Manchester United are looking to make it 4 wins on the trot in the Premier League & continue their chase for the title when they host a brace Aston Villa side at Old Trafford. They were unable to do so, instead falling to a shocking 0-1 loss after failing to convert the gazillion chances created.
The Red Devils might’ve dominated 60% of the possession and attempted 15 shots in an entertaining first half, but the visitors had the best of chances – which fortunately for United – they couldn’t convert.
After not being able to score from so many chances created, United were made to pay late on – when Kortney Hause scored a thumping header in the 88th minute to give Villa the lead!
The Red Devils then got a big chance to get bailed out after being given a penalty in added time – which Bruno Fernandes shockingly blasted over the goal.
It wasn’t written in United’s fate to get anything from this game, but they didn’t really deserve much either with their disappointing final product. While Chelsea’s loss to Man City means this isn’t as bad a defeat for United as it could’ve been, they can’t afford to drop more points going forward if they want to keep up at the top.
Manchester United player ratings vs Aston Villa
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (4.5)–
Solskjaer made no changes from the side that won the dramatic West Ham game last week and even though that wasn’t the reason behind them losing, playing Pogba on the left or two defensive midfielders didn’t help. He isn’t to blame for Greenwood being too selfish in the attack or Bruno missing his penalty, but Solskjaer couldn’t tactically outwit Villa manager Dean Smith & ensure his side fulfilled their shortcomings.
This is now two losses in a row (in all competitions) for Solskjaer at Old Trafford & the pressure will be building. Unless he’s able to thrive under it, things could get really, really difficult for Ole soon.
David de Gea (6.0) –
United’s hero from last week came up sharp in the 22nd, denying Watkins with a superb save to bail out a defensive error. Leapt up sharply to deny Watkins’ attempt in the 68th minute with a strong parry. Unlucky to concede after that – even though it looked like he was obstructed during that ordeal.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (6.5) –
Wan-Bissaka is being put under a lot of pressure by Villa’s tendency to move through the wings, but held his own in the first half – especially when it comes to moving the ball forward. But his final product was rather disappointing again and only his defensive work can be appreciated today – as he won 8 duels and 2 tackles.
Raphael Varane (6.0) –
Varane is being challenged by an experienced Danny Ings, but did really well to stop the Villa striker from getting any dangerous shots on goal. Remained composed as the pressure mounted and didn’t really put in a wrong foot all game long.
Harry Maguire (7.5) –
Despite starting the game really strongly, the United captain nearly caused disaster with a sloppy back pass in the 22nd to gift a big chance to Villa – but fortunately De Gea saved his blushes. But he almost made up by scoring one himself, powering a header on goal in the 44th that was denied by a brilliant save.
Maguire was arguably United’s best defender on the day, making 6 clearances and winning multiple duels. Had to be subbed off in the 66th minute after picking up a knock.
Luke Shaw (N/R) –
A sizzling start from Shaw, as he makes a bursting forward run in the 2nd minute before picking out a brilliant pass for Fernandes – only to see him scuff his shot over.
Defensively poor in the 16th – allowing Cash to go past him to set up a big chance that was fortunately scuffed by Villa. Booked for a sloppy challenge before the half-hour mark. After a topsy-turvy half-hour period, Shaw had to go off after suffering an injury.
Scott McTominay (6.0) –
McTominay looks much sharper than he did last week, winning a lot of physical duels & getting the ball forward quickly. Despite his clean distribution, McTominay couldn’t really influence anything in the attack and struggled to assert his authority in set pieces.
Fred (7.0) –
The Brazilian midfielder seems to be enjoying the midfield battle and helped United recover possession so many times in the first half with brilliant, timely challenges. Stuck into the Villa midfield with crunching tackles and actually did a pretty nice job as a defensive midfielder.
Paul Pogba (6.5) –
Pogba’s looking to create chaos from the left-wing and linking up really well with Shaw. Nearly scored after being found inside the area in the 23rd, but his shot was deflected wide. Then got another big chance in the 46th minute, but his instinctive header went barely wide of the target. Tried bending one into the top corner in the 61st, only for it to whisker over.
Makes a fantastic run past multiple defenders in the 75th, but his shot was saved. On another day, if the small margins helped him, Pogba could’ve easily been United’s hero today.
Bruno Fernandes (6.0)–
Fernandes has scored in every game faced against Villa and nearly got another in the 2nd, hitting a difficult volley over the bar. Extremely active in the attack after that, creating some nice chances with neat passes. Set up the big chance for Maguire in the 44th.
After creating so many chances and basically setting up the penalty kick himself, the pressure got to Fernandes – who missed his penalty – only the second ever for United. Despite being United’s most creative outlet, Bruno’s miss means he probably isn’t taking many penalties over Ronaldo anymore.
Mason Greenwood (4.5) –
Greenwood has begun this one with a spring in his step, carrying the ball forward fearlessly. Got a few big chances to get among the goals in the first 20 minis, but his final product wasn’t sharp enough to get his side the opener. Sent through on goal in the 65th – but a poor touch allowed his shot to be comfortably saved.
Then again wastes a promising counter-attack four minutes later, hesitating to take a shot & not being able to pass it into Ronaldo inside the box either. He tried & tried to score, but Greenwood’s poor decision-making brought him down today and resulted in a lot of frustration. Has to learn to pass the ball once in a while.
Cristiano Ronaldo (5.5) –
Ronaldo has scored in every single game for United since returning. Can he continue that? Blazes a shot wide of the target in the 11th. Did not get much delivery in the box at all after that and had to force his way into attacking situations, seeing some attempts blocked. Allowed Bruno to take the penalty – which ended up being a bad decision as he could’ve continued his goal-scoring heroics if he himself took it.
Diogo Dalot (6.0) –
The Portuguese defender had to slot in as a makeshift left-back and actually did a pretty good job. Was defensively sturdy and moved forward with menace all game long. Should be ready to get more opportunities soon.
Victor Lindelof (N/R) –
Lindelof slotted in with Varane for the first time this season and didn’t look to be on the same page as him. Lost on some key duels & didn’t really do anything spectacular in the final few minutes.
Edinson Cavani (N/R) –
Cavani lost the mark on Hause for his goal, but kinda made up by forcing the defender to concede the penalty.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Villa goal-scorer Kortney Hause might’ve conceded a penalty, but he did score their winner and was defensively really solid all game long. He gets the MOTM today.