Manchester United

Stumbling, Stumbling Man Utd…

Premier League Player Ratings

Sat 28 December, Kick off: 20:00, St Andrews Stadium

Birmingham City 1

(4-4-1-1)

26 – Ben Foster – Loves playing against the bigger sides, some great saves to deny Giggs and Vidic. 8

2 – Stephen Carr – His forward running especially in first half limited Rooneys effect on the game. 7

5 – Roger Johnson – Brilliant in partnership with Dann won most in air and on deck. 7

15 – Scott Dann – As dependable as always in a steady backline under pressure from the word go. 6

6 – Liam Ridgewell – Birmingham have missed his influence at the back the last few games. 7

12 – Barry Ferguson – Got around the pitch well and tried as usual to get the blues ticking over, won his fair share of tackles. 7

8 – Craig Gardner – Got up and down the pitch effectively and supported attacks looked to be Birmingham’s only goal threat. 7

7 – Sebastian Larsson – Got stuck in and played some decent balls into the channels for Jerome to chase onto, was unlucky to be replaced. 6

4 – Lee Bowyer –clinical finish from the veteran from Zigic’s knock down. 8

23 – Jean Beausejour Doesn’t look the player Alex McLeish will have hoped he would become, very ineffective. 4

10 – Cameron Jerome – Plenty of effort and endeavour, his pace was a constant thorn in both United centre backs evening, needs more support. 7

Subs:

1 – Maik Taylor

28 – Martin Jiranek

19 – Nikola Zigic – Gave United defenders a lot to think about, set up equaliser. 7

22 – Alexander Hleb – Carried the Birmingham fight back to United’s backline. 7

9 – Kevin Phillips – Never got the service he craves, but battled well for the cause. 6

14 – Matt Derbyshire

18 – Keith Fahey

Manchester United 1

(4-3-3)

1 – Edwin van der Sar Wasn’t really stretched by City at all, will feel hard done by at conceding late on. 6

5 – Rio Ferdinand Not his usual composed self, Jeromes constant running caused him problems all night. 5

3 – Patrice Evra Got forward at every available opportunity and delivered some telling crosses. 6

15 – Nemanja Vidic One time caught out of position and Blues equalised, had some good headers in second half. 7

21 – Rafael da Silva Never troubled by the poor Beausejour but still ineffective going forward. 7

16 – Michael Carrick Never really got going as Birmingham’s tight pressing limited his space. 6

28 – Darron Gibson – Another who suffered as Birmingham’s high tempo ruined his passing game. 6

11 – Ryan Giggs – Plenty of effort and some decent passes but again harried and hassled by Blues. 6

8 – Anderson The one United player who seemed composed despite the tempo. 6

10 – Wayne Rooney Doesn’t look happy playing from wide, couldn’t get forward due to Carrs forward running. 6

9 – Dimitar Berbatov – United’s one shining light, goal was real class, some good forward running. 8

Subs:

29 – Tomasz Kuszczak

2 – Gary Neville

23 – Jonny Evans

24 – Darren Fletcher – Replaced Anderson, gave United a sturdy presence as Blues pushed on. 6

14 – Javier Hernandez – Introduced too late to have impact. 6

26 – Gabriel Obertan

27 – Federico Macheda

Overview:

Manchester United have every right to feel aggrieved by the manner in which Birmingham equalised, Blues on the other hand will feel it was just after another decent performance against one of the top sides in the country. On the plus side for United, Berbatov is really coming into good form and looks a threat whenever he gets involved. Birmingham will have to repeat this high tempo pressing game in their next fixture with Arsenal. This point takes United back to the summit of the Premiership.

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