Tottenham Hotspur 0-0 Manchester United: Player Ratings


Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur played out a frustrating 0-0 draw on a sunny morning in London, with United coming out of the match maintaining their unbeaten run. The result however was a disappointing one for Van Gaal’s men, as it was more of two points dropped than one earned in United’s case.

The match started in an energetic manner with Spurs trying to have an early go at Manchester United’s inconsistent back-line. However, those attacking waves cooled down as the half progressed and United gradually began to dominate proceedings. If it wasn’t for the heroics of French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, Spurs would have been 2-0 down in the first half itself.

A fantastic goal line clearance from Chiriches ensured that the score remained all square, while Ashley Young’s delightful curling effort was matched with an even more ludicrous save by Lloris; this time the Frenchman diving towards his left to get fingertips to Young’s effort.

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The second half was cagey and most of the match was played in midfield. However, Spurs could have grabbed a very late goal had Ryan Mason been more clinical with his left foot in front of David De Gea. Even though the angle was awkward, you’d expect a player like Mason to put the ball in the back of the net.

David De Gea – 6/10

The Spaniard has been United’s best player this season without a whisker of doubt and put in a decent performance against the Lilywhites. The 24-year old made a decent save off Harry Kane’s close range effort early on in the first half besides making a string of routine saves through the course of both the halves.

Antonio Valencia – 5.5/10

Valencia didn’t make any noteworthy contributions defensively or offensively in the encounter and was commendably contained on the left flank by Ben Davies. The Ecuadorian was in a rich vein of form leading into this match but somehow failed to replicate the performances in this particular fixture. He was replaced by Rafael at half time due to an apparent injury concern.

Phil Jones – 7/10

It finally looks like Phil Jones is maturing into a solid center-back after depicting promise for a lengthy period. His performance against Mauricio Pochettino’s men was mature and he was arguably the best United defender on the pitch. The manner in which the British defender marshalled the defence at some instances, showed tremendous amount of awareness and made some crucial interjections was overwhelming to say the least. It finally looks like he’s racking up a decent set of performances and provided he remains injury free, Jones can become a pivotal part of United’s title charge.

Patrick McNair – 5/10

The decision to start 19-year old Paddy McNair ahead of Chris Smalling was, in true sense, baffling to me. Even though the youngster enjoyed a successful outing against Arsenal, he has failed to weave the same sort of magic for quite some time now. A mistimed clearance midway through the first half could have cost United dearly. He looked low on confidence, nervy and a bit tantalised when on the ball. Although, he handled Kane comfortably on certain occasions. The Irish defender was booked in the 71st minute for committing a silly challenge and was consequently replaced five minutes later by Luke Shaw.

Jonny Evans – 5/10

It seems like it wasn’t a very good day to play for the Irish players. Continuously harassed on the left flank by a pacey Andros Townsend, Evans had his work cut out for the morning and didn’t quite live up to it. He showed a bit if nerves right at the start followed by mistimed passes and wayward clearances. He was replaced by Chris Smalling in the 72nd minute due to a slight niggle.

Ashley Young – 6.5/10

If you told me at the start of the ongoing campaign that Ashley Young would become a pivotal figure in the left flank for United, I would have probably passed you off as if you were too naive to understand the sport. But, to everyone’s surprise, Young has stepped up to the plate remarkably well and has been terrorising defenders of late. The fact that Townsend had to track back in order to assist Chiriches in keeping Young at bay speaks volumes of the progress the former Aston Villa man has made. A delicious curler towards the end of the first half was his best contribution in the match.

Michael Carrick 7/10

The fact that United’s superb run of form has coincided with Carrick’s return from injury is much more than mere irony. An assured start was followed up with a solid presence in the centre of the park and Carrick has truly epitomised the concept of an ice cool presence on the football pitch. Timely interventions and sublime passes (the one to Mata midway through the second half was the pick of the lot) only added to Spurs’ woes with the 33-year old midfielder popping up almost everywhere on the field.

Juan Mata – 7.5/10

This was probably Mata’s best performance in a United shirt this season. The confidence and flamboyancy with which he kept hold of the ball inspite of the Spurs midfielders circling around him like sharks was a delight to watch. His free-kick rattled the post in the first half and he could have grabbed all the three points for United in the second half, had it not been for that wild swish of the right foot off Rafael’s cross from the right wing.

Wayne Rooney – 6/10

Captain fantastic had a rather quite afternoon in what’s considered by many as one of his favorite hunting grounds. Rooney didn’t have a colossal impact on the game but again proved to be the engine in midfield alongside Carrick. His corner deliveries weren’t up to the mark either.

Robin van Persie – 6/10

Robin van Persie looked to be more interested in settling personal scores rather than finding the net for his team. The Dutchman indulged in an intriguing battle with Belgian defender Jan Vertonghen and quite clearly, one of them could’ve got booked for the constant physical battle which ensued through the course of the game. Van Persie started the game positively, showcasing assuredness when in possession of the ball and moving it with immaculate control. However, he blew away a plethora of opportunities which were instrumental in United dropping two points.

Radamel Falcao – 6/10

Looking at the number of times Falcao slipped in the first half, one was forced to wonder whether there was anything wrong with the pitch or the Colombian’s boots. Coming back to his performance in the match, it wasn’t very impressive. Part of that could be blamed on the fact that the former Atletico Madrid striker didn’t receive quality service from the wing backs or midfielders. However, he too blew away a few chances due to poor finishing. He also picked up a booking for protesting a decision which went against him.


Rafael – 4/10

Brought on at the start of the second half as a replacement for the reportedly injured Valencia, Rafael was mainly confined to defensive duties rather than his trademark forward surges. The Brazilian was booked late in the second half due to a brash challenge.

Chris Smalling – N/A

The English defender replaced Jonny Evans in the 72nd minute to keep a lid on proceedings.

Luke Shaw – N/A

Former Southampton left-back Shaw returned from a lengthy injury lay off and replaced Patrick McNair in the 76th minute to add the necessary defensive cover in order to counter the continuous Tottenham attacking waves.