Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Edinson Cavani and Mason Greenwood were all impressive as Manchester United came from behind to beat Aston Villa 3-1 on Sunday.
Manchester United were the better of the two sides in the early exchanges, but clear-cut chances came few and far between for much of the opening quarter of the game. However, it was Aston Villa that grabbed the lead midway through the first half after being gifted the ball twice before Bertrand Traore scored from an acute angle.
Thereafter, there were not too many chances for either side, but Dean Henderson made a fine save at the stroke of half-time to keep the deficit to one goal. That would prove to be crucial as within ten minutes of the restart, Manchester United were ahead, with Bruno Fernandes first leveling things up from the spot before Mason Greenwood produced a fine finish from the edge of the Aston Villa box.
Aston Villa then pushed forward in search of an equaliser of their own, but Manchester United were still firmly in control before rounding their win off late on through Edinson Cavani, who headed in Marcus Rashford’s cross. The result meant Manchester United now have 70 points and The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men.
Dean Henderson: 7/10
Henderson did not really stand a chance to stop Bertrand Traore’s fabulous finish. However, the Manchester United goalkeeper was at hand to ensure Aston Villa did not score any other goals, making 3 brilliant saves apart from a couple of regulation stops, which meant the hosts remained at bay.
Aaon Wan-Bissaka: 8/10
A solid performance by Wan-Bissaka, who won balls higher up the pitch to ensure Manchester United dominated the proceedings for the most part. Solid defensively for the most part and even produced a fine block. Also ended up grabbing an assist for the goal that Mason Greenwood scored to put Manchester United ahead.
Victor Lindelof: 5/10
Horrendous from Lindelof, who actually won the ball from Traore before giving it away almost instantly for the Aston Villa winger to score from an acute angle. Did not really endure many other difficult moments and held his own for the most part thereafter. Too weak in the moment of Villa’s goal, though.
Harry Maguire: 7/10
Maguire was one of the players who hardly put a foot wrong, although Henderson needed to stay alert to ensure his attempted clearance which ended up being goalwards did not bulge the net. The Manchester United captain, though, was imperious in the air. However, his run of consecutive minutes in the Premier League came to an end with a worrisome injury. Solskjaer will hope he is not out for long.
Luke Shaw: 7/10
Luke Shaw’s numbers vs. Aston Villa:
100% tackles won
85% pass accuracy
19 final third passes completed
4 ball recoveries
4 attempted take-ons
3 passes into the box
3 chances created (3 from open play)
2 successful take-ons
2 shots (1 on target)
Team of the Season-bound? 👀 pic.twitter.com/a92Rjipr5L
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) May 9, 2021
Shaw, for much of the game, looked like one of Manchester United’s best bets for an opening in the final third, as he linked up superbly with Paul Pogba. The chances did not flow, but he did work extremely hard to ensure he was not overrun either. Won 4 duels while playing in 3 key passes in a decent enough all-round showing.
Scott McTominay: 5/10
Technically, it was McTominay who lost the ball for the Aston Villa goal before Lindelof made a meal of an interception, but he was really sold short by Fred. On the ball, he did not inspire a lot of confidence and lacked the bite that was needed to push Manchester United forward with incision. Has to up his passing game.
Once again, Fred produced a hit-and-miss performance. While he was solid for the most part, the Brazilian midfielder’s poorly weighted pass to McTominay handed Aston Villa the initiative to spark the move for the first goal. However, in the second half, Fred hardly put a step wrong and completed most his passes to assert Manchester United’s control on the game.
Mason Greenwood: 8/10
— Premier League (@premierleague) May 9, 2021
For large parts of the first half, Greenwood showed a lot of desire to get Manchester United back in the game, albeit without much in way of end product. His luck finally turned for the better post the interval, when he found the back of the net with a peach of a finish, in what was essentially the match-winner. Will now hope to end the season in consistent fashion.
Bruno Fernandes: 6/10
A game of hits and misses for Bruno Fernandes, who did deliver as many as 3 key passes, but was also typically wasteful at times when he chose not to pick an easy pass. Lost possession as many as 17 times, but was at hand to convert the penalty that set in motion the comeback for Manchester United.
Paul Pogba: 7/10
A solid display by Pogba, who once again carried a great deal of threat for Manchester United. In the first half, he looked like the only United player who could make things happen, with Bruno Fernandes a bit out of sorts. Played a couple of key passes and also put in the hard yards off the ball combining well with Shaw on both ends of the pitch.
Marcus Rashford: 6/10
Back in the starting lineup, Rashford directly replaced Edinson Cavani to initially start as the centre forward for Manchester United. The English international, who was the Player to Watch in our preview, was somewhat indifferent for much of the game, with the central striker role not really suiting him. Looked better out wide and laid on the assist for Edinson Cavani with a smart cross.
Edinson Cavani: 8/10
Edinson Cavani has eight goals and three assists in his last seven games.
El Matador is on fire 🏹 pic.twitter.com/js7sJJzC3E
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 9, 2021
On for Greenwood, Cavani once again delivered the goods in front of goal, showcasing his typical ghosting movement to head in Rashford’s cross for the third Manchester United goal. Is helping the Red Devils to a strong end to the season.
Eric Bailly: N/A
Thrown on in place of the injured Maguire, Bailly was largely solid to see the game out without much of a fuss.
Nemanja Matic: N/A
A late introduction, Matic helped see the game out.