Edwin van der Sar – A night not to be a goalkeeper. Edwin’s hands were so rarely warmed by Middlesbrough assaults. Just the way we like it.
Rafael – Strong defensively when needed but his intent is always to press forward, and he provided attacking back-up – as if it was really needed – for Ronaldo.
Nemanja Vidic – Without Rio Ferdinand’s presence Vidic appeared an even taller, more commanding pillar of strength at the heart of United's defence.
Jonny Evans - An accomplished, steady display from the young defender, which made Rio's absence seem like much less of a problem.
John O’Shea – In truth, he had so little to do. Middlesbrough rarely had joy down United’s left side, but O’Shea continues to deputise well in the absence of Patrice Evra.
Cristiano Ronaldo – Constantly peppered the Boro goal in the first half but was a little better restrained by the visitors after the break.
Darren Fletcher – Steady throughout and full of running, making him the likely contender to be sacrificed when Sir Alex looked to bring Scholesy on.
Michael Carrick – Provided a solid base from which most of United’s attacking moves were founded at his feet.
Ji-sung Park – A threat in attack and unafraid of getting stuck in – he earned his first yellow card for United, though he also managed to lift the ball over the bar when the goal was at his mercy.
Wayne Rooney – Lively in the first half and linked up well with Berbatov. At the centre of everything United did.
Dimitar Berbatov – At his effortless finest, constantly bringing players into play. His goal celebration saw him at his