Player ratings: Chelsea Vs Manchester United (FA Cup)

by Sam Peoples

David De Gea: 7 Couldn’t do anything about the only goal in the game. Made smart saves early on with his legs to deny Chelsea. Looks increasingly confident in dealing with aerial balls at the moment. Also kicking distribution was accurate, feeding long balls to Hernandez.

Antonio Valencia: 7 Decent game for Valencia. Started off at right-back. Seemed to deal with Mata quite comfortably in the first half. Got his head down and ran as an overlap to support Nani but failed to beat his man. A recurring theme this season.

Chris Smalling: 6 Played in his favoured centre-back position. Tried many ambitious long passes throughout the game with no luck. However, won all of his aerial duels against Demba Ba.

Rio Ferdinand: 6 Kept his composure for the majority of the match despite getting the usual abuse from the Chelsea “faithful”. Possible he could have dealt with Ba better for the goal, with the striker getting goal-side of Rio.

Patrice Evra: 5 Got into some good crossing positions down the left flank but rarely found a decent ball in. Was fairly quite during the match – not when he walked past a camera, mind. Muttering the words on every United fan’s lips… “f***ing hell”

Nani: 2 This may seem harsh on Nani but if you watched the whole of his performance today you’d realise it isn’t. Failed to get control of the ball with some wild first touches and rash passes that were only to be intercepted by the opposition. I am a huge fan of his but today I was bitterly disappointed.

Phil Jones: 5 Started in central midfield to try and contain the threat of Oscar and Hazard. However, with the poor performance of Nani, Jones was moved into the right-back spot as Valencia pushed forward. The main positive from him today was the fact he did not pick up a knock. I can see Sir Alex playing him at some point on Monday to keep Yaya Toure at bay.

Tom Cleverley: 4 Tom was another player I was disappointed with. At times, he backed off the incoming wave of Chelsea attackers and invited them to advance. Perhaps he was thinking about the yellow card he picked up early in the first half for a poor tackle.

Michael Carrick: 6 Unsurprisingly one of the better players against in the first half and was cool on the ball offering support for the defence. As the game grew old, the effect of playing as much football as he has in the last week made an impact as he misplaced passes and was caught napping in possession at times.

Danny Welbeck: 7 Looked very lively displaying fantastic skill. Tired legs meant he was unable finish the full 90 minutes. Danny, darting back and forth across the pitch, worked Ashley Cole down the right-wing, forcing the Chelsea defender off with a muscle strain.

Javier Hernandez: 7 Would have scored a fantastic powerful header but for Petr Cech’s stunning save. Also managed to test the keeper with a uncharacteristic 30-yard strike only to be denied by a smart save with the feet of Cech. A determined performance by the little Mexican. Unfortunately, has nothing to show for his efforts.

Subs-

Robin Van Persie: 5 What has happened to our deadly striker? It’s unfair to say he has to convert every chance he gets but the Robin we saw at the start of the season would’ve buried the volley he blazed over the bar.

Ryan Giggs: 5 The veteran replaced Nani with just under half an hour to go but failed to leave his mark on the match. Although one sublime move, much like van Persie at West Ham earlier this year, was almost replicated. A long diagonal ball to drop just past Chicharito’s shoulder was a touch too difficult for the striker to control and the chance came to nothing.

Ashley Young: 4 With him only being on the pitch for 15 minutes, it is difficult to give Young a rating even though he was disappointing yet again. Failing to run at the defence with purpose has been a problem of his lately.

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