|Picture courtesy of https://www.bing.com|
The match between Manchester United and Aston Villa ended in a frustrating 2-2 draw for the Red Devils. The display from the team was extremely lacklustre and uninspired and looking at the next two opponents, Spurs on Wednesday evening at Old Trafford and arch-rivals Man City at the Etihad, one has to wonder whether Solskjaer could possibly be the next manager to be sacked. The fact that Manchester United are currently lying in ninth place and 22 points adrift of nemesis Liverpool, is something Manchester United fans are struggling to come to terms with as the team has failed to deliver any regular positive performances this season.
The game itself was a must win for the Red Devils as they lie 6 points off relegation and the overall display from the team was disappointing and in fact to be honest the fact that United were level at half time they could consider themselves to be fortunate. The visitors having scored an early first half goal in the 11th minute by Jack Grealish punishing his hosts with a top notch finish putting the ball into the top corner. United were punished again by substitute Trezeguet only to have his effort ruled offside by very narrow margins. Just before halftime Rashford headed effort came of the post and deflected in by Heaton to allow Solskjaer’s team to get an undeserved equaliser which later was determined as an own goal for former-Red Heaton. The second half continued in a similar vein, with Aston Villa looking the more likely team to score with Jack Grealish looking to add a brace and narrowly missing an opportunity to give the hosts the lead again. Another set piece led to United taking the lead after 64 minutes, this time Fred’s cross was inadvertently headed to the back post by Villa striker Wesley and United’s Swedish defender Lindelof nodded home. But the lead lasted a mere two minutes before Villa got back on level terms, the impressive Matt Targett chipping the ball into the box to an unmarked Tyrone Mings who volleyed home. VAR ruled the it was valid, giving the centre-half his first Premier League goal. The result has piled pressure onto Solskjaer and his men, and dropping points at home to a newly promoted team like Aston Villa is definitely sounding alarm bells. Its difficult to see how Manchester United can turn this form around.
David de Gea (5.5) – DDG not much he could do with Grealish’s shot scooped over him into the goal. Mings’ shot was also too powerful, going straight through him.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (5.5) Wan-Bissaka looked nervy with his defending,he moved forward with much more attacking intent, putting in some clever passes as well.
Harry Maguire Captain (5.0) – Maguire’s poor start to the first half he was stretched by the visitors and earning an early yellow-card for a blatant foul. He was dragged out of position too many times, exposing his side’s defensive vulnerabilities. Inability to inspire the team and lead by example.
Victor Lindelof (6.0) – Lindelof’s bringing composure to the backline with timely challenges. His impact came when he popped up in the far post before smartly heading in to give his side the lead.
Brandon Williams (5.0)– Made some promising forward runs, carrying the ball into the final third with confidence. While he was strong with his defensive work, making some solid interceptions,his inexperience caused Mings goal by playing him onside with shoddy positioning.
Fred (5.5) –Fred’s distributing the ball forward much better. Struggled to cope against Villa’s midfielders, allowing them to break through forward too easily. Got more involved going forward as United looked for a winner but remained unimpressive inside the area.
Andreas Pereira (5.0) – Poor defensive attributes were exposed when he easily allowed Grealish to get the shot resulting in the opener. Extremely ineffective and way too casual for his own good. Excellent cross to set up the equaliser though.
Juan Mata (5.0) – Got outmuscled physically and lost too many crucial duels. Lethargic showing again.
Marcus Rashford (6.5) – A sublime header which slammed the bar before hitting Tom Heaton into the goal. Just couldn’t find that spark, being unable to inspire a winner.
Daniel James (5.5) – Moved past Guilbert on many occasions down the left, but lacked the proper passes to his forwards. Frustrating day at the office for the Welshman.
Anthony Martial (6.0) – A much livelier playing at Old Trafford. Been smart with his link-up play. Just couldn’t score despite having a good game overall.
Jesse Lingard (5.5) – Added a bit of energy to the attack, but failed to find that cutting edge to inspire a winner.
Luke Shaw (5.0) – Got booked for a silly foul and provided nothing through the left.
Mason Greenwood (N/A) –The teenager was unable to inspire last week’s heroics, but being brought on in the dying minutes didn’t help.