Football

Sunderland 1-1 Manchester United: Player Ratings

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Manchester United played out an uninspiring 1-1 draw with Sunderland at the Stadium of Light to leave the Premier League giants with one point from their opening two matches of the 2014/15 campaign.

The Red Devils took the lead, against the run of play, when Juan Mata tapped home Antonio Valencia’s inviting cross from close range after 15 minutes.

But former Manchester City midfielder Jack Rodwell levelled the scored midway through the first half with a thumping header.

United - and their opponents - failed to create any clear-cut opportunities in the second half. The club’s supporters will now be praying that the reported £63.9 million deal to sign Real Madrid winger Angel di Maria goes through, as planned, later this week.

But how did United’s current batch perform today? Scroll down for the player ratings.

David de Gea: 6

A virtual spectator. Could do nothing about Sunderland’s goal. How the brilliant Spaniard must wish he had a better defence in front of him.

Phil Jones: 7

Didn’t get much wrong over the course of the 90 minutes. Another impressive display from the 22-year-old. No surprise to see him flourishing in his natural position.

Chris Smalling: 5

Nervy in possession and subbed before half-time after picking up a knock earlier in the first half. Not a convincing display from the England international, who Louis van Gaal opted to keep at Old Trafford this summer.

Tyler Blackett: 7

Probably the pick of the bunch for United, despite being wasteful with his long-range passing. Reasonably solid in defence and cleared a shot off the line in the second half with a somewhat fortuitous block.

Antonio Valencia: 6

Excellent work to make the opening goal, but culpable for Sunderland’s equaliser. Failed to keep tabs with Rodwell. Other than that, worked hard to carry out his defensive duties.

Ashley Young: 5

Not a left-back. Better going forwards, but still too predictable. Earned himself a yellow card in the second half for a cynical dive. Not for the first time in his career…

Tom Cleverley: 5

Poor display from a player who, in truth, shouldn’t be playing for Manchester United. Sloppy in possession and guilty of a couple of rash challenges. Out of his depth.

Darren Fletcher: 4

Another dreadful display from the Manchester United stalwart. Fletcher continuously gave the ball away and didn’t look up to the job. Van Gaal must bring in an upgrade before the transfer window closes.

Juan Mata: 6

The Spain international scored United’s opening goal - in truth, he couldn’t miss - but struggled to make a significant contribution other than that. Must start justifying that £37.1 million transfer fee.

Wayne Rooney: 6

United’s captain was often forced to drop deep in order to make something happen. Tried his best, but nothing really came off for him.

Robin van Persie: 5

Fairly anonymous display from the Netherlands international, who struggled to get himself into the game. Subbed for Danny Welbeck with half hour to go.

Subs

Michael Keane: 5

Did reasonably well, but wasn’t tested too often, in fairness. Not good enough to be playing for Manchester United week-in, week-out just yet.

Adnan Januzaj: 5

Deployed in an unfamiliar central midfield role and did not neglect his defensive duties. Better out wide, though.

Danny Welbeck: 6

His introduction made the visitors slightly less pedestrian. Strange if Van Gaal does opt to sell him before the transfer window closes. Has plenty to offer.

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Topics:
Manchester United
Robin Van Persie
Football
Premier League
Sunderland
Juan Mata
Wayne Rooney

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