Player Ratings: Manchester United 1-0 Shakhtar Donetsk – Jones hot, Ferdinand not

by Tom Parker

David de Gea 7 – Didn’t have a great deal of saves to make but was alert when called upon to deny both Alex Teixera in the first half and Srna in the second.

Rafael 6 – Provided a good outlet from full-back and linked with Januzaj throughout. He coped with fellow countryman Taison well in a tenacious display and appears to be edging towards full fitness after a lengthy lay-off.

Jonny Evans 7 – An assured presence alongside a surprisingly shaky Rio Ferdinand at the heart of the defence. Evans read the game well and brought the ball out from the back expertly. Carried Ferdinand at times and made some vital defensive actions.

Rio Ferdinand 5 – Appeared to be well off the pace and might have been punished by Teixera after he was robbed of the ball far too easily. Struggled with Shakhtar’s pacey frontline.

Alex Buttner 6 – Impressed in attack, particularly in the first half as he swung in a number of dangerous crosses but looked rather suspect in defence as is typically the case with him.

Adnan Januzaj 7 – Januzaj was one of United’s better performers in the first half where he was incisive on the counter attack. Tested Pyatov with a volley on the turn but faded a little late on.

VAN-PERSIE-CITY-BANNER-THIN

Phil Jones 8 – A man of the match display from Jones who seems to eat up the ground in central midfield. Jones used possession impressively throughout, took his goal very well and added much needed steel to the engine room.

Ryan Giggs 6 – Looked a little tired and struggled to replicate his impressive showings in midfield of late. Sloppy in possession and was jogged past by Shakhtar’s dynamic midfield. Things improved after his withdrawal.

Ashley Young 6 – Should have fired United into the lead but squandered two gilt edged opportunities in the first half. Overall, his contribution was disappointing and he was replaced with 30 minutes remaining.

Shinji Kagawa 6 – Struggled to influence the game for large periods but had a few bright moments, with his deft touches in and around the box befuddling Shakhtar’s rearguard. Came close with a left footed toe poke but was shafted out to the left when van Persie entered the fray.

Wayne Rooney 6 – Isolated for much of the contest as the lone striker. At times, his touch was a little hit and miss. Rooney failed to conjure up much in the way of chances but came close with a deft if ambitious 20 yard lob and a curling free kick on his return from suspension.

Substitutes

Tom Cleverley 7 – Added real drive upon his introduction and always looked to move the ball forward rather than sideways. David Moyes would have a real player on his hands if he churned out this calibre of display more often.

Robin van Persie 6 – Almost sealed the game with a delicious chip with a minute remaining in what was his only real chance after replacing Ashley Young

Antonio Valencia n/a – A very late change for Alex Buttner, Valencia played at right back for the final five minutes but may start against Villa at the weekend.

Image: Twitter/manutdmen

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