Saturday, January 9, 2010

Birmingham-Manchester United: Player Ratings in Red

Kuschack (7 ) sold out on the goal, made a few nice saves. Nothing totally heroic required today, but he did bail his defense out more than once.

Rafael (6.5 ), or was it Fabio? Regardless, with a five man midfield, his attacking licence was hampered. Defended his flank with credit.

Brown (5.5 ) had some reckless challenges. Didn't look spritely. Didn't have to do much, though, as United maintained possession and Birgmingham sat back.

Evans' (5 ) culpable for the goal with a poor, albeit reflexive, touch. Maybe showed his rust a bit after being out with injury for several weeks.

Evra (6.5 ) failed to deliver the final ball on some occasions, but went back and forth up the wing as everyone expects him to, week in, week out, integrating into attacking and defense.

Scholes' (5 ) average display yields an average rating. Played too deep by Ferguson in a pusillanimous 4-1-4-1 formation. Needs to pull the trigger more from 20+ yards when he has the space, which he did today since United (partly as a result of Scholes playing so deep) couldn't penetrate City's penalty area.

Carrick (5.5 ) was happy to not make any egregious mistakes; content to therefore not take any risks. Nonchalant. Ordinary. Dull.

Fletcher (6 ) got sent off, but still gets a higher rating than the other three central midfielders. Tackled better than either and didn't pass much worse as well. Some nice through balls actually. Sent off late for a weak challenge when the stalemate was already insured.

Valencia (5.5 ) had a bad day crossing and didn't get behind the Birmingham flanks as much as you would have suspected.

Park (4 ) was generally useless. His touch was laughably poor more than once. Hasn't shown anything this season. With prospects like Obertan and Tosic in competition for a left-wing birth, it's baffling how Park makes the teamsheet.

Rooney (5 ) was marooned by Ferguson alone up front. Couldn't really influence the game. Ran around and got angry. Had one shot on goal during the only instance he got behind the Birmingham back-line. Expected to do too much for United without Berbatov. He's bagged goals this year as a consequence of leading the attack every match, without ever really having a consistent run of form.

Birmingham 1 - Man United 1

United have always played better football away from home, but not when Rooney's up front alone, and United stack their midfield like they're playing in the Champions League final. Berbatov didn't even make the bench and is likely to play even less with Diouf in the picture, which bodes poorly for fans and neutrals. Senility may be a factor with United's gaffer. Very poor football on display, perhaps the worst in the last ten or so years thus far this season.