Player Ratings: Arsenal 1-1 Manchester United

by Sam Peoples

David De Gea: 6 Could have possibly made himself bigger and came off his line for Walcott’s goal. Was a bit wasteful with the ball as he rushed a few clearances being pressured by oncoming opponents closing him down. Denied Cazorla late on, getting a strong hand to his compatriot’s long shot.

Rafael: 5 Wasn’t able to get forward as much as he usually does. Getting a booking early on in the game limited the number of challenge attempts from him I imagine. Brought off with around 15 minutes left.

Jonny Evans: 5 Made a few well-timed interceptions at the back but gave Arsenal’s midfielders too much space to run into, especially for the goal where he allowed Rosicky enough time as he assisted Walcott’s opener.

Rio Ferdinand: 6 Solid performance from Rio. Had no problem dealing with the attacking threats that came his way during the course of the match. Displayed some great footwork at times to get out of tight spots on more than one occasion, a skill he has demonstrated in numerous games this season.

Patrice Evra: 6 Thought he had played Walcott offside for his goal but the official failed to make the call. By the time the attacker received the ball there was no catching him. Unlucky not to have contributed in a second goal for United after he floated in a perfectly weighted cross but Rooney failed to convert his header.

Antonio Valencia: 6 Showed signs of his old-self fancying his chances against Gibbs at left back. Valencia attempted several dribbles beating his man more often than not. However when arriving in good positions, his final ball was often poor.

Phil Jones: 8 MOTM. Tough tackling Jones put a good shift in the middle of the park. Possibly could have scored two headed goals but defensive pressure from the Arsenal defenders did enough to put him off. Strong defensively in the second half as he dropped back when Rafael was substituted.

Michael Carrick: 7 Kept the ball well in midfield and decisive forward passes. Was also dominant at the back and protected the defence well. The sooner he gets a substantial midfield partner the better Fergie.

Nani: 7 Looked dangerous when running with the ball at right-back Sagna. Was bright on the ball, unselfishly (and uncharacteristically) looking to set up team-mates rather than going for goal. Perhaps lacking confidence? As the game grew old, his influence came to a standstill and consequently he was taken off.

Wayne Rooney: 5 Not the best of games for the England international. Seemed unable to make his mark on proceedings at all in the first half. Dropped deep in midfield at times looking for a “Hollywood lobbed pass” too frequently for my liking. Forced Szczesny into a decent save after the break. Brought off very late on.

Robin van Persie: 7 Gave away the ball in the build-up to Walcott’s opener and blazed a shot high and wide in the early exchanges, potentially down to nerves of his first game at the Emirates since his move to United in the summer. Set up one chance for Jones and should have scored a header himself. Booked for a reckless challenge but got the equaliser with an emphatic penalty. Very professional performance from van Persie today as he could’ve easily rose to the bait of the Arsenal boo-boys but remained respectful to his old club by not celebrating his goal.

Substitutions

Anderson: 5 Came on with 15 minutes remaining on the clock. A rare appearance for him in the past months. Maybe one of his last in United colours depending on the club’s transfer plans for the summer.

Ryan Giggs: 6 Chance to win the game late on, but miscontrolled a long pass from Rooney. Recovered the chance well though, getting a shot on target only for it to be blocked by a defender in the process.

Javier Hernandez: 5 Came on very late for Rooney, too late for me. With Wayne having an off day, Hernandez should’ve been thrown on a lot sooner to try and find a winning goal. Sir Alex can be forgiven with this poor decision of course after already wrapping up the title, but a lack of urgency in his substitutions and tactical amendments have been a recurring theme this campaign.

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