Making his home debut, the Danish stopper wasn’t called into action too often, despite Crawley’s attacking ambitions. He had the late header, which hit the crossbar, covered and distributed the ball well throughout. A solid performance from the 6ft 4 stopper.
The attacking full back enjoyed plenty of space in the first half but failed to deliver any end product, as he struggled to find the diminutive Hernandez between Crawley centre back pairing. He performed his defensive duties well but came off early in the second half: at first I thought he was being brought off in preparation for Wednesday night but it seems he picked up a knock, having gone straight down to the tunnel when he was replaced by Chris Smalling.
John O’Shea- 5.5
The Irishman unexpectedly lost the captain’s armband to the out-of-favour Wes Brown but still performed well against the non-League opponents. The ever versatile defender slotted in across the back four and used his experience to minimize Crawley’s goal scoring opportunities, while moving the ball well out of defense.
Wes Brown- 5.5
Making only his ninth appearance of the season, Wes captained the side and led from the front with his glancing header in the 40th minute, which beat Kuiper at his far post. As only his 4th Man United goal, it was more important than any of the previous three as it ultimately saved United’s blushes. Regardless, he was caught out a few times defensively by the energetic Tubbs, showing some rustiness which could only be expected with a sustained period out of the team.
An Unfortunate Night for the Brazilian Twins
The twins started together for only the 4th time but both seemingly finished the night side-by-side on the treatment table – an all too familiar recurrence for the fragile LB. Generally, the Brazilian’s passing was okay but he had little success past the half way line, where he is usually so dangerous. Personally, I would like to see him play at LB more often in the Reserves, rather than the midfield positions he has played recently.
An average performance from the Englishman in the deep lying midfield role; he did well to break up attacks and redistribute the ball but he looked shaky when competing for the ball in the air. He will have to do much more to regain his place in Fabio Capello‘s England squad.
Tonight, the central midfielder wouldn’t have banished any of his critics but he at least limited their ammunition. Despite failing to impact on the game in the second half, the Ireland international did provide some telling passes, including the assist for the goal during a fruitfal spell at the end of the first half. If he wants to gain the trust of the United faithful, he will have to extend these promising patches to the whole ninety minutes, which has so far been his problem.
Having seemingly picked up an injury after only 5 minutes, the midfielder persevered until half time when he was replaced by Rooney. An unmemorable performance from the Brazilian.
After his recent good form for the Reserves, the Frenchman was rewarded with another Cup appearance. In the first half, the tricky winger was able to utilize his pace well and put some tantalizing crosses into the box but seemed to suffer from a total drop in confidence in the second half. His attacking ambition seemed to dry up as his touch became poor and his attitude lazy, he needs to learn to keep his head in the game!
He Has Time on His Side @ Only 20 Years of Age
The Portuguese experiment seemed to backfire again tonight, with another poor performance from Bebe, who has failed to escape from the shackles of his £8m price tag, a figure he did not choose but one he must live with (despite his wages of ‘only’ £90k a year). However, the more worrying aspect of this performance was his total inability to get involved in the game (with only 4 successful passes in the first half). He wasn’t taken out of the game by an experienced Premier League LB but by a inexperienced non-league defender: It is too early to write him off but overall I am surprised by how much game time Sir Alex has given the unknown import, considering his previous lack of training and experience. Let’s see how he develops after another full season of United training…
Treated to a rough night by the Crawley CB’s, Chicarito struggled to carve out many goalscoring opportunities in the frustrating 90 minutes. With a limited amount of deliveries from the wide-men, the £8m Mexican was left to feed on scraps throughout and will want to quickly forget this 5th Round tie.
Wayne Rooney- 5
Appearing at the start of the second half as a sign of Ferguson’s intent, the England international summed up United’s lethargic performance. He was able to provide us with some much needed presence up front but was forced to drop deep, in search for the ball throughout the second half (a credit to Crawley’s performance). Near the end of the match, he summarised United’s annoyance with his petulant fouls, which ultimately landed him with a booking.
Turning Into United’s Signing of the Summer? It’s Debatable!
Chris Smalling- 6.5
A reassuring performance from the emerging talent, on a high from his superb performance last Saturday. He looked much more composed than Wes Brown in the middle but has arguably benefited from much more game time this season than the 31 year old defender. Either way, if Ferdinand does not recover in time for Wednesday, most United fans will be confident he can do the job.
Coming on as a defender, the Scottish midfield had a fairly innocuous cameo appearance. The fact he went unnoticed suggests he did a solid job at RB however – reliable as usual.
Lee Probert- 7
Despite the complaints of the Crawley manager, the South Gloucestershire referee had a good performance in what was an admittedly easy game to officiate. He got his cards out when appropriate and kept good match control throughout.