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Aston Villa 0-1 Manchester United - Player Ratings

Wayne Rooney put in what might have been his very worst performance for Manchester United of all time, but how did the other players rate?

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Sergio Romero

Did what he had to do, which wasn't much. Against an Aston Villa side, full of new signings, managed by the less-than-great Tim Sherwood, you would expect to be able to sit down in goal for 90 minutes and not concede a goal. Still, two relatively easy games will be a handy start for Romero, who is prone to an error, to bed himself into the side. The likelihood is he will be second choice at the end of the transfer window, but with the uncertainty over who that might be, that he has experience with the team is an advantage. 6/10

Matteo Darmian

A defender who can defend, who isn't soft, who can play well on the attack except for some substandard crossing. It looks remarkably promising for an Italian defender who was relatively unknown in England before his move. An enormous upgrade on Antonio Valencia and Rafael so far, and his second game for United was more encouraging than his impressive debut against Spurs last week. 7/10

Chris Smalling

No terrible mistakes, and some important interventions throughout the game. He looks unflustered where previously he has been panicked, and his anticipation now extends beyond a few microseconds into the future. He is, at the moment, able enough to justify first team selection against any other central defender in the squad, and probably even if another defender eventually arrives. 7/10

Daley Blind

Didn't embarrass himself, and rarely put the rest of his team under pressure with his professional inexperience in the position (despite playing their in his use), the Dutch John O'Shea played well enough against poor opposition. It remains a risk to consider him for selection against an organised and talented side, but that is true for most of the team. 7/10

Luke Shaw

Having lost what appears to be seventeen stone over the summer, his fitness and speed have visibly improved, and his attacking threat, coupled with his ability to defend at other stages of the match, have come along too. He was rarely troubled by Villa's attack, and he provided handy support on the left wing. 7/10

Michael Carrick

Slow and ponderous, and the game passed him by. He's too slow and immobile, and essentially not intelligent enough, to play in a midfield two at this stage of his career. He must either play in a three, or sit on the bench from now on. United were more assured when Bastian Schweinsteiger and Ander Herrera were introduced. 6/10

Morgan Schneiderlin

Playing alongside Carrick is not going to be easy, it seems, but his energy, fouls and tackling meant that the pressure on the United defence was much reduced compared to games from previous seasons. The sooner he has a better midfield partner from the start of the match, or two colleagues if Carrick is starting, the better. 7/10

Memphis Depay

It's a cliche to call a young player raw, but his inexperience and nervousness is clear, as is his simultaneous talent and confidence. The sweeping shot from Juan Mata's excellent pass was only inches wide, and taking it so early took the goalkeeper out of the equation, but for much of the match he tried too much and gave the ball away regularly. That's not a bad thing. Last season, United needed a player to actually try to attack, and for all Angel Di Maria's faults there was a reason he provided so many assists. Depay can be this player, and if he improves his decision making over the course of the season, he will be a huge advantage to the side. 6/10

Adnan Januzaj

He still needs to eat another six or seven steaks and five hundred eggs a week, because he's is far too slight for professional football. Were he suitably built, he'll be able to stand up to defenders and use his obvious skill more often. Indeed, when he was able to do so in the Villa match, he made the difference, and his clever run that Mata spotted was crucial to the goal, even if it was deflected. 6/10

Juan Mata

It is quite tedious to see him brushed off the ball throughout the match, but at least he tracks back to retrieve the ball, and is an effective and responsible defensive presence on the right wing these days. His assist for Januzaj shows what he can do when players move at speed, or just simply move, around him. He showed the same to to set up Depay for a shot that he really should have converted, but sent wide instead. If United do continue with 4-2-3-1, and do buy Pedro, then he could be that rare thing - a number 10 worth actually having in the side. 7/10

Wayne Rooney

Slow, dreadfully slow. Playing like he had clogs on, but with the clogs on the wrong way around, his terrible passing was startling, well it would have been if it wasn't always woeful. His touch was awful. His vision was non-existent. There is absolutely no justification for his continued presence in the United side, and the sooner he is off to the MLS or China, the better. 0/10


Ander Herrera

Showed why United need him in the side, and why they need to play three in midfield. With Schneiderlin, his hustle and mobility puts the side at a huge advantage. The protection and pressing across the length of the midfield improves, as does the ability to provide an attacking platform. He needs to start on the right-hand side of a three if Mata, or anyone, plays on the wing. 7/10

Bastian Schweinsteiger

Possibly even slower than Rooney, but at least that will improve with minutes on the pitch and time on the training ground. He does, though, have the ability with the ball, the obvious presence and leadership, to improve United even if he isn't on the pitch for much of the game. The sooner he can get up to speed, the more solid United will be and look. Obviously that's wasted if United don't actually have a striker who can move. 7/10

Ashley Young

This is where he should be playing. Using his Premier League experience against his former club, he gave the club what they needed for the final minutes of the game, without doing anything special. 6/10