Edwin van der Sar He had very little to do apart from a few routine saves, and had little chance for the goal, except to see the numerous reasons why it perhaps should not have stood.
Rafael Defensively he was on top form, and he relished this feisty Birmingham battle.
Rio Ferdinand Clearly fouled for Birmingham’s goal, otherwise had little other than Cameron Jerome’s persistence to contend with.
Nemanja Vidic Came close to scoring a second for United which would have put the game out of reach. Sadly, his countryman, Nikola Zigic, had a more decisive impact.
Patrice Evra Didn’t get too many opportunities to press forward, and his presence in attack was missed.
Michael Carrick Under pressure from an almost rabid Blues midfield, but came into his own when United went in front and he got on the ball.
Darron Gibson Played important part in United’s goal, linking up with Berbatov. He’s not had many opportunities lately due to injury; there were signs here he can be a valuable squad player.
Anderson None of the freedom to express himself as in other recent games due to how Birmingham shackled him. Got involved in a first-half tete-a-tete with Barry Ferguson, summing up how United were drawn into a battle rather than controlling the tempo of play.
Ryan Giggs A threat as he cut in from the right, and his right-footed cross – though unintentionally goal-bound – almost put United in front in the first half. Impressive that he started his second game in 48