Manchester United are aiming to make it 4 wins in a row in the Premier League against relegation-threatened Aston Villa. After a shaky start, the Red Devils got the lead in the 27th-minute through a Bruno Fernandes penalty. Mason Greenwood then doubled the lead with an explosive finish from his right foot minutes before half-time to cap off a clinical counter-attack.
Paul Pogba then scored his first goal of the season with a wonderful strike from outside the box in the 58th minute. United ran the show till the end and could’ve scored a few more had Pepe Reina not made a few good saves.
With this, the Red Devils have now won by 3-goal margin for the last 4 league games. Now they’re just one point behind fourth-place Leicester City & 2 behind third-place Chelsea. A top-3 finish now looks a genuine possibility!
Manchester United Player Ratings
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (7.5) –
Solskjaer is not changing his winning combination at this point and who can blame him? United put in another dominant, clinical performance which reflects his great work in maintaining the winning momentum. Pogba’s resurgence is also due to his impressive man-management. Ole has made it clear United must win their remaining PL games to manage a top-4 finish. It seems he’s determined at making that a reality!
David de Gea () –
De Gea’s now become the 2nd most capped goalkeeper in United history, topping over Peter Schmeichel’s record. Barely had anything to do as he notches up another free kick to top off his milestone.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (5.0)-
Wan-Bissaka is having trouble dealing with Villa’s swooping crosses today. Had a great chance to score his first-ever goal after he crept inside the penalty area but struck his free header shockingly wide from yards out. Looked a bit wobbly defensively in a disappointing showing today.
Harry Maguire (6.5) –
Maguire’s moving around the ball really well from defence, finding some slick through balls early on. He continued his good work distributing the ball and urging his side forward. Proactive and tenacious defensively, working hard to ensure his United get their 2nd successive away clean sheet in the league.
Victor Lindelof (7.0) –
Beat a late fitness test to make the team. Picked up from where he left off against Bournemouth, being faultless in defence. Dealt with Villa’s strikers superbly, limiting them to barely getting a sniff at goal. Moved the ball around well, kept things composed and ensured United commanded the game without any problems.
Luke Shaw (7.0)–
Shaw keeps getting better going forward and linked up brilliantly with Martial just before the break to set up a golden opportunity for Bruno, which he missed. The left-back continued making surging forward runs to get behind defenders throughout the game, but his final delivery was missing. Defensively compelling again as he keeps up his solid form.
Nemanja Matic (5.5) –
Matic is being troubled early on with Villa’s pressing. A bit topsy-turvy first-half ended with a yellow-card for him. Not as commanding today and got a bit heckled by the opposition midfielders. Subbed after the half-hour mark.
Paul Pogba (8.0) –
Pogba’s a happy man once again that shows as he’s skipping around midfield with confidence. Zipped up some gorgeous long balls to force opportunities and break Villa’s shape. He looked persistent on getting the goal and did by beautifully curling one into the net to score his first this season! Glided past midfielders with ease, forcing his way into the attack towards the late stages to inspire moves.
The Frenchman was just a class apart from the others today. Oozed off something special and controlled the tempo brilliantly to guide United to another win.
Bruno Fernandes (7.5) –
A bit sloppy with his passes in the initial stages. But after an erroneous start, the Portuguese cleverly won a penalty, which he converted in emphatic fashion. Had a glorious chance to double it before half-time but headed just over from clear range. Brilliant vision to find Pogba outside the area from his corner for his strike.
He might’ve botched a number of attempted through-balls, but Fernandes’ demanding figure and vocal attitude inspired another dominant showing from United.
Mason Greenwood (7.5) –
The in-form wonderkid is showing promise with his early movement around the attacking third. Trounced past a few Villa players and forced the move leading up to the penalty. Found some space in the 36th and took a surging attempt that forced a solid save. But he gets his goal from his ‘weak foot’, slotting an absolute rocket into the box with a brilliant right-foot finish.
Looked high in confident gliding past defenders with the ball on his feet and has now 16 goals in all competitions in his breakthrough season!
Anthony Martial (7.5) –
After a slow start, Martial showed nice awareness to find Bruno for his penalty. Took a decent attempt at goal in the 35th but could only find Pepe Reina. Showcased impressive strength to steal the ball off Tyrone Mings and start the counter-attack leading to Greenwood’s goal. Also got the assist for it. Should’ve gotten a goal after linking superbly with Bruno in the 60th but his super strike, unfortunately, struck the post!
A definite No.9 performance from Martial today. Showed a great work-rate, refused to get bullied by the defenders and held up the ball really well. Linked up really well and unlucky not to get a goal. Angry after being subbed which shows how hungry he is for goals today.
Marcus Rashford (7.0) –
Finding himself in a lot of open space in attack early on. Just not able to find that clinical final product in the first-half. Showcased brilliant skill to get past his man and put in a terrific cross in the 50th which Wan-Bissaka missed from close range. Got a goal ruled out in 56th minute after it struck an offside Pogba into the net. Made a great run into the area in added time but his shot forced a great save. Bit unlucky not to get his goal.
Fred (6.0) –
Helped United dominate the last parts of the game and almost got a goal after creeping inside the box before the final whistle.
Scott McTominay (6.0) –
McTominay looked really compelling from deep today, helping recover possession and moving forward with the ball really well.
Brandon Williams (6.5) –
Williams gave another solid cameo, being defensively better than Wan-Bissaka and hassling Grealish.
Odion Ighalo (N/R) –
Used his physicality well at times but gave a quiet performance.
Daniel James (N/R) –
ALmost got a goal minutes after coming on when his curler from the left brazed wide. Still needs to improve his crossing accuracy.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Greenwood & Bruno were again brilliant today but Pogba was genuinely a j0y to watch. He gets my Man of the Match for today!