United continued a fine run of league form with a 2-0 victory over West Brom. Man of the Match? Here are the contenders:
David De Gea- After riding through a tough period, De Gea has emerged a stronger, better keeper. His poise at corners was noticeable today, as was the shot stopping that defined his career in Spain. De Gea looked every bit a Manchester United goalkeeper.
Danny Welbeck– Welbeck’s performance was blighted by one terrible miss, but his clever running kept the United attack ticking for most of the match. Another convincing showing.
Wayne Rooney- Perhaps a shade unlucky not to walk away with the honors. Rooney continued his good recent form, orchestrating from deep before breaking into the box with speed and aggression. His first goal was a fabulous bit of strike play, and the second another emphatic penalty. How is this man English?
Man Of The Match- Ashley Young
Since scoring United’s opener at Ajax, Young has been in blistering form. Without replicating last week’s goal scoring heroics, he put in — arguably — an even better performance. Young tortured Gabriel Tamas for most of the match before finishing the game quietly on the opposite flank. His incisive dribbling eventually won a second-half penalty. Brilliant, brilliant showing.
It’s not nice, but it has to be done. Flop of the Match? Here are the contenders:
Michael Carrick- Embarrassed by a vibrant Athletic Bilbao in midweek, Carrick was below-par on Sunday afternoon. He gave the ball away often and failed to build on a promising start to life alongside Paul Scholes.
Patrice Evra- Attacked with poise, but defended horribly. Evra was lucky not to give away a penalty in the second half.
Jonny Evans- If Vidic’s absence unsettled the back line, then Evan’s prominence totally destabilized it. The Irishman’s continued presence has cultivated a paranoia among viewers, a nervousness that intensifies every time he slides into a challenge. I hate to say it, but unless Evans curbs his recklessness he will continue to injure opposition players. Nemanja, when will you return?
Flop Of The Match- Phil Jones
The own-goal at Sports Direct Arena did something to him. He no longer charges forward with the same intent, no longer commands the center of defense (or wherever he is playing — against West Brom, it was right back). His most notable contribution to Sunday’s match was a clumsy fall over the advertising hoardings. Improvement needed.