Manchester United made hard work of a relatively straightforward fixture against bottom of the table Aston Villa, and manager Louis van Gaal admitted after the match that he wasn’t satisfied with their performance.
Marcus Rashford proved to be the difference for the Red Devils yet again, as his strike helped them ease past an Aston Villa side that were there for the taking. Old Trafford were treated to a goal after the first half hour as Rashford side-footed an Antonio Valencia pass past Villa keeper Brad Guzan.
Even though United kept most of the possession and dominated for the majority of the match, they failed to put up a big team performance against a struggling Aston Villa. Under fire manager Louis van Gaal conceded after the match that it was a below par performance.
“It was not our best performance, of course, you have seen it for yourself,” said Van Gaal.
“I think we played too slowly and it was also difficult as they were playing very defensively and very compact.
“So then you need quicker play, quicker ball speed and so on. We created in the first half enough chances to finish with two goals and then the motivation also with the players of Villa shall be less and the game is more easy.”
Not good enough for Manchester United
It was a statistically impressive match for the Red Devils, but wasn’t a memorable win by any stretch of imagination. Aston Villa have been struggling throughout the season, and have shipped in a league high of 65 goals. Manchester United were dominating Villa, finishing the match with 66% possession, winning 14 corners and taking 13 shots.
However, they messed it up where it mattered. A single goal from four shots on target against the worst team of the league, who have been mathematically relegated already, is not an impressive outing for a club aspiring to get back to the top in Europe. Louis van Gaal needs to drastically improve the team’s performances before the end of the season, if he wants to win back the faith of the fans and the board.