Player Ratings: Liverpool 1-0 Manchester United

by Tom Parker

David de Gea 6: Was helpless for Liverpool’s opener but pulled off smart saves to deny Gerrard and Coutinho from range as the game progressed. Wasn’t tested as much as he’d expect to be but the Spaniard looked uncomfortable kicking the ball, with a lack of understanding with Nemanja Vidic visible.

Phil Jones 5: Again preferred at right-back, Jones got to grips well with Coutinho before limping off injured around the 40 minute mark.

Rio Ferdinand 6: Arguably at fault for Liverpool’s opener. Rio should have been much tighter to Daniel Agger who evaded him with comparative ease. Recovered reasonably well, making good interceptions and tackles as United pushed for an equalizer. Distribution was good too.

Nemanja Vidic 7: Won almost everything aerially. Vidic’s performance was certainly no-nonsense. Made a fabulous block to deny Sturridge in the first half in a domineering display. Looks to be getting back close to his best and fared well against a pacy Liverpool front-line.

Patrice Evra 7: The best of a bad bunch. Evra performed well defensively coping with the threat of Henderson and Aspas. He ran the line well as per usual and looked dangerous when rampaging forward.

Ryan Giggs 5: Surprisingly used on the right-wing, Giggs was a real let-down for United. He offered very little in an extremely underwhelming performance. Aside from one flick header, Giggs created precious nothing and his set-piece delivery was woeful. Starting big games seems a bridge too far for the 39-year-old.

Michael Carrick 6: Seems to be having a little bit of a wobble at the moment and he struggled to take the game by the scruff of the neck as he usually does. His passing was uncharacteristically sloppy and he and Cleverley were second to every loose ball in midfield.

Tom Cleverley 5: After an eye-catching display against Chelsea much was expected but Cleverley didn’t deliver. Wasn’t his usual combative self, perhaps due to a booking that left him walking a disciplinary tightrope, and became overran in midfield. His passing was nowhere near adventurous enough either.

Ashley Young 5: Didn’t offer a great deal offensively aside from a couple of average crosses into the box often found to be ponderous in possession, none more so than in the build-up to Liverpool’s goal. Irritatingly average but defensively valuable.

Danny Welbeck 6: Workrate was faultless as ever but Welbeck didn’t really look like scoring during the contest. Made one bright mazy run into the box in the second half and arguably could have been awarded a penalty for his troubles.

Robin van Persie 6: Was certainly fired up and engaged in confrontations with numerous Liverpool players. Perhaps the occasion got the better of him a little and the usually cool-headed Dutchman was often left isolated, with the gap between midfield and attack significant. Should have scored after he was released by Javier Hernandez late on.

Substitutes

Javier Hernandez 6: Replaced Giggs with 20 minutes to play. Looked bright and tested Mignolet with a snapshot from the right hand side and released van Persie with a deft pass late on. Great to have the loveable Mexican back.

Nani 6: Offered much more than Young offensively. Looked dangerous in and around the penalty area. One long-range drive brought a good save out of Mignolet. It must be noted that his set piece delivery was disappointing to say the least.

Antonio Valencia 7: Came on late in the first half and performed well, bringing pace and power from the right-back position, something which has gone amiss since Rafael’s injury. Again showed glimpses of his old self but still seems lacking in a little bit of confidence.

Image: Twitter/FeintZebra

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