Manchester United and Tottenham played out an entertaining goalless draw on a bitterly cold afternoon at White Hart Lane.
The Red Devils created two clear-cut opportunities in the first half, both of which fell to the in-form Robin van Persie but the Dutchman failed to convert despite the odds being stacked in his favour.
Tottenham forced a number of relatively comfortable saves from David de Gea after the break, but it was the impressive Juan Mata - who struck the post with a first-half free-kick - who could, and should, have secured all three points for Louis van Gaal’s side after the ball fell to him unmarked in the penalty area.
David de Gea: 7
United’s number one was alert throughout the match and produced a couple of fine saves. The Spaniard has been busier in matches this season, but he impressed nevertheless.
Antonio Valencia: 6
A fairly unspectacular display from the Ecuador international. Subbed off at the start of the second half for Rafael, who is likely take his teammate’s place at right full-back for the trip to Stoke City on New Year’s Day.
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Phil Jones: 7.5
Unlucky not to score with a close-range header following a corner. Solid in defence and superb in the air. Still a little clumsy at times when it comes to 50/50 challenges, but he is easily Manchester United’s best and most consistent centre-back.
Paddy McNair: 7.5
A little shaky early on up against the lively Harry Kane but soon settled and produced a commanding performance. The 19-year-old has bounced back brilliantly since his horror show against Southampton earlier this month. Subbed off for Luke Shaw with 15 minutes left to play.
Jonny Evans: 7
United’s back-three meant Evans was virtually playing from left-back, but the Northern Ireland international was solid enough alongside Jones and McNair. Subbed with 20 minutes remaining for Chris Smalling.
Ashley Young: 6.5
Final ball not great today, but always willing to get forward and never neglected his defensive responsibilities. Only a wonderful Lloris save denied him scoring a brilliant curling effort moments before half-time.
Michael Carrick: 6.5
A reasonably decent performance from Michael Carrick against his former employers. One beautiful first-half pass from the technically-gifted central midfielder should have been converted by Van Persie.
Wayne Rooney: 6
Typically energetic and tenacious, but the Manchester United captain’s influence wore off following an impressive start to the match. Brilliant against Newcastle on Boxing Day, but today’s match may have come a little too soon for the England skipper.
Juan Mata: 8
Manchester United’s Man of the Match. The Spaniard’s first touch was immaculate, while his passes were often incisive and dangerous. Despite his diminutive stature, Mata wasn’t outmuscled against Spurs’ physically-imposing midfield. Struck the post with an excellent free-kick in the first half but blazed a fantastic chance over the bar after the interval.
Robin van Persie: 5
Disappointing display from the Manchester United No. 20. The Dutchman somehow missed two gilt-edged opportunities in the opening 45 minutes - the first after Mata hit the post, and the second after being played through on goal by Carrick.
Radamel Falcao: 5.5
The world-class Colombian was always willing but his hold-up play often left a lot to be desired. Tested Lloris on a couple of occasions in the first half - and probably should have done better with both chances. Still finding his feet in this Manchester United side.
Sent on for Antonio Valencia after half time but failed to make a significant impact in the second half.
Chris Smalling: 6.5
Subbed on to help Manchester United keep their clean sheet in tact - and did just that.
Luke Shaw: 6
Sent on in the closing stages for some much-needed playing time following his recent injury lay-off.
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