PLAYER RATINGS: Manchester United 1 - 2 Ajax

Similar to some of my reactions to last nights performance..... (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Here are the ratings for last nights 2-1 loss at home to Ajax. Despite the loss, we progressed through to the last 16 of the Europa League, and will face Athletic Bilbao. This might be grim reading....

A score of 1 being the lowest (Stewart Downing standard), 10 being the highest (Messi like) A score of 6 will be standard, 7 is solid, a very good game will get an 8, 9 is good for outstanding and 10 is unplayable. 10's will be very rare. Not only will they have to play the game of their life, but it will usually come against a team of good quality or in a big match (Finals, championship deciding game's etc.)

David De Gea - Just keeps on growing ever since he returned to the team after being dropped after the Blackburn debacle. Fantastic stop in the second half. His goalkeeping instincts are top notch. Probably been our most in form player of February to be honest. Not a lot he could do with the goals. 7.5/10

Rafael - Another good performance. Was steaming down the right hand side and causing Ajax problems in the first half. Always goes in hard in the tackle. Sometimes it is a blessing, but picked up a yellow yesterday. His ridiculous dive in the first half knocks him down a point. He should be ashamed of that.... 6/10

Chris Smalling - So so..... Not great. But not awful. Not alot anyone could do with the first goal. But as a CB the marking for the set piece at the end was awful. Truly awful. I doubt that happens with Vidic or Rio playing. 5.5/10

Phil Jones - I thought he was the better of the two CB's. Still needs time though and he will only get that through playing. Lest we forget, he is still a baby. How many CB's at his age play for a club like ours day in day out?..... Nope, I can't think of any either. Lets not fall off the Bandwagon. The man is the real deal. 6/10

Fabio - Another solid performance. If he stays fit Patrice Evra should be a very worried man. Again, for one so young, needs as much time as possible to keep on growing. If I was Fergie, I would seriously consider playing him on Sunday. Maybe needs to tighten up a little defensively, he has a tendency to go wandering. 6.5/10

Nani - Much better than last week, where he was truly awful. Showed flashes of his brilliance yesterday, but needs to add consistency which has always been a problem. Crashed a huge effort off of the bar after cutting onto his left foot. Good sign because his ability to use left and right foot causes full backs huge problems. 5.5/10

Tom Cleverley - Earned his first England call up yesterday, and was expected to go the full 90, yet didn't. Some speculation of an injury too. Not a great game but wasn't helped by the systems of the two teams. Ajax always had a extra man, and with Park being his midfield partner, couldn't really dominate the game like he and Anderson were doing at season's start. 6/10

Park Ji Sung - Gave his all, as is the norm. But his positional sense is just woeful when deployed in the center of the park. Ajax just passed through us at times and we had no chance of getting a foothold in the game. 5/10

Ashley Young - A similar performance to Nani's last week. Didn't get into the game, and when he did was poor. Sent in a couple of poor crosses that the first man cut out. Needs to find his form sharpish if he is to play a main role in the title run in. We have not got room for baggage in our remaining game. 4.5/10

Javier Hernandez - Took his goal beautifully. Twisted and turned. Fired beyond the keeper who went the wrong way. Struggled a little after though. He had a chance to shoot in the first half, yet tried to find Berba with an impossible pass. Why don't our strikers shoot when in good positions 6.5/10

Dimitar Berbatov - And on players that don't shoot when invited, here is the grand daddy of them all. At least twice he should have put his foot through it, yet tried doing an Arsenal and passed.We could have been three up before Ajax scored their first. His build up play was beautiful to watch. He was finding space, turning and running at the back four. He was playing intricate little passes to set up good chances. but when in the prime position himself, his reluctance to shoot hurt us yesterday. Probably the most frustrating player I have had to watch in my time as a United fan. so talented, but just doesn't..... do it. 5/10

Subs

Paul Scholes - For the first time yesterday since he returned. He didn't take the game by the scruff of the neck. Again, the system's didn't help. And a lack of closing down from the front two was a problem all day (Boy we miss Wayne Rooney in this regard). 5.5/10

Jonny Evans - Up against it coming into the back four in a game where we were getting dominated. He gets props from me Because he was the only player within touching distance of the Ajax bloke who scored the second, and the other two who were following him up! 6/10

Danny Welbeck - Not really enough time to get into the game. Had an opportunity to shoot, but I bet you can guess what he opted to do instead*?..... 5.5/10

*Note to all Manchester United strikers.... When you get a chance to shoot. BLOODY SHOOT! Cristiano Ronaldo doesn't prat around trying ever so hard to get an assit. And he has like a million goals in a million and one games...... SO frustrating because we could have been three or 4 up by half time.....

Anyway, what are your feeling on these rankings. What could be improved?

Post match reaction

Highlights and Quotes

Five tactical discussion points

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