Manchester United v Chelsea: player ratings
Rory Smith assesses the teams at Old Trafford.
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Low impact: subsitute Fernando Torres feels the force of Rio Ferdinand's sliding tackle Photo: GETTY IMAGES
By Rory Smith 6:20PM BST 08 May 2011
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Edwin van der Sar 7/10
His first involvement in the game – after 20 minutes or so – was to flap at a cross, but other than that the Dutchman, as ever, was flawless.
Raids forward incessantly but his impact is fleeting, particularly on the side of the field more familiar – and better suited – to his brother.
Rio Ferdinand 7
Calm and composed at the back. The former England captain is ageing rather better than Drogba, who can rarely have troubled him so little.
John O’Shea 6
Employed in a comparatively unfamiliar role to cover for the injured Patrice Evra, the Irishman was steady if unspectacular before being replaced by Jonny Evans at the interval.
Antonio Valencia 8
Tormented Ashley Cole all afternoon, twisting past the England international with consummate ease and stifling his opponent’s usual attacking instincts.
Michael Carrick 7
It is easy to miss Carrick’s contribution, which is rarely the most spectacular, but he holds his position well, allowing United’s attacks to flow around him.
Ryan Giggs 9
Whether this is the Welshman’s best campaign misses the point: it is certainly his most remarkable. Played a role in both goals and dominated the midfield from first to last.
Park Ji-Sung 9
The Korean created Hernandez’s goal and was a key figure throughout, troubling Chelsea’s backline and supporting his own. Few question his inclusion on the biggest occasions now.
Wayne Rooney 8
The England international is thriving in a withdrawn role and in tandem with Hernandez. Denied once by Cech and once, brilliantly, by Alex.
Javier Hernandez 8
Showed incredible calm to score after just 36 seconds, and though it seems to churlish to criticise, the Mexican probably should have scored another two.
Substitutes: Jonny Evans was solid after his half-time introduction for John O’Shea, while Chris Smalling played the last two minutes in place of Fabio.
Petr Cech 7
Little the Czech goalkeeper could do about either of United’s goals, while he produced a handful of saves to keep Chelsea in touch with their hosts.
Branislav Ivanovic 4
The Serb was booked for a lunge on Rooney and beaten by his countryman, Nemanja Vidic, for United’s second goal. An afternoon to forget.
David Luiz 5
He may have insisted United’s opening goal was not his fault, but Carlo Ancelotti clearly disagreed: he threatened to substitute him immediately, and eventually did so at half-time.
John Terry 6
The only member of Chelsea’s defence who did not crumble in the face of United’s early onslaught, but simply could not hold the rest of his team together.
Ashley Cole 5
Wilted in the face of Antonio Valencia’s electric display. The full-back’s left leg will still be swinging wildly at thin air when he wakes tomorrow.
Frank Lampard 5
His goal might almost have been first touch, so anonymous had been his performance, but it is typical of the 32-year-old that he still scored.
John Obi Mikel 4
Careless in possession and powerless to stop United swarming forward, Ancelotti decided he did not require a shield which offered no protection at the interval, introducing Ramires.
Michael Essien 4
The Ghanaian was once an elemental force, an entire midfield, but he has faded visibly this season. Where he used to control games, but here he was tamed.
Salomon Kalou 6
Offered an energetic and enthusiastic display on his first ever start at Old Trafford, but struggled to make a telling impact wide on the right.
Didier Drogba 6
Chelsea’s most dangerous player, particularly in the first half, but much of his menace came from a distance. Missed one clear headed chance.
Florent Malouda 6
It would be harsh to assert that the Frenchman played poorly, so starved was he of the ball, but a year ago he would have imposed himself on the game.
Substitutes: Alex and Ramires replaced David Luiz and John Obi Mikel at half-time and improved Chelsea considerably; Fernando Torres’s introduction for Kalou on 61 minutes did not have the same effect.
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