Date: 27th December 2011 at 12:15pm
Written by:

FT Manchester United 5-0 Athletic. Park, Berbatov x3, Valencia.

Starting XI:

Anders Lindegaard – 7

Lindegaard barely had anything to do all game. Kept a clean sheet behind just 2 defenders all game, a great feat in itself. He recorded his 7th clean sheet in 9 Manchester United appearanes. An absolutely brilliant return from the Dane.

– 9

Valencia continued his superb run of vs Wigan. He scored and assisted 2 from right back. He covered a lot of ground and controlled the whole right side of the pitch. Valencia also only misplaced 1 pass throughout the whole game. For me, he put in the man of the match performance despite Dimitar Berbatov’s hatrick.

Michael – 8

Carrick was magnificient in defence. He took up a strange role; he was the centre back who pressed the Wigan attackers first whilst the other centre back covered. Carrick also played high up the field and took up an average position at the half way line. The role was pretty similar to that of when Javier Mascherano plays at centre back for Barcelona.

Jonny Evans – 7

Evans had a good game whilst he was still on the field. Unfortunately he went off injured at half time. Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed that he will be out for 2 weeks with a calf . Jonny Evans dealt with pretty much everything with confidence. However, he did pick up a yellow card after a wreckless challenge.

Patrice Evra – 7

I feel that he is now regaining his form. It was his surge down the left which led to Manchester United’s 1st goal of the evening. After half time he was moved to centre back due to the introduction of Zeki who went to play at left back.

Darron Gibson – 8

Gibson’s return to the first team was a very good one. He controlled the game, yielding the most passes. He found himself in a lot of space throughout the game and sprayed the passes around the field very well. All in all, it was a very satisfactory performance by Darron Gibson and he should find himself involved in the first team more often in the coming weeks.

Ryan Giggs – 7

Giggs helped the control the game and put in an efficient performance in the centre of Manchester United’s . He did exactly what was required of him until he was replaced by Wayne later in the game.

– 7

Nani also had an effective game for Manchester United. Was most lively in the first half. Penetrated well and created a few chances. Was eventually substituted for Macheda.

Park Ji-Sung – 8

This was a great game for Park. He opened the scoring for Manchester United and also won the penalty which completed Dimitar Berbatov’s hatrick. He covered a lot of ground in advanced areas. His energy was vital for Manchester United.

Dimitar Berbatov – 9

A hatrick for Dimitar. The Bulgarian played great and was clinical. With his contract up at the end of the season this may have gone a long way in convincing Sir Alex to reinstate him to the first team and renew his contract.

Javier Hernandez – 6

Javier played pretty good. He was threatening at times and did not lose the ball too often. Javier did however miss a few chances throughout the game.

Substitutes:

Zeki Fryers – 7

Fryers came on for the injured Evans. He did pretty well. Was solid at the back. Zeki did not put a foot wrong all game.

Wayne Rooney – 6

Rooney replaced Giggs and took up his midfield berth. He didn’t have much time to affect the game however he carried on passing the ball efficiently around the pitch.

Kiko Macheda – 6

Macheda came on at the same time as Rooney to replace Nani. Again, he didn’t have much time to affect the game. He did nothing spectacular or dreadful when on the pitch, understandably so.