Date: 18th August 2008 at 3:36am
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Edwin van der Sar: Had to pick the ball out of the net once. Nothing else to do all afternoon. 6

Wes Brown: Troubled by Gutierrez’s pace and trickery all afternoon and his attacking contribution was negligible, his crosses never found anyone. 5

Rio Ferdinand: He did his job, I can’t complain. Apart from that one corner, Newcastle’s attackers barely had a chance. 7

Nemanja Vidic: Oh, how close he was to score a very important goal. Unlucky. 7

Patrice Evra: Tried and fought and did not play badly but he should have put in more crosses. 6

Darren Fletcher: Important goal but that’s all, otherwise he was largely unnoticeable. We all know he’s a central midfielder… 6

Paul Scholes: Good first half – especially first 25 minutes when Carrick was alongside him. Wayward shooting and faded in the second 45 minutes. 6

Michael Carrick: We played well while he was on the pitch, we played badly when he was brought off. It would be simplistic to say that he is our most important player but certainly a key contributor. 6

Ryan Giggs: Good assist, otherwise offered no width as he always drifted into the overcrowded middle section. 6

Wayne Rooney: Poor. Showed some energy in the first few minutes then quickly ran out of it and looked off the pace. 5

Frazier Campbell: Should have scored with a header, very unlucky. Had a good shot parried by Given and he was threatening all afternoon. Keep it up, lad. 7

John O’Shea: The big man did not play badly but he’s not a central midfielder and will never be. That’s all. 5

Rodrigo Possebon: Did well during his 30 minutes on the pitch but he’s got loads to learn. 6

Rafael da Silva: He made no impact in the last ten minutes when Newcastle were putting constantly 10 men behind the ball.