- An incisive second half display by United saw them scoring three times to register their twentieth win of the season, against a Villa side which had taken an unlikely lead through Traore in a tight first half. United were not bad in the first half and the goal came from poor defending really. Apart from the goal, Villa had only one other shot on target at the end of the half, while United attacked with intent from the first minute but lacked a bit of urgency in the most crucial instances. The second half was a different story though. As they have done time and again in the last 15 months, United reacted with more vigour and they were soon rewarded a penalty after a clumsy challenge by Luiz on Pogba, from which Fernandes made no mistake. Two excellent goals from Greenwood and Cavani wrapped up the match and prolonged City’s wait to claim the Premier League. It is important to note that United have now won thirty-one points from losing positions this season alone, which is almost half the total points of the season. There are two sides to a coin and such a statistic implies the resilience of this United team and the experience to claw their way back from difficult situations, which is a good characteristic to possess. On the other hand, the lack of capability to impose ourselves in matches shows that United need to get better in that respect.
- A worrying factor is the injury to Maguire. Our captain is not one to roll on the pitch for long in matches but the collision with El Ghazi in the incident that led to his injury was nasty. Our captain has been ever-present in the League for two seasons, and he kept us afloat several times with his performances. I am concerned that his injury may keep him away for a number of weeks and possibly deprive him of appearing in the Europa League final. With three matches in 5 days, it’s probable that he will miss the clash with his ex-team Leicester on Tuesday. Hopefully he’ll be back against Liverpool but I’m not holding my breath. This could be a problem for United.
- My special mention today should have gone to Mason Greenwood upon climbing to number one spot for goals scored by a teenager in the Premier League for Manchester United. Today’s goal – a fantastic turn and left-footed shot in the bottom corner of Martinez’s goal to put United ahead – was his 16th in the Premiership, allowing him to move ahead of Rooney at 15 and Rashford at 13. However, I chose Edinson Cavani for my special mention today. What an immense strike he came up with against Villa, one of those that you have to jump from the sofa and just clap. The timing of his run from behind the Villa fullback and the execution of the glancing header from that perfectly weighted cross from Marcus Rashford gave Martinez in Villa’s goal no chance to save. Apart from the importance of the goal at a time when United needed to create breathing space between them and their opponents, everything with the execution of that goal was absolutely amazing. I can understand why Ole wants to keep Cavani at Old Trafford next season and his experience and efficiency when he leads the line means that United would need to properly replace him if he decides to leave. The goals he scores will not be scored by Martial if Cavani is not with us and it could well be that United will be taking a step back without him.
Looking forward to receiving your thoughts on the Facebook page. GGMU
Article contributed by Contributor Roderick. Comments are appreciated on our Facebook page.