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Player Ratings: Manchester United 2-1 Arsenal

MANCHESTER UNITED

Foster: 6.5 -
Hit and miss. Could possibly have done better with the goal and flapped at several crosses. However, made amends by saving brilliantly from Van Persie with his feet to keep United in the game.

O'Shea: 5.5 -
Struggled against Arshavin defensively and rarely ventured forwards to support Valencia.

Brown: 6.5 –
Beaten by Van Persie at the start of the second half but pulled off a great challenge later on to deny the Dutchman.

Vidic: 6.5 – Perhaps ought to have closed Arshavin down earlier for the goal but otherwise did little wrong.

Evra: 7.5 – Another strong showing by the full-back. Important block on Van Persie in the first half and his pace caused problems offensively. Decent shot in the second half that forced Almunia into a good save.

Valencia: 5 – Disappointing display from the new signing. Couldn’t make any impact against Clichy, didn’t make the most of his chances and was far too hesitant.

Fletcher: 8 - Was just about everywhere, fortunate to escape a penalty after flooring Arshavin in the box, fired an early chance over and didn’t stop chasing.

Carrick: 6.5 – Neat and tidy in possession and had a decent shot from a corner that was blocked.

Nani: 7 – Enjoyed a good tussle with Sagna. Great ball to Berbatov late on which should have finished it and showed discipline to get back and defend when needed.

Giggs: 7.5 – After a poor start, a great pass sent Rooney away for the penalty before crossing for Diaby to head past his own 'keeper.

Rooney: 8 – A fairly quiet first half, although he hit a super pass to set up Fletcher and sent a free-kick just wide. Kept going and got his reward by winning and scoring the penalty.

Substitutes

Park: 6.5 - An improvement on Valencia.

Berbatov: 5 - Should have finished it as a contetst but wasted a stoppage time chance.

ARSENAL

Almunia: 4 – Poor goalkeeping to rush off his line and bring down Rooney for the penalty. Might just have cost his side victory.  

Sagna: 6.5 – Played well against Nani, in particular a great tackle to get back and deny him in the first half.

Gallas: 7 - Continues to look back to his very best and yet another commanding display. However, crucially strayed offside late on, which denied Van Persie a dramatic late equaliser.

Vermaelen: 7 - His biggest test so far and one he passed. Eased Rooney out of Evra cross early on and did well against the England international.

Clichy: 7.5 – Snuffed out the threat of Valencia and had a good game.

Denilson:  7 – A couple of mistakes in possession almost proved costly but otherwise he helped dictate the tempo of the game for long periods as Arsenal dominated.  

Song: 7 -
Put himself about and a few wild challenges saw him pick up a booking but, alongside Denilson, generally bossed the midfield.

Diaby: 5 - A good performance was spoiled by an awful own goal. Good play straight afterwards almost brought salvation but his shot didn’t match the run.

Eboue: 6.5 - Rewarded with a start after some excellent displays. Made strong forward runs but poor touches at important times let him down. Booked for diving.

Arshavin: 8.5 - Scored a fine opener, could have had an earlier goal but was fractionally wide from hitting the top corner. Set up Van Persie for a great chance but then hobbled off, which must be a worry for the Gunners.

Van Persie: 7.5 – Unlucky not to find himself on the scoresheet. Forced Evra to block a shot in the first half, was denied brilliantly by Foster after the break and then had a stoppage time goal flagged for offside.

Substitutes

Bendtner: 6.5 - Good cross just too high for Eduardo late on.

Eduardo: 6 – Couldn’t find an equaliser.

Ramsey: n/a

Gill Clark, Goal.com