United v Sporting - Player Ratings!
Note: I decided not to be too harsh with the boys, seeing they won the game at the end.
Tomasz Kuszczak: It's difficult to say in such a situation that it's the keeper's fault. His view was blocked and it looked absolutely certain that Abel would cross the ball. Otherwise did well but clouds hang over him because of the goal. 5
John O'Shea: I felt he did quite well. Nothing spectacular but at least provided support for the attacks and rarely got exposed at the back. His crosses should have been more accurate. 6
Rio Ferdinand: A solid evening's work for him. Liedson was by and large kept quiet. 6
Nemanja Vidic: Didn't have much trouble, his adversary, Purovic was very, very poor. 6
Patrice Evra: As usual. Offered much threat going forward but questions must be asked about his positioning at Sporting's goal. 6
Michael Carrick: I think he was the best performer of the first half, some of his long passes were truly admirable and could have carved open Sporting if the others had bothered to move and think. Not bad and much better than at Bolton. 6
Darren Fletcher: Failed to seize his chance. If anyone remembers the Fletcher who was equal to Pirlo, Seedorf and Gattuso at Old Trafford in the Champions League semi-finals last season, they won't know who is this guy who kept giving the ball away yesterday night. 4
Anderson: An acceptable performance but should have stepped forward more often. But he's going in the right direction. 6
Cristiano Ronaldo: Man of the match, of course, though I daresay that after some beautiful tricks and threatening runs in the first 15 minutes, he faded due to the general sloppiness of the team's performance. However, his goal was absolutely stunning. 7
Louis Saha: A bit better than at Bolton but should have opened the scoring despite shooting horribly wide at the one real chance of the first half. Defenders often outmuscled him and that was worrying. 5
Luis Nani: Going nowhere for 45 minutes. He's form has decreased dramatically since the international break, it was another non-existent display by the young Portuguese. 4
Carlos Tevez: Replaced Fletcher and finally, United had pace and power in their attack. His goal is more of an accident than anything else but he deserves credit for the way he cajoled his teammates and added fresh impetus. 6
Ryan Giggs: Not bad and much better than at the Reebok. However, failed to really stamp his authority on the game. 5
Owen Hargreaves: Had little time to make an impact but could have done it immediately. He missed that chance, unfortunately. 5