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Stoke City 2-1 Manchester United: Player ratings

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A strange game where Manchester United lost for different reasons than usual, but a defeat nonetheless, with some pretty poor performances responsible as much as bad luck.

Laurence Griffiths

David de Gea 7

As he has been for the most part this season, solid but unspectacular. Could do nothing about the first goal, but his distribution was a mixed bag.

Rafael 7

Presumably rested rather than dropped, after coming on was one of the few bright attacking sparks from out wide - good as he always is.

Chris Smalling 6

Unsure and lacking in confidence in the first half but managed to hold out against a barrage of crosses, slightly redeeming himself further with some decent forward play as the game wore on.

Michael Carrick 5

Surprisingly okay at centre-back, where he did reasonably well given the circumstances. Poor for the first goal.

Patrice Evra 5

His poor defensive ability has returned, although while going forward he remains a considerable threat. Surely his last year at Old Trafford, though.

Juan Mata 7

Did well on the right as he has done many times his entire career - ignore the talk of Moyes misusing him or playing him on the right, which is even more moronic than the same talk about Kagawa. Created the goal from the position, and greatly improved United's play at the end with some pinpoint passes to get in  behind the opposition defence again and again.

Tom Cleverley N/A

Wayne Rooney 6

Erratic passing but did produce some decent moments which makes one wonder whether he is actually one of the better candidates to be starting in central midfield.

Ashley Young 2

An awful, horrendous, game-costing performance, as time and again United - contrary to past performances - managed to pick him out and allow him to get behind the defence, only for him to continually make the wrong decision with terrible cutbacks rather than drilling it into the six yard box.

Robin van Persie 7

A nice goal, and some general all-round play before he was, perhaps sensibly, withdrawn so as not to risk injury.

Danny Welbeck 5

The position he was asked to play did him no favours but he still ought to have contributed far more than he did.