Date: 24th September 2008 at 1:11pm
Written by:

21.Lukasz FABIANSKI(c) – Didn’t have a great deal to do, in fact he had absolutely zilch to do. But the green goalie shirt looked nice on him. Nice haircut too. 7

12.Carlos VELA– A delightfully taken hat trick which puts his finishing into the Eduardo category, a variety of different approaches to goal, the curler, the lift and the rocket launcher. Quick, powerful, direct, makes a beeline for goal with eery confidence. His all round play was immaculate, as evidenced by his assist for the first goal, interchanged with Merida impugnly. 9

16.Aaron RAMSEY– Metronomic performance in midfield, busy, creative, got forward at every opportunity with Randall anchored in behind and came out with a couple of assists. Vela grabbed the glory, but Rambo really made the side tick, so he gets the man of the match. 9

17.Alexandre SONG Billong– Having successfully negotiated puberty, he was one of the senior members of the side and wore it well, marshalling the defence and negating the ‘threat’ of Fat Beattie with ease. 8

19.Jack WILSHERE– His slight of foot on the ball is better than any 16 year old I have ever seen, uses his body marvellously to decieve opponents. I cannot remember him losing the ball and he was always willing in the tackle too. Fantastic goal to round off a display that belied his years. Looks so easy and comfortable. 8.5

20.Johan DJOUROU– After a few panicky moments early on, Djourou really stepped into his role as a senior player and put in a solid display. Not that the Blades offered much of a threat. 7

26.Nicklas BENDTNER– Really allayed those early wobbles with his maturity, actually looked as though he was leading the side in the first half until the exuberancy kicked in. Two excellently taken goals, but was eventually overshadowed by Vela. 8

40.Kieran GIBBS– Almost as if Traore hadn’t left us, ridiculously confident with the ball at his feet and robbed the United right winger of possession more times than I care to remember. Especially impressive as he has only recently made the transition to left back. 8

41.Gavin HOYTE– Pacier than his brother, United didn’t really give him a great deal of defending to do, but came forward and linked well with Wilshere and Merida, who swapped flanks frequently. 7

43.Fran MERIDA Perez– Very impressive in the role of playmaker, a shame he could not get in on the goals because he was instrumental to our attacking moves, feeding off Ramsey’s excellent service and providing the ammunition for Bendtner and Vela. More effective on the left than the right but a solid first start for the club. 7.5

47.Mark RANDALL– The unsung hero of the night, quietly mopped up in front of the defence with some resolute challenges, but also demonstrated the ability to switch play with his passing range. Looks to have everything in his locker. 8

SUBSTITUTES

35.Francis Coquelin– Came on in the unfamiliar role of right back and excelled, getting forwards with great effect and showing a midfielders aptitude for the tackle. 7

42.Henri Lansbury– Fitted in seemlessly to the play, comfortable on the ball and nearly helped himself to a goal. 7

50.Jay Simpson– I saw Jay play a fair few times for Millwall last season and while he’s strong, quick and the spirit is willing, his touch is not really on par with his peers. Made bad decisions in the box. 6

Anyone else beginning to think we should play this sort of side in the F.A. Cup? Not out of any ambivalence towards the competition you understand, but because I think these guys deserve even more games together.