Gary Neville - Made his 600th appearance for United but was subbed at half-time, having escaped a possible red card for a second rash foul on Matthew Etherington.
Rio Ferdinand - Played a key role as the Reds successfully repelled Stoke’s infamous bombardment from the skies, and passed a rigorous test of his match fitness.
Nemanja Vidic - The skipper was majestic in the kind of match he relishes, clearing Stoke’s high deliveries all day long. A header at the other end set up Chicharito for the opener.
John O'Shea - The Irishman was a tactical pick at left-back, to help United deal with the aerial bombardment, and stuck to his task gamely.
Nani - United's matchwinner in midweek was involved in Chicharito’s first goal, supplying the initial cross to Vidic. Lively throughout, he forced Thomas Sorensen’s best save in the dying moments.
Darren Fletcher - Back in the league side after missing West Brom, the Scot got stuck in and helped the Reds win the all-important midfield battle.
Paul Scholes - The veteran’s combative copybook was almost blotted by the error that led to Tuncay’s equaliser but he swiftly recovered to play his part in United’s winner.