Star man: August
Manchester United may have only played two competitive matches in August, but there have already been some outstanding individual performances.
Despite the Reds losing 1-0 in the opening game at Everton, David De Gea, Patrice Evra, Tom Cleverley and Shinji Kagawa all shone. The same quartet also impressed in the 3-2 win over Fulham, hence our shortlist for the first Player of the Month award of 2012/13.
Here’s our summary of each player’s contribution – please have a read before voting at manutd.com/vote…
Tom has started this season in the way he opened the last one – bang in form. Not only has he shown great energy and desire in United’s engine room, his short, sharp and intelligent passing has really caught the eye. He’s not afraid of getting stuck in either as he showed against Fulham – he made more successful tackles than any other Reds midfielder.
David De Gea
The overwhelming winner of the Man of the Match award at Goodison Park, the Spaniard kept the Reds in the game until Fellaini’s second-half strike with some stunning fingertip reaction stops. He won’t be happy with the two goals he conceded against Fulham, especially the second which came about after a mix-up with Nemanja Vidic, but there’s no doubt the positives outweigh the negatives when it comes to De Gea’s start to 2012/13.
Faced with fresh competition from new signing Alexander Büttner, Patrice has made it clear he won’t be giving up his regular place very easily with two solid displays against Everton and Fulham. He was involved at both ends of the field against Cottagers and it was Patrice who set up Robin van Persie to superbly fire home his first-ever goal for the Reds.
The Japanese playmaker was United’s main spark on a disappointing night at Goodison Park, brilliantly linking play from midfield to attack and showing some lovely touches on the ball and his ability to find a killer pass. He marked an equally impressive home debut with a goal, a close-range tap-in after Cleverley’s edge-of-the-box effort had been parried. A standing ovation rightfully followed when he was substituted mid-way through the second half.