Bayer Leverkusen vs. Manchester United: Player ratings

Lars Baron

Generally high marks all round as Manchester United gave their best performance of the season away at Bayer Leverkusen, although it was mostly unspectacular despite the scoreline.

David de Gea 7

The mark of a good goalkeeper for a club like Manchester United (well, theoretical Manchester United anyway) is that they can keep their concentration for the one or two moments in a game they'll need it. De Gea did exactly that tonight, coming up fine in the moments he was required.

Chris Smalling 6

Even worse than usual on the ball, but managed to get on the scoresheet and wasn't unduly troubled in defence. A comfortable night.

Jonny Evans 8

Remarkably solid, making amends for his mistake against Cardiff City. Pulled off a great tackle to make up for Rio Ferdinand's error and managed to get a goal too.

Rio Ferdinand 5

Another worrying performance - struggled to deal with Son Heung-Min and made a baffling error to let in Stefan Kiessling. Forced his goalkeeper and partner to work harder to make amends for him, which is a terrible sign. MLS-bound when the season ends, we suspect (and, at this point, hope.)

Patrice Evra 7

The usual Evra - dangerous from set-pieces, reliable in defence, and still the best outlet at actually progressing the play the team possesses. We'll find him very, very difficult to replace.

Phil Jones 7

No coincidence that the solidity the team seemed to discover recently and then lose returned upon the reintroduction of the gurning one. The best central midfielder at the club at the moment, NQAT.

Ryan Giggs 8

Used more sparingly, Giggs seems to be doing a lot better. He's given two excellent performances in Europe now, and lasted the whole game tonight, with his energy and industry matching well with a few excellent passes and moments of creativity. Not a central midfield partnership for the future but worth considering for later games this season.

Antonio Valencia 7

A slight improvement, showing a bit more willingness to run down the line and with improved crossing. Fine movement for the goal, but still a shadow of the player he was immediately before and after his injury.

Shinji Kagawa 7

Played in a central role by popular demand, and although he was involved far more than usual, was unspectacular. Good involvement in some of the goals, but also wasteful at creating chances when presented with space (as he was all game) and options. Given the woeful lack of attention he was provided, it may have been reasonable to expect something more, but this was a fine performance. Whether it's good enough to suggest he warrants being moved there full-time at the expense of Rooney or Van Persie is another matter.

Nani 7

A mixed evening - wasteful at times, productive at others. Almost his career in a nutshell, and perhaps summed up by the manner and context of his goal.

Wayne Rooney 8

It's been said that Rooney's best roal is still as a number 9, and although he played the lone striker role tonight, his fine performance owed more to his creativity, as his delivery helped United run riot. It's been by far the best facet of his game so far this season, but the question is whether he can regain the touch necessary to do it on the really important occasions again.

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