Scott McTominay and David de Gea delivered for Manchester United as they defeated Aston Villa 1-0 in their FA Cup third-round contest at Old Trafford.

Manchester United took just eight minutes to break the deadlock against Aston Villa as Scott McTominay rose high to head home Fred’s cross to find the back of the net. However, it was pretty much Villa from that point on, though, as they threatened their hosts regularly with Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings missing narrowly while John McGinn drew a save from David de Gea.

Watkins then struck the woodwork while Jacob Ramsey came close as the Villans pushed for an equaliser. At the other end, United did have a couple of promising moments as Edinson Cavani went close while Luke Shaw and McTominay forced Emiliano Martinez into saves as half-time arrived.

Steven Gerrard’s side were the better of the two teams in the second half as Ings turned the ball into the back of the net with a scrappy effort but saw it get chalked off for a foul on Cavani in the buildup after a lengthy VAR check. Watkins scored moments later, but his strike was ruled out for offside. Matty Cash then forced de Gea into making a fine stop as Villa continued to push for an equalising goal.

However, Ralf Rangnick’s men held on to their narrow lead to progress to the next round of the FA Cup, where they will be facing Middlesbrough. Despite the win, the performance and the attitude of some players like Marcus Rashford raises a lot of question marks for United. At the same time, Villa will be disappointed not to have come out on top despite dominating most of the game. Here are our player ratings for both sets of players.

Manchester United Player Ratings

David de Gea: 7.5/10

Once again crucial to Manchester United coming out on top, as he made key stops to keep the lead intact. De Gea denied McGinn’s effort in the first period and then produced a couple of saves to keep out Ezri Konsa and Cash in the second half. Clutch.

Diogo Dalot: 5/10

Getting the nod ahead of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, the Portuguese international endured a difficult outing as he struggled to deal with the threat of Watkins on his side while offering little in terms of attacking threat.

Victor Lindelof: 4/10

Reinstated to the lineup, the Swede had a torrid night at Old Trafford. Lindelof constantly came second-best to Watkins, who had a field day running at the United defender. Miscontrolled a long ball from Tyrone Mings, gifting Watkins with a huge chance but was saved by the crossbar.

Raphael Varane: 5/10

There were a few moments when he showed his experience to come up with big interventions. However, he was caught out in the second half when Villa found the back of the net and was saved by the VAR and referee.

Luke Shaw: 5.5/10

The left-back looked a bit more purposeful going forward than he had against Wolves and even drew a save from Martinez in the first half. However, Shaw was not good enough at the back as Emi Buendia enjoyed a lot of joy on his side.

Scott McTominay: 7/10

The match-winner for Manchester United, McTominay scored the only goal of the game, heading in his midfield partner’s cross just eight minutes into the game. The Scotsman had another shot saved after the break. Worked hard in the middle of the park to keep Villa at bay but lacked the requisite support.

Fred: 6/10

The Brazilian produced a fine cross to set McTominay up for the goal. He was his typical energetic self in the middle of the park but could not always cope with the likes of Ramsey and McGinn, while some of his passing was also sloppy.

Mason Greenwood: 5/10

Shunted out wide on the right, Greenwood had to spend a lot of time tracking back on the night as Aston Villa were on the front foot for large parts. As a result, he was not a threat in attack, although the youngster drew a save from Martinez in the second half.

Bruno Fernandes: 5.5/10

The Player to Watch in our match preview, Bruno Fernandes, was reinstated to the starting XI after being axed against Wolves. There were glimpses of his quality as he played some neat passes to create chances, but not everything he tried came off. While he may have played four key passes on the night, a pass accuracy of just 65% does not reflect well, especially when his team were struggling to get a foothold in the game.

Marcus Rashford: 3/10

Something seems to be seriously wrong with Marcus Rashford at the moment. After a fairly bright start, the Manchester United No. 10 showed no desire or appetite to try and make things happen, best evident when he did not chase down a spill from Martinez inside the box in the second half.ย 

Edinson Cavani: 5/10

The veteran forward had one half-chance in the first period, which Martinez saved. He ran the channels and worked hard at the top, but there was not much coming in the way of service for the striker as Villa grew more and more dominant.

SUBSTITUTES

Donny van de Beek: 5/10

The Dutchman came on for Cavani in the 72nd minute but failed to do much of note.

Jesse Lingard: N/A

Late sub for Fernandes.

Anthony Elanga: N/A

Late sub for Rashford.

Aston Villa Player Ratings

Emiliano Martinez: 7/10

The Argentine stood no chance against McTominay’s header for the only goal of the game. He did, however, make some good stops later on, to keep out Cavani, Shaw in the first half and Greenwood after the break.

Matty Cash: 6.5/10

The right-back was not given many problems by a disappointing Rashford on the night but was alert defensively when needed to be. Cash also got forward well at times and forced a good save from de Gea in the second period.

Ezri Konsa: 7/10

Solid up against Cavani and Fernandes, the Englishman looked rarely troubled on the night at Old Trafford. Konsa showed good composure and confidence when on the ball, carrying it into midfield or making sharp forward passes.

Tyrone Mings: 6.5/10

Back into the lineup after missing the Brentford game, the Aston Villa captain will be disappointed by the manner in which they conceded the goal. He grew into the game after the early lapse, though and ensured that Manchester United were kept at bay for most parts.

Matt Targett: 6/10

Not the best of the games from the Villa left-back, and he was helped by the fact that Greenwood was unable to pose a sustained threat on the night. He had one or two defensive lapses and did not offer much going forward โ€” no wonderย the Villans are gunning to sign Lucas Digne.

John McGinn: 7.5/10

The Scotsman showed his class and quality as he sat back and sprayed some lovely passes forward for the likes of Watkins and Ings to run onto. He was combative as ever, off the ball, ensuring that the hosts never established a foothold in the contest. He also forced a fine save from de Gea in the first period.

Douglas Luiz: 7/10

Industrious and energetic as usual, Luiz pressed the opposition with aggression and recovered possession regularly in the middle of the park while keeping things ticking along nicely when on the ball. The Brazilian finished with a game-high four interceptions and three tackles.

Jacob Ramsey: 6/10

The youngster was not at his best on the night at Old Trafford as he overhit some passes in good areas while hesitating to pull the trigger on a few occasions. He did come close with an effort in the first period. Ramsey impeded Cavani, which led to Ings’ second-half goal being chalked out.

Emiliano Buendia: 6.5/10

A mixture of good and bad from the Argentine, who, at times, looked dangerous in the half-spaces in the final third but was guilty of giving away the ball cheaply on occasions. Buendia is yet to hit his best form since joining the Villans in the summer.

Danny Ings: 6.5/10

He kept the Manchester United defenders occupied with his movement but did not have a lot of chances in the first half, apart from one moment when he could not get on the end of a cross from Buendia. Ings put the ball into the net after the break but saw the goal chalked off.

Ollie Watkins: 7/10

Back into the side after missing out against his former club Brentford, Watkins was a huge thorn in the side for Manchester United on the night. He missed narrowly in the first half before striking the woodwork from a great position. He did put the ball into the back of the net in the second period but was offside.

SUBSTITUTES

Anwar El Ghazi: N/A

He came on for Buendia in the 79th minute but failed to do much of note apart from missing a late chance.

Jaden Philogene-Bidace: N/A

Late sub for Ramsey.

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