Manchester Utd v Reading - Player Ratings

Michael Regan

So we gave it a good go at Old Trafford and really we did about as well as most expected us. A pride boosting performance but sadly no points to go with it. Here's a quick look at how we've rated the players.

Stuart Taylor: 7

Taylor has yet to let us down in his three games, and while the return of Alex McCarthy might spell the end of his time as a Premier League goalkeeper, Taylor can be proud of his efforts as a stand in this season. The former Arsenal keeper made good stops from Welbeck, Rooney and Van Persie and you can't really fault him for what was a totally fluke goal. If Federici and McCarthy aren't 100% right to come back then I see no reason to rush them back.

Stephen Kelly: 6

Solid enough from the Republic of Ireland full-back who made some good runs and kept Ashley Young fairly quiet throughout the game. Saw himself booked for a clumsy challenge but an OK performance and one which didn't let us down.

Alex Pearce: 7

A good game from Pearce who dealt well with the threat of Rooney and Van Persie but sadly had the final touch on the former's match-winning goal. Pearce looks comfortable at this level and with each good display it only makes you angrier at Brian, Nicky Hammond, Anton or whoever decided to keep him out of the side through most of the first-half of the season.

Adrian Mariappa: 8

Great display from the former Watford man who put in some key tackles and made the best strike-force in this division look average. Mariappa should also have had a penalty and if we do go down I hope he stays because he's Premier League class and a great asset to this team.

Nicky Shorey: 6

Looked good coming forward but was sadly lacking when it came to putting in good deliveries from the few set pieces we had. Still think he offered more than Harte and hopefully he continues in the positon for the next eight games and hopefully into next season.

Garath McCleary: 6

Put in plenty of hard work and was good to see him taking on his marker and actually going for it. His pace is an asset and he's just more of a threat on the break than Jobi McAnuff who's just lost a touch of sharpness this season.

Mikele Leigertwood: 7

Ledge showed that he can put in a decent display at the top level when the formation and personnel around him are right. While he's just utterly lost in a 4-4-2 he's an OK anchor to a 4-5-1 and his passes weren't quite as wayward as usual. Will be disappointed at losing Ferdinand for the goal but overall a nice way to bounce back from his booing against Villa.

Jem Karacan: 7

Typical all energy and committed performance from Karacan who looked pumped up for the game under his former Academy coach. Technically he still wasn't quite there but he did his job well and helped protect the midfield from being swamped by Young, Rooney, Welbeck and Van Persie. If he had a better pass on him he'd be an automatic selection but personally I'd still prefer Akpan in there to offer a bit more in linking the defence and attack.

Jobi McAnuff: 6

Not much to say about the skipper's performance. He was OK though largely anonymous in his role just behind the forward line. He didn't do too much in the way of creating chances but then he was tidy in possession.

Hal Robson-Kanu: 7

Unlucky not to score and that's three shots that have now sneaked inches past the post in the past couple of games. Always willing to drive forward his only downfall was lack of end product, with his crossing still one of the weakest areas of his game.

Noel Hunt: 6

Tried his best but didn't have much joy playing on his own against the vastly experienced pair of Vidic and Ferdinand. Always gives a 100% and I'd really like to see him given a new deal, especially if we do go down.

Subs:

Nick Blackman: 5

Didn't really do a terrible lot in his 34 minutes on the pitch and I'm still not really sure what his best position is.

Adam Le Fondre: 5

Another anonymous game from Alfie who's just been starved of chances since his fine run in January. it'll be interesting to see what he can do if he's in a team that does create 4 or 5 chances per game.

Sean Morrison: NR

Was thrown on as a late sub to try and win the ball from set pieces but his only touch was a header that missed the target. Good idea to get him on, but no real time to judge him.

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