Manchester United vs Aston Villa Summary
A fantastic game at Old Trafford as Manchester United narrowly beat Aston Villa 2-1 on New Year’s Day. A Bertrand Traore equaliser cancelled out Martial’s first half opener but a Bruno Fernandes penalty sealed the win for United. The Red Devils move level on points with Liverpool with this win and retain their second place position regardless of the results this weekend. There is still plenty to do with 22 games to go. However, the momentum and confidence this result brings is crucial for any success United will have this season. It’s also a big result for Manchester United as it distances themselves with Villa who are contenders for European places.
United have four games in two weeks now as they host City and Watford before trips to Burnley and Liverpool. There is still an onus that United need to win all four games as any slip up will be pounced on.
Manchester United vs Aston Villa Player Ratings
David de Gea 9/10
Came up with crucial saves at crucial moments. Back to his best, no doubt about it.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka 8.5/10
Set up a goal for both sides and denied Villa a second. It was a mixed day for Wan-Bissaka but the good outweighed the bad for sure. He put in two excellent crosses, of which the second set up the opener. He prevented El Ghazi from taking the lead with a magnificent block. The error he made was sloppy but he clearly made up for it.
Eric Bailly 10/10
Another dominant display. He was brilliant again and has clearly put the bad game against Spurs past him. On his day he is one of the best centre backs in the Premier League but his fitness will always be a concern. His block at the end epitomised his game. Exceptional.
Harry Maguire 8.5/10
Another very good game. Could have conceded the equaliser late on but Bailly bailed him out. It is good to see that the centre backs are forming a good relationship and you do need that as one is going to make an error and the other has to cover for them.
Luke Shaw 8/10
He lost his man for the equaliser which is why he hasn’t got a nine. He was brilliant in attack and gave Traore and Cash a lot of trouble. He dealt with the overlap in defence relatively well and is playing excellently since his most recent injury.
Scott McTominay 6.5/10
McTominay had a sluggish game. His passing wasn’t the best nor adventurous enough. He dealt with Grealish very well in his man-mark role but United needed more composure on the ball in the later stages.
Lost the ball a few times and was not daring enough on the ball either but did a good job. He played better when Matic came on but I expect he will have a much better game midweek.
Paul Pogba 9/10
Another fantastic performance. He was disciplined in defence, precise and forward-thinking in his passing and easily could have scored a hattrick. He won the penalty with great linkup play and while it was a soft penalty, it was one. I hope he stays fit for the rest of the season because the quality he brings will be crucial in any success United have this season.
Bruno Fernandes 7.5/10
Had a few chances early on and another few in the later stages but his penalty won the game and that’s all that matters. His composure and mentality have often driven United to wins and progress, not to mention his goal contributions. Cannot keep stressing how important he is for United.
Marcus Rashford 7/10
A quieter night on the right than against Wolves. Still managed a few chances and caused Targett problems.
Anthony Martial 8.5/10
Excellent again. His movement for the goal was sublime and his hold up play is becoming more and more impressive. He is developing into a complete number nine and needs to keep firing to make up for a slow start.
Nemanja Matic 8/10
An excellent cameo. He added a lot of composure and his passing was crisp and clinical. I think he still has enough in the tank for this season but his replacement should already be looked into.
Daniel James 6/10
I understand why he came on as he tracked Cash’s runs which caused Pogba problems. James had a couple of chances but did not make the most of them on the counter but is an important squad player.
Axel Tuanzebe N/A
Man of the Match: Eric Bailly
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer 8/10
He showed a lot of respect to Aston Villa. I had hoped he would rest Bruno for this game but on reflection, that might have been a bad idea as they were brilliant. McTominay and Fred came in to close the runners in midfield and did well in that aspect but couldn’t get out once they won the ball. Ole brought Matic on and made a difference defensively and James came on to prevent Cash’s runs. Another game, another win and another smart tactical display.