David De Gea: Made a vital stop after only three minutes to deny Ramires but performed even greater heroics when keeping out the same player later in the half. Stood up to a number of shots and displayed accurate distribution but he had no chance with Fernando Torres' consolation.
Chris Smalling: Was up to the task at right-back before going off injured. Opened his United account in the league with a thumping header to get the Reds up and running and continues to look as effective as a natural full-back. Given a real test by substitute Nicolas Anelka but showed strength and character throughout their tussles.
Phil Jones: The teenager is just getting better and better. There were numerous examples of his defensive prowess - a powerful tackle on Juan Mata, winning a sprint with Torres and making some important interceptions. After playing a key role in the Wayne Rooney goal by charging forward, he exuded confidence after the break and also had a header wide.
Jonny Evans: Immaculate and commanding, the consistency he's been looking for has definitely returned. An excellent tackle on Torres bailed Javier Hernandez out after a sloppy pass and one chested clearance illustrated his composure. Impressive again.
Patrice Evra: Combined well with Ashley Young and made one superb flying block as well as a goal-saver when Romelu Lukaku looked to profit from a Mata corner. Enjoying his role as captain, he showed his experience during the 90 minutes and bombed forward when appropriate - including when setting up one great chance for Rooney.