Player Ratings: Manchester United 2-1 Sunderland (1-2 AET) – No heroes emerge

by Tom Parker

David de Gea 5 – Commanded his box well throughout and impressed in his distribution. In terms of saves, De Gea had nothing to do until the 119th minute, where the young Spaniard fumbled Bardsley’s hopeful shot into his own goal – it was a rare mistake. Hernandez spared De Gea’s blushes and in fairness, he made two good saves in the penalty shoot-out.

Rafael 5 – Hasn’t yet managed to get into the groove after injury troubles and again looked a little off the pace here. Definitely lacked sharpness and often looked creaky defensively, although he did flash a shot narrowly wide from outside the box. Missed the deciding spot kick.

Jonny Evans 7 – Dealt comfortably with Fletcher and looked particularly unflappable late on as the Black Cats threw the kitchen sink at United. Levelled the tie with a smart header and looked assured alongside Smalling.

Chris Smalling 7 – A behemoth at the heart of defence, Smalling was very impressive and in particular in his aerial battles. Helped us to withstand an onslaught for the most part. Showing signs of top quality but could have walked after bringing Fletcher down.

Alex Buttner 5 – Struggled to make a lasting impact offensively but looked relatively solid in his defensive actions for once, making one important block from an Adam Johnson volley in the second half before being replaced by Evra in the final minutes of normal time.

Adnan Januzaj 7 – Once again United’s brightest offensive talent who is almost carrying his more experienced team-mates at the moment. Conjured up a piece of magic in the dying seconds to pick out Hernandez to take the game to penalties and although the 18-year-old missed from the spot, he emerges with credit as he crafted numerous opportunities and looked a goal threat throughout.

Michael Carrick 5 – Neat and tidy enough in possession but didn’t create much in the way of chances, despite Fletcher’s inclusion allowing Carrick to play higher up the pitch. Sustained a nasty looking injury which will be a further worry for Moyes.

Darren Fletcher 5 – Started sloppily in the centre but improved, striking a post late in the first half and getting about the pitch relatively well. Given he’s only been back for a month, completing 120 minutes is some achievement and he scored United’s only penalty too.

Shinji Kagawa 6 – His withdrawal raised eyebrows as the Japanese playmaker played well. Looked good behind Hernandez but Moyes seems to lack faith in the diminutive playmaker as he was hooked off after an hour.

Danny Welbeck 5 – Huffed and puffed whether deployed in behind or out wide. Created Evans’ opener through a flicked volley, and tested Mannone with long range efforts. Although, he didn’t have any clear-cut chances to extend his good run in front of goal, repeatedly lost his footing and missed from the spot.

Javier Hernandez 5 – Was in the right place to force extra time from Januzaj’s cut back but should have found the net earlier in the game when one on one against Mannone but he uncharacteristically shot wide. Missed a good chance in the first half too and touch was disappointing.

Substitutes

Antonio Valencia 6 – Introduction was a surprise but Valencia caused plenty of problems down the right flank where he proved too powerful for Marcos Alonso, whom had been softened up by Januzaj. Final ball was OK but nothing to write home about.

Patrice Evra 4 – Quiet cameo appearance and seemed to be still feeling the effects of a knee problem which has troubled the Frenchman of late.

Phil Jones 4 – Brought on to see the game out. Added some energy in the centre and made some decent headed clearances late on but his penalty kick was dire.

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