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Played
January 28, 2014 7:45 PM GMT
Old Trafford — Manchester
Referee:‬ C. Pawson‎
Attendance:‬ 75301‎
 
 
59′ Ashley Young
 
   
 
 

Player Ratings: Manchester United 2-0 Cardiff

Juan Mata made his Red Devils debut but it was the returning Dutchman Robin van Persie who made the difference for David Moyes' side on his goalscoring comeback from injury

By Paul Macdonald at Old Trafford

  • David de Gea
    1
    1
    2.50

    David de Gea

    His insecurity over cross balls remains his Achilles heel, as evidenced by two deliveries in the first half that failed to find the safety of his gloves. Cardiff failed to suitably pressurise him, however.

  • Rafael
    2
    0
    3.00

    Rafael

    Not involved to any degree in the first half, but got forward more as the game went on, assisting Valencia in providing a difficult evening for Declan John.

  • Patrice Evra
    0
    3
    3.00

    Patrice Evra

    Lovely reverse ball created a chance that Van Persie should have probably converted, and dealt with the tricky Noone relatively well.

  • Phil Jones
    0
    1
    2.50

    Phil Jones

    Energetic and has the right intent but unfortunately lacks the finesse at times, as evidenced by a 10-yard pass that was launched in the general direction of Van Persie. As a result, content to let Giggs do most of the heavy lifting.

  • Jonny Evans
    0
    1
    3.00

    Jonny Evans

    Is patently unsure whether his goalkeeper is going to come and claim crosses, as evidenced when he knocked the ball out of De Gea’s hands before half-time. Otherwise, relatively untroubled by the Cardiff attack.

  • Chris Smalling
    2
    1
    3.00

    Chris Smalling

    Turned all too easily by Campbell in the first half, but to his credit had the pace to recover the situation. Looks more comfortable playing inside as opposed to full-back.

  • Ryan Giggs
    0
    0
    3.00

    Ryan Giggs

    Still pulling the strings for United even at his advanced age, he at least attempted to inject some life into proceedings, even if his decision making was slightly askew. Replaced by Cleverley.

  • Ashley Young
    0
    1
    3.50

    Ashley Young

    Provided an excellent delivery that led to Van Persie netting the opening goal, Missed a chance to make it 2-0 but then duly obliged in the second half, lashing home an impressive shot from the edge of the area.

  • Antonio Valencia
    1
    3
    3.50

    Antonio Valencia

    Smashed a header against the crossbar that led to Van Persie’s opening goal and got better as the match progressed. Smashed a shot that Marshall brilliantly pushed onto the post.

  • Juan Mata
    8
    5
    3.00

    Juan Mata

    Will only have met his team-mates in the last few days, and it showed, as he remained on the edge of the action for much of the contest. Still finding his way, but that will come with time.

  • Robin van Persie
    1
    5
    4.00

    Robin van Persie Top of the Match

    Eleven games out but the Dutchman needed just six minutes to announce his return, nodding home from close range after Marshall denied him initially. Not fully fit yet, but a positive step toward his best.

Substitutions

  • Tom Cleverley
    2
    1

    Tom Cleverley

    Replaced Giggs with 20 minutes remaining but United were in control at that stage.

  • Wayne Rooney
    3
    0
    3.00

    Wayne Rooney

    Came on as a second half substitute and curled an ambitious effort just wide of the post.

  • David Marshall
    1
    0
    3.50

    David Marshall

    Unfortunate to see Van Persie convert the opener after a point-blank save had initially denied the Dutchman, and helpless for Young's second. Brilliant save to deny Valencia.

  • Steven Caulker
    1
    1
    3.00

    Steven Caulker

    Valencia got in behind him to help create the first goal, but wasn't overly fazed by Van Persie, doing his best to marshall the striker.

  • Mark Hudson
    0
    0
    2.00

    Mark Hudson

    Had a more difficult evening than his defensive colleague, struggling on the ball and with Van Persie, and was eventually replaced.

  • Kevin McNaughton
    0
    0
    2.50

    Kevin McNaughton

    Marauded forward to aid Noone whenever he could. One teasing cross in the first half almost found the head of Campbell.

  • Declan John
    2
    0
    2.00

    Declan John

    The left-back had a difficult evening against Valencia, finding himself isolated one-on-one too often and his side could have conceded more goals from his side of the pitch.

  • Peter Whittingham
    0
    0
    2.50

    Peter Whittingham

    Neat and tidy on the ball, but never exerted any influence over Jones and Giggs, and in the end couldn't impact the match.

  • Gary Medel
    1
    0
    2.50

    Gary Medel

    Showed his usual determination in some meaty exchanges with Jones, but should have taken more advantage of his intimidation of the Man Utd man.

  • Craig Noone
    0
    0
    2.50

    Craig Noone

    Oozing confidence at the moment, and took as many opportunities as possible to give Evra a difficult evening, but it didn’t quite come together for him as it did against Man City 10 days ago.

  • Jordon Mutch
    0
    1
    2.00

    Jordon Mutch Flop of the Match

    Not involved in the contest whatsoever, and was the first player to depart, subbed early in the second half.

  • Fraizer Campbell
    0
    0
    2.50

    Fraizer Campbell

    Worked tirelessly to hold the ball up and gain territory for his team, but aside for one neat piece of skill to evade Smalling his efforts were largely in vain.

  • Craig Bellamy
    0
    0
    2.50

    Craig Bellamy

    The veteran looked lively at times but didn't get at Rafael anywhere near enough and had little impact.

Substitutions

  • Ben Turner
    0
    1
    2.00

    Ben Turner

    Came on the in the second half but United were already in control at that stage.

  • Bo-Kyung Kim
    1
    0
    2.50

    Bo-Kyung Kim

    Came on during Cardiff's best spell of the match but like his team-mates Young's goal knocked any momentum from them.

Results
 
Player Ratings
Tournament
Position
Ranking
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Luis Suárez Luis Suárez
Striker
Liverpool
29 0
Daniel Sturridge Daniel Sturridge
Striker
Liverpool
20 0
Yaya Touré Yaya Touré
Midfielder
Manchester City
18 6
Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney
Striker
Man Utd.
15 2
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Manchester City
15 0