Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Manchester City vs Manchester United - Match Ratings

By Shane Thomas



While he wasn't called upon to make a save, his importance to City comes not only from what he does with his hands, but his sheer presence. Anything he was required to do, he did with the minimum of fuss. God help England if he gets injured before or during Euro 2012.


Was slightly surprised to see him chosen ahead of Micah Richards, but gave a clear demonstration as to why Mancini prefers him in these types of games. Dovetailed well with Nasri when City monopolised possession, and also defended with resolute focus in the game's final 20 minutes.


Scored what could prove to be the decisive goal of the Premier League season, and was faultless at the back. City simply look a different proposition when he's in the side. Had he not missed games due to suspension and injury, he might have already lifted the Premier League trophy.


Has quietly developed into one of the division's most accomplished centre-halves. And he's English. Roy Hodgson (who as of yet hasn't taken the England job) should seriously consider putting him in the starting XI for England's Euro 2012 campaign. While Lescott looks more comfortable with Kompany alongside him, that shouldn't take away from how well he played here. He didn't give Rooney a kick all game


While possessing all the skills needed for a modern full-back, his propensity to lose concentration meant that Arsenal fans were indifferent about him leaving the club last summer. However, he gave arguably his best display in a City shirt, which featured a couple of incisive attacking runs. He also exercised earlier career demons by keeping Nani quiet, before doing the same to Antonio Valencia.


An absolute monster of a footballer. One of the highlights of the first-half was watching Yaya knock Phil Jones to the ground in a shoulder-to-shoulder collision. Jones is no lightweight, but Yaya made him look like an ant. He constantly rampaged through the centre of the pitch, often providing the link between the midfield and the attack. It's like watching Patrick Vieira v2.0.


A regular target for the ire of the fans (for both club & country). But he was magnificent, controlling the play like a metronome. Not only did City's attacks start with him, but most of United's attacks ended with him, as Barry had a superb defensive match, making sure that City's rearguard was never exposed. Man of the Match.


Was City's brightest attacking light in the first-half, with one penetrative dribble a real highlight. Kept busy in the second-half, but saw less of the ball. And his profligacy when presented with a gilt-edged chance in the closing moments had Mancini in a rage. Is improving as a City player, but the club will expect more from him next season.


Passed the ball nicely, but was always on the fringes of the match. The way his season's tailed off is a worry not only for club, but for country. His effort can never be faulted however, and received a warm round of applause when substituted in the second-half.


His re-introduction from a self-imposed exile may be the thing that gets City over the line ahead of United. His industry was absolute, his touch and control always excellent, and often constructed attacks with some fine hold-up play. An impressive performance and was unlucky to be subbed for De Jong.


At times lacked the killer instinct in the final third, but worked diligently and was always a threat. His livewire personality means that even when not operating at his optimum, he creates space for his teammates simply by being on the pitch.



There's a school of thought which has him at fault for the goal, as he opted against claiming Silva's dead ball. He also never looked entirely convincing from City's other set-pieces. However, he didn't do a lot wrong and made a good save to deny Clichy late in the second-half.


Definitely a talent, but has looked out of his depth at times this season. Being dumped on his backside by Yaya Toure is a memory he'll want to forget, and while relatively sound defensively, he failed to give United sufficient attacking threat when they were chasing the game. For such an accomplished technical player, his passing at times was dreadful.


Deserves some kudos for recovering his focus to defend solidly after the City goal. However, it doesn't erase the fact that it was his poor marking that led to Kompany's winner. It could be the crucial moment in the Premier League season, and you have to wonder if Jonny Evans would have made the same mistake. He'll need to take his medicine and learn from this experience.


Found City's attackers awkward to handle at times, but used his nous to never look vulnerable when put under pressure. One of the calmest heads on the pitch in a red shirt, which leaves the next England manager in a dilemma, as Ferdinand's current form warrants a place in the England team for the Euros.


Wasn't helped defensively, but has never looked the same player since playing a major role in France's shambolic campaign at the 2010 World Cup. Also, for someone who is best known for his attacking drive, he was a non-event in the game when United attacked.


Carrick didn't do a lot wrong in the match. The problem was that he didn't do a lot right either. He's had a marvellous season, but he tends to shine only when others allow him to do so. He's not the man to shape on occasion, and paled in comparison to his opposite numbers in the City team.


The rare times when United did use the ball well, it was often down to Scholes. As well as some perceptive passing, he also made some good interceptions, but the demands placed on him were far too great, as he had to provide both the craft and the graft. It says a lot about United that it they looked to a 37 year old to do all the midfield work on his own.


The fact that Sir Alex Ferguson seldom gets it wrong only magnifies things on the rare occasions when he does. Starting Park was a horrible misjudgement, and could have only been down to his reputation in games like this, rather than any current form. It was clear for all to see why the South Korean hasn't started a match for 4 months.

NANI (5)

Must only have been picked due to the roasting he gave Clichy in an Arsenal/Man Utd encounter back in 2010. However, he failed to make any significant impact as Clichy kept him quiet, and he was substituted in the second-half.


Worked hard, but found it tough going down the left-hand side. Zabaleta did a fine job against the Welshman, and the best change Giggs was able to get out of him during the game was winning a series of corner kicks.


Often dislikes plowing a lone furrow up front, and endured a frustrating night. A combination of Lescott and Kompany nullified his threat. Rooney was left having to drop deep just to get a touch of the ball, leaving United with a forward presence when they attacked. When he did remain in the striker position, it only served to make United less threatening than they already were.

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