Player Ratings: Aston Villa snatch controversial win from sloppy United

Manchester United vs Aston Villa Summary

Aston Villa scored a late goal to take all three points at Old Trafford. Manchester United huffed and puffed all game, creating plenty of chances and taking 28 shots on goal. However, they either failed to make the chances count and/or failed to hit the target. United had a late chance on as Dalot won a penalty after Hause’s opener but the usually reliable Bruno Fernandes hit it miles over the bar and United suffered defeat for the third time in four games.

It was a bad game from start to finish. United looked all over the place against Villa be it giving away cheap chances or just simply not being composed enough and the midfield was overrun by Sanchez and McGinn. Injuries to Luke Shaw and Harry Maguire made things very difficult for United and for Ole. He was not able to make as many impactful changes that could have won the game and it made the defensive line much weaker. With two big games coming up before the international break, these are not injuries that United needed.

The goal Villa scored was controversial too. Leicester City were denied two goals because of a player impeding the goalkeeper’s view in an offisde position last week. So why was this goal not even looked at? Strange decisions from VAR have surrounded the Premier League in the last couple of weeks and this is one that needs sorting soon.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer left fuming and claims Aston Villa goal was offside against Man Utd and slams antics during penalty

What next for United?

Manchester United are fortunate right now. The loss hasn’t impacted the table as much as it could have as they remain level on points with Man City, Chelsea and just one below Liverpool. Liverpool and Manchester City play eachother next week so there is a big chance for United to move clear of at least one of these teams should they beat Everton.

Questions have to be asked about the team right now. The losses that have happened so far, whilst unfortunate for different reasons, should not happen and the number of chances created in the last two games that haven’t been converted aren’t good enough. Hopefully this game is a huge wakeup call as United have a tricky run of games coming up. They have to start fast against Villarreal who are a very defensive team and they need two wins from two before the international break.

Manchester United vs Aston Villa Player Ratings

David de Gea 7/10

Made some excellent saves to stop Villa scoring earlier. One bad bit of distribution. But tried to get the team moving quickly with fast throws and kicks out.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka 7/10

Drove up and down the right hand side well. Didn’t put any crosses in but when he got there, there weren’t many options. Good game.

Raphael Varane 6/10

Played well but was relatively unchallenged. Had a lot of the ball.

Harry Maguire 5/10

Made a bad mistake that almost cost a goal. Came off after an hour with a calf injury which is very worrying. Despite the mistake he is a world class defender and so his absence will be badly missed.

Luke Shaw 5/10

Likewise. Made a bad mistake which almost cost a goal and came off injured which will be a big concern. It means that United are likely to be without three of their normal starting back four for the Villarreal game.

Scott McTominay 4/10

Couldn’t deal with the Villa midfield and couldn’t impact himself in the game as he did against West Ham.

Fred 6/10

Played well at times but still left gaps in the midfield when Villa was on the ball. But a far better performance than last week. Hope he’s on the rise.

Mason Greenwood 4/10

Sloppy and didn’t take his chances. Not something you associate with Greenwood normally. Switched the play well in the first half.

Bruno Fernandes 6/10

Created a lot of chances and actually played very well but missed a big chance for a point. This hopefully won’t phase him because the confidence and arrogance he plays with is why he’s such a dangerous player. He’ll bounce back, I don’t doubt it.

Paul Pogba 3/10

Didn’t offer much down the left and probably would have dropped to central midfield sooner had there been no injuries. Had two big chances to score but failed to hit the target with either and should have with at least one.

Cristiano Ronaldo 4/10

Poor game. A rarity. Couldn’t get into the match and when he did, he couldn’t take his chances.


Diogo Dalot 5/10

Defensively he struggled a bit but did his job in attack in winning the penalty. Will be a good chance for him to impress against Villarreal.

Victor Lindelof 6/10

Played well and didn’t do anything wrong.

Edinson Cavani 5/10

Couldn’t get into the game. Was probably not the player that should have come on and definitely should have come on sooner.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer 5/10

He got some things wrong. The team set-up for me had no problems whatsoever. The Villa attack had danger written all over it and the midfield made driving runs that caused United problems so McTominay and Fred were needed, especially after Donny and Matic worked their socks off the whole 90 against West Ham. Same for Sancho too. You could see that both Greenwood and McTominay were having poor games and so taking both off would have been ideal but of course the injuries denied that chance.

Ole had one sub to make and I think this is where the big problem was against Aston Villa. He left it too late and brought on Cavani instead of Sancho who would have benefitted more from the gaps opening up when Villa surged forward. But that’s just my opinion. He has obviously made the right subs at the right time countless times and it’s won United games countless times. This was one he got wrong and he has to take criticism for that. The fact that the team has created as many chances as they did and failed to score with them is not Ole’s fault and the fact that United gave away a goal that should be chalked off and missed a penalty isn’t Ole’s fault either.

Regardless of the result, the post-match reaction was ridiculous:

However, there’s a difference between criticism and just agenda and it circles the club after every win, lose and draw. It’s tiring. Ole will be the manager for the rest of the season, the club has been transformed under his management from top to bottom. He does have to kick on with the squad he has and does need to win silverware this season. The fact is that the Champions League group stages are not even close to finishing, the FA Cup hasn’t even started yet and we’re six games into the season and one point off top. Judge Ole at the end of the season, not after a goal hits the ack of the net. Until then back the manager and the team to win and do well and hope they can take us back to the heights we saw under Sir Alex.

Man of the Match: Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Author: Arjun Handa

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