David De Gea

Let’s just say that if it wasn’t for this man, we’d have conceded 4 or 5 goals. Stunning saves to deny Drogba from inside the box and another from Hazard. Luckily David was at his best and his confidence is definitely back following the Everton match.

Verdict: What can I say, we’re lucky to have him for many years to come (hopefully).

Rafael Da Silva

Given a torrid time by Hazard’s trickery. His yellow card in the first half made his presence on the pitch a risk but he repaid van Gaal’s faith and avoided another card. Horrible marking during the corner that led to Drogba’s goal but the idea of Rafael marking Drogba when van Persie marks the post boggles the mind.

Verdict: Not his best of performances but Hazard will do that to anyone.

Chris Smalling

Acted as a safe guard, correcting Rojo’s numerous mistakes. Impressive showing from Chris under the circumstances, couldn’t have done much more.

Verdict: Solid performance, few mistakes (if any).

Marcos Rojo actions. 85% pass completion but 12 failed passes, 9 in his own half

Marcos Rojo actions. 85% pass completion but 12 failed passes, 9 in his own half

Marcos Rojo

Made mistakes for the second game running. Literally squared the ball to a Chelsea player at the edge of the box. Picked up as the game went on (similar to West Brom) but big teams will punish you from the start.

Verdict: Struggled again to show that he is United standard. Language may be an issue as communication is critical in defending. Is he an upgrade on Evans?

Luke Shaw

Good game from the young Englishman on the attack. Was lucky that Hazard was given the offensive duties while Willian sat back which gave him more freedom. Linked up with Di Maria well at times.

Verdict: Solid performance, should get better game by game.

Daley Blind

Although he was having a game that was below his usual standards, you could see that he was literally everywhere on the pitch. His work-rate is unbelievable. Something we’ve missed since Darren Fletcher’s incredible presence in 2009-2010.

Verdict: Workhorse. Changed the shape of our midfield immensely.


Marouane Fellaini

Should have been given the man-of-the-match award if it wasn’t for Hazard. Was all over Fabregas giving him no space to breathe, made our midfield more solid with his physicality and assisted Robin van Persie’s goal. An incredible flick to Januzaj, vine.co/v/Ohlj7t59hjX  summed up his mood.

Verdict: Should easily start against City even if Herrera is fit. He’s earned it.

Juan Mata

Poor second half from the little Spaniard after an effective first period pressing the Chelsea double pivot in tandem with Fellaini. Is he suited to the fast style of football Van Gaal wants to implement? Maybe he should’ve taken his chance while Rooney was unavailable; has he failed to do so.

Verdict: Back to the bench against City.


Adnan Januzaj

Provided the spark on the right. His slow decision making can be frustrating at times but nonetheless he troubled Luis. I actually thought Luis would be sent off before Ivanovic was due to Januzaj.

Verdict: United’s best player after Fellaini.

Angel Di Maria

Not his usual self. Using him on the left was not a good idea, his work rate was not the same, crosses were poor. Should get back to his best when we start using the diamond formation again after the City game.

Verdict: Not his best of days but he never gave up.


Robin van Persie

Van Persie was frustrating in that he failed to capitalize on several good chances, but he worked hard to make them and got all his shots and headers on target. But for the excellence of Courtois he may have scored a hat trick. Worked the space created by the movement of Fellaini and Mata in the first half and ran the channels. His influence in the second was reduced but he kept going. His celebration at the end was perhaps a sigh of relief after all those earlier chances went begging.

Verdict: A better, sharper performance. He may not be the player of 2012-13 but he can still be a force as his late equalizer demonstrated.

James Wilson

Not enough time to impact the game. Not fazed by facing the best center-back partnership in the league with a well struck header that went slightly above the bar the highlight of his game.

Verdict: Good he was given game-time. Will be an important player for us in the future, no doubt.

Article by Marwan Ahmed.

You can read more of Marwan’s writing at http://www.kingfut.com/author/Marwan/ and follow him on twitter @Marwan_KF