Manchester United v Arsenal - Player Ratings

Last updated : 25 October 2004 By Mike Bohndiek

He completely changed the game by awarding that penalty, which of course, was never a penalty. The game seemed to be heading for a nil-nil, with all the play in the middle of the park. Once Man U took the lead we were never going to get back into it as they put 10 behind the ball.

Whatever happens, all our players are heroes for what they have done. 49 games unbeaten is an amazing record. It was a nice touch to have the away section singing "We're proud of you" as the players left the field.

Its time to start a new run!

Key Incidents (Ill keep this brief!)

Red card - Not issued! - With Freddie clear on goal, Rio came clean across him and made sure he took him out. Mike Riley bottled it and didn't make any decision.

Goal (Man U) (75) - My word what a shocking decision. Till my dying day I will not forget the image of Mike Riley pointing to the spot, as he does so often at OT. Rooney ran into the box and with no contact, took a blatant dive. Some would argue that Sol had his leg out, but in truth, he pulled it away long before Rooney even looked like going down. A penalty was awarded and the Horse dispatched it.

Goal (Man U) (90) - With Arsenal up field looking for the equaliser, Man U countered which ended up with Smith sending a low ball in from the right straight onto Rooney's foot, who couldn't miss.

Player Ratings

Jens Lehmann - 7 - Performed well and could do nothing about the two goals. Made some decent stops up to that point.

Ashley Cole - 9 - MOTM. Was subject to a horror tackle from Ruud early on, but still got up to give 100% to the team. Arsenal through and through.

Kolo Toure - 7 - Stayed focused on his task and was not found wanting on any occasion. Showed good common sense late on the just keep shooting, as anything can happen (Baros v Fulham)

Sol Campbell - 8 - Strong as usual. Had a shocker of a decision given against him. Did well to keep his cool when he was clearly upset by it.

Lauren - 7 - Put in some fantastic challenges to keep Giggs very quiet. Also blocked nearly everything that came at him. One of his better performances.

Jose Reyes - 7 - How many borderline tackles on him? I lost count within the first twenty minutes! Credit to the man, he always got back up and showed the mancs that no matter how hard they tried, he would not be beaten.

Patrick Vieira - 7 - A much better performance than in previous games. Stuck his foot in, and in the absence of Keane, found running the midfield easy.

Edu - 6 - Lost the ball too easily, and his distribution was poor. Not looking like the same Edu we saw towards the end of last season.

Freddie Ljungberg - 8 - Never stopped running. Another cool and calm display. Showed some neat tricks to beat Heinze.

Thierry Henry - 5 - I don't like criticising players after a defeat, but Thierry was non-existent. He seemed unable to shoot and when in promising positions himself, chose to set up others who were in harder situations. An off day to say the least.

Dennis Bergkamp - 7 - Played some neat balls through the defence. Perhaps he should have shot first time when put though on goal, but otherwise had a good game.


Robert Pires - 6 - Had little time to change the game, and had only a few touches.