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Played
December 29, 2012 3:00 PM GMT
Old Trafford — Manchester
Referee:‬ J. Moss‎
Attendance:‬ 75595‎
 
9′ (OG) Gareth McAuley
 
 
   
 
 

Player Ratings: Manchester United 2-0 West Brom

An early Gareth McAuley own goal and a late Robin van Persie wonder strike gave the league leaders the three points in a game where they lacked their usual swagger in attack

By Jack Gaughan at Old Trafford

  • David de Gea
    63
    2
    3.00

    David de Gea

    The goalkeeper had only one shot to save all afternoon - a long-range effort from Chris Brunt and was never put under any sort of pressure - a missed opportunity by West Brom.

  • Patrice Evra
    60
    3
    3.00

    Patrice Evra

    Because Graham Dorrans was never going to go around the outside of him, Evra was able to hold his position all game and play sensibly, resulting in a quiet afternoon. He was never out of position and is steadily improving.

  • Jonny Evans
    65
    3
    3.50

    Jonny Evans

    Evans was the man to track the lively Shane Long, and stuck to his task in a much better fashion than against Newcastle. Long looked to be clean through late in the game, but Evans strode beyond him, using his pace, to avert the danger.

  • Chris Smalling
    57
    9
    3.50

    Chris Smalling

    Can bail himself out of trouble with last-ditch tackles, but Smalling kept Peter Odemwingie quiet for the majority and was not noticeable: the sign of a good full back. He got forward well, even though he is slightly clumsy in and around the box.

  • Nemanja Vidic
    92
    9
    3.00

    Nemanja Vidic

    Vidic will need more match practice before he is back to his best in a United shirt, and he was solid if unspectacular. That, in essence, is all that is needed from the centre-half, although Shane Long's pace ruffled him on occasion.

  • Antonio Valencia
    55
    9
    3.00

    Antonio Valencia

    Ought to have made more of the freedom of Old Trafford he was afforded by Liam Ridgewell. Valencia's final ball was strangely lacking, unusual for the winger, but he always possesses a threat.

  • Michael Carrick
    75
    9
    3.50

    Michael Carrick Top of the Match

    Carrick has been imperious, the heartbeat of the United midfield, for some time now, and it was no different today. His calmness in possession radiates to those around him and his eye for a pass unlocks the most stubborn of defences.

  • Ashley Young
    51
    6
    3.50

    Ashley Young

    Young looked sharp when running at Billy Jones and is full of confidence: you could see that by his body shape when collecting the ball, always searching to twist his marker inside and out.

  • Tom Cleverley
    48
    31
    2.50

    Tom Cleverley

    An over-hit simple ball at the end of the first half summed up Cleverley's afternoon: he huffed and puffed with plenty of industry but lacked the quality to dictate proceedings. His frustration at the performance was evident.

  • Danny Welbeck
    44
    19
    3.00

    Danny Welbeck

    Welbeck said in the Boxing Day programme that he prefers playing as the central striker, and he got his wish today. Had a couple of half-chances, but was paid close attention to by the away defenders.

  • Shinji Kagawa
    102
    4
    3.50

    Shinji Kagawa

    It looked like Kagawa had been playing every week instead of coming back from injury that had kept him out from October. The midfielder fitted back in seamlessly and manages to find pockets of space to really hurt the opposition.

Substitutions

  • Paul Scholes
    45
    2

    Paul Scholes

    Late substitute.

  • Robin van Persie
    101
    6
    3.00

    Robin van Persie

    Showed his class off the bench with a stunning finish to seal the points, proving United are a different side with him in it.

  • Ben Foster
    20
    5
    3.50

    Ben Foster

    Made a number of brilliant saves, not least tipping Ashley Young's rasping drive onto the bar and over, and was not at fault for the goals. One of the big reasons for West Brom's excellent league position.

  • Liam Ridgewell
    2
    10
    2.00

    Liam Ridgewell

    Ridgewell must like Antonio Valencia, because he gave him as much space as a winger could possibly wish for - maybe too much in fact - and never really got close enough to prevent balls coming into the box.

  • Gareth McAuley
    5
    9
    3.00

    Gareth McAuley

    McAuley was fairly unfortunate with the own goal he scored early in the piece, but did not let it affect his game from then on. He stood tall from corners, frequently heading balls away, and had to be on his toes with runners off him.

  • Billy Jones
    3
    7
    3.00

    Billy Jones

    Was not given the same licence as at home to get forward until later in the game, and Jones was content to stop Ashley Young's devilish runs towards the away box. He made one super last-ditch tackle to halt the winger.

  • Sebastien Gabriel Tamaş
    2
    8
    3.00

    Sebastien Gabriel Tamaş

    Caught out of position a couple of times, but the lack of really presentable Manchester United chances is down to a decent back four, Tamas included. Did not even looked fussed when Robin van Persie came off the bench.

  • Chris Brunt
    3
    7
    3.00

    Chris Brunt

    Brunt empitomises the spirit in this West Brom side and his gumption in the tackle and bravery to take the ball on and drive at the opposition is admirable, especially when they went a goal down so early. He will, however, be disappointed with his delivery from set pieces.

  • Graham Dorrans
    3
    7
    3.00

    Graham Dorrans

    Difficult not to feel sorry for Dorrans, who was asked to play wide as defensive cover when Patrice Evra ventured forward. He would have fancied his chances of affecting the game more from the middle, but performed solidly.

  • George Thorne
    2
    8
    3.00

    George Thorne

    During a torrid first 15 minutes, it looked like it was going to be a match too far for Thorne, but in the second half in particular, the midfielder put himself about and was key in intercepting balls when United were in the ascendency.

  • Markus Rosenberg
    2
    12
    2.00

    Markus Rosenberg Flop of the Match

    The Sweden international did not have an awful lot of support, but there was not ever a moment in this lethargic display to suggest he had the will or class to muster a chance for the Baggies. Steve Clarke will be pleased he got him for free.

  • Shane Long
    4
    8
    3.50

    Shane Long

    Always a willing runner, Shane Long causes problems to defenders with his tenacity without the ball and gave the visitors breathing space when winning throw-ins higher up the pitch. He will be disappointed not to have been given at least one chance to score.

  • Peter Odemwingie
    5
    7
    2.50

    Peter Odemwingie

    It was difficult for all of the away attackers, but Odemwingie struggled to get into the game for large parts. When he did, the Nigerian looked dangerous, but they were fleeting moments in a game where Chris Smalling had the better of him.

Substitutions

  • James Morrison
    2
    7

    James Morrison

    Second half substitute.

  • Romelu Lukaku
    15
    4
    3.50

    Romelu Lukaku

    His presence gave the Baggies a lift and the interplay by Lukaku and Shane Long almost brought about an equaliser late on.

  • Marc-Antoine Fortune
    2
    6

    Marc-Antoine Fortune

    Late substitute.

Results
 
Player Ratings
Tournament
Position
Ranking
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Luis Suárez Luis Suárez
Striker
Liverpool
30 0
Daniel Sturridge Daniel Sturridge
Striker
Liverpool
20 0
Yaya Touré Yaya Touré
Midfielder
Man City
18 6
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Man City
16 0
Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney
Striker
Man. United
15 2