 2-2. Here are our player ratings for the match:
(A score of 6 is around average)
Kovar – 7.5 – Looked back to his best making a few good saves including stopping a penalty.
Wellens – 6 – Started off naively and showed inexperience with his defending in his new role, giving away a penalty after initially making a great tackle, he lunged in for a second go on the loose ball and caught the Leicester forward. He couldn’t get forward in the first half but improved in the second, and got a few crosses in including a looping ball into the box to assist Mellor for United’s first.
McShane – 6 – Showed some strength aerially and used his experience as he was left facing a barrage of attacks in the first half. Will be a little disappointed he didn’t step out a bit quicker to get a block on the second goal conceded. On the ball he often found himself shouting for passing options, especially in the first half. It will be something he’ll be bringing up during the week in his coaching role.
Hardley – 6.5 – Similarly had a lot of action to deal with and made some really good vital blocks and tackles. Could have been a bit tighter and more aggressive on the first goal conceded and not allowed the shot to be taken so easily.
Fernandez – 6.5 – Very quiet first half, didn’t get opportunities to attack but wasn’t troubled defensively either. In the second half he got more involved and made more driving runs forward and slipped through a couple of clever passes. Was outmuscled and caught up field for the second goal conceded but made up for it by showing his own strength by shouldering Leicester’s player to the floor before centering for McNeill to draw the match in the dying minutes.
Levitt – 5.5 – Really struggled in the first half to impose himself and get on the ball as Leicester dominated possession and controlled the midfield. Found it tough with Leicester’s pressing and high tempo, should do better with his experience. Improved slightly in the second half and played one or two good passes most notably slipping through Shola Shoretire.
Svidersky 5 – Didn’t show for the ball enough and defensively wasn’t his usual solid anchor. Kept making runs off the ball forward but our inability to hold possession meant he was never found and resulted in him being constantly caught up field and exposing the backline to quick counters.
Iqbal – 5 – Playing in the number 10 role but didn’t offer enough, drifted through the match rarely getting on the ball and couldn’t hold possession when he did. His loose touches sprung a few counter attacks for Leicester.
Forson – 5 – Really quiet out the right wing and rarely saw the ball.
Shoretire – 6.5 – Didn’t get on the ball as much as he’d like but showed quality when he did. Most notably was played into the box twice where he jinked past defenders but didn’t get his finishing quite right. Frustration got the better of him at times as he lunged into a few tackles in the second half, picking up a yellow card.
Mellor – 7.5 – The only player who really looked capable of matching Leicester’s high tempo and intensity. Made endless runs and his pressing forced mistakes in Leicester’s backline multiple times which he pounced on. Unfortunately, he was missing the final finish but got the luck he deserved in the end when his header bounced past the keeper for United’s first goal.
McNeill – 6.5 – Came on and showed great impetus in attack but was missing his shooting boots today. Had three opportunities but scuffed the shot on all of them, third time lucky though as his late strike into the ground found the back of the net.
Hoogewerf – 6 – Injected more pace and energy into the front line, nothing ultimately came off for him but his introduction helped change the swing of the match.
Savage – 6 – Helped get more control in midfield by looking to get on the ball and added some extra guile with his passing.