Manchester United started the year brightly as they defeated Aston Villa 2-1. With the win, United are now on level terms with Liverpool who stay on top because of a better goal difference. Title race on, Liverpool against Manchester United! Just like the old days.
In an evenly displayed match, the Villans made sure that the Red Devils dug deep for the win. Pushing for the late equalizer, the visitors missed a lot of chances. Eric Bailly was the savior for United as he threw his body in the way of a last-minute shot, which won them the match.
For United Anthony Martial scored the first goal which was brilliantly played by Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford later assisted by Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Bruno Fernandes scored the second goal from the penalty spot, taking his tally to 11 goals this season.
For the Villans, their constant pressure earned them the equalizer at the 1-hour mark, which was calmly placed into the net by Bertrand Traore from the brilliant cross from Jack Grealish. Their hunt for a late equalizer was blocked by Eric Bailly.
MANCHESTER UNITED PLAYER RATINGS VS ASTON VILLA:
David De Gea – 8/10
The Spaniard made strings of brilliant saves to guarantee his team the win. The main test came for him in the added time which he stretched and saved.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka – 7.5/10
Was brilliant throughout. He got an assist to his name and also made some crucial tackles. His error in tracking Jack Grealish resulted in their opponents getting the equalizer.
Eric Bailly – 8.5/10 (MOTM)
United have the solution for their defensive woes in the form of Eric Bailly. He is a brilliant player. If only he was able to remain fit. Yesterday’s performance showed how calm and collected he is. Toying with the opponent and making crucial interceptions. His last block is what won him the MOTM award.
Harry Maguire – 7/10
Not his best performance so far. The skipper lost few balls and was defeated in aerial threats. But made important clearances when needed. Overall, he was okay.
Luke Shaw – 8/10
The addition of Alex Telles did help finally. The English full-back has improved greatly and his performance yesterday was worth acknowledging. He was alert at all times and assisted the team during attacks.
Fred – 7.5/10
A player like Fred really boosts the team performance. His Energetic display was crucial as United got the win. He was sloppy at times, with bad passing and unnecessary tackles, but he did get back to support the defence in time.
Scott McTominay – 5/10
He failed to produce a display as that he showed against Leeds United. His passing was sloppy and was not alert at times. he was substituted in the 65th minute for Nemanja Matic.
Paul Pogba – 8/10
Sometimes we forget what a brilliant player the Frenchman is. He had a brilliant display, completing 82% of the passes, making many interceptions, and winning the crucial penalty. He ran Villa ragged in midfield and one of the better players for Manchester United.
Bruno Fernandes – 8/10
Despite playing every game week, he never showed signs of a drop in his performance. He made a lot of attacking threats and was aware throughout the game. He scored the penalty and took his tally to 11 goals this season. He caused Villa all sorts of problems from the first minute definitely Manchester United’s season savior so far.
Marcus Rashford – 7.5/10
He made multiple threats but the clinical finishing touch was missing. There were occasions where he got past defenders with finesse but failed to finish it properly. But he had a great role in the contribution to the first goal.
Anthony Martial – 8/10
The Frenchman is finally delivering after his dull start. The absence of Edinson Cavani was the reason he started. And he proved that he can deliver. His brilliant header was the opener of the game. On various occasions, he dribbled his way into the box and won corners.
Nemanja Matic – 7/10
In the 35 minutes he played, he filled the void Scott failed to fill.
Daniel James – N/A
Came late in the game and made a few interceptions, but not enough to rate.
Axel Tuanzebe – N/A
He was introduced to waste time late into the added time. Did make a few tackles in his 2-minutes role.
VILLA PLAYER RATINGS :
Emi Martinez – 8/10
Made a wise choice to leave Arsenal and join the Villans. He has been consistent throughout and yesterday was another such performance. The goalkeeper made many brilliant saves to keep his team in the game. He denied Pogba, Bruno, Martial, and Rashford on several occasions.
Matty Cash – 7/10
Was alert throughout the game. Won a few fouls and had a decent evening. He came close to scoring when his shot went inches above the crossbar.
Ezri Konsa – 6/10
Didn’t do much to help nor to commit a mistake. Kept Martial on check many times. His progress is promising on the way to become their main defender.
Tyrone Mings – 5.5/10
Returning after his suspension, failed to deliver. Mings was at fault for the first goal as he failed to clear the ball before Martial reached for it. Late in the game, he missed two headers which could have bought them level.
Matt Targett – 6/10
Had a spirited display. He was victim to Rashford’s flick which later went on to be the opener. He was pretty okay and found it tough sometimes to keep up with Rashford.
Douglas Luiz – 7/10
A distinguished display from the Brazilian. He was calm and was crucial for their attacks. He was unlucky to concede the penalty as he had a slight touch on Pogba.
John McGinn – 7/10
Did his best to stop Wan-Bissaka. Other than that, he had a pretty normal day connecting properly with the players. In the second half, he hardly had possession to make an impact.
Jack Grealish – 8/10
He is the best player available for the Villans and quite honestly one of the best midfielders in the world. Every match, he keeps on contributing one way or the other. Against United, he won 8 fouls, the most this season, and provided a fine assist. A World-Class player. Again I’m telling if he can stay on his feet then Villa could have won against the Manchester club.
Anwar El Ghazi – 6/10
Was the Villans main man so far, until today. He was missing on the pitch. He had a couple of shots close enough to score, but not enough to trouble the keeper.
Bertrand Traore – 7/10
His main contribution was scoring the goal. Other than that, he made some beautiful passes, one such being a backheel to Cash which went over the post.
Ollie Watkins – 6/10
He is doing everything he can do as a striker, other than scoring a goal. He was selfless and had a chance in the form of a header which was close to reaching the back of the net.
Jacob Ramsey – N/A
Came on for Bertrand Traore in the 79th minute and played as a Midfield booster.
Keinan Davis – N/A
Another substitute made by Dean Smith to push the team forward in order to get the equalizer.
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