- United played their part in an entertaining draw away to Aston Villa and the result was probably fair, as both teams had their chances and no side deserved to lose. Despite being the better team in the first half, United could only manage to score only once, via a Fernandes shot from outside the penalty area, which Martinez should have saved but uncharacteristically he fumbled the ball which squirmed from between his legs and over the goal line. United should have made their superiority more pronounced but they were not clinical enough. In Mason Greenwood, United have one of the most exciting youngsters in the world – no doubt about that – but he is short of confidence and the precision that comes with it at the moment, as he could have scored three today but luck is not on his side at present. He has not scored for a while and the sooner he finds the net, the better for him and United. Despite Villa putting United under pressure in the second half, United doubled the lead, as Fred pounced on an error by Villa, slid the ball to Fernandes who hammered the ball in the net off the bar. Villa came back though and scored twice in the last twenty minutes, courtesy of Ramsey and their new signing Coutinho, who smashed the ball home from a couple of yards from an excellent Ramsey cross.
- Rangnick indicated last weekend that he would deploy three in midfield going forward and true to his word, United were set up 4-3-3 with Matic sitting in front of the defence and Fred and Fernandes on each side. Upfront, the Manager showed faith in Elanga on the left with Mason on the right and Cavani leading the line. It looked that the team reacted positively to the new system as United bossed the first half. They were aggressive, passed the ball well and their combination play was excellent, and they created numerous chances without converting them. Second half was completely different though and the challenge for Rangnick is to work on continuity in terms of performance and the results will come. Based on that first half showing – considering the strength of Villa at home – I would keep the same system for the next matches and see if it works. The main problem in the second half is that too many players were sub-standard. Lindelof did not inspire confidence, Fred was aggressive as usual but too erratic with the ball, Matic lost the plot after getting a yellow card after half an hour and seemed that the fear of being dismissed was playing on his mind, and Cavani was again poor, despite his work rate. Brentford will be tough in the next match but I think that at least five players have to come in. Maguire, Shaw also despite Telles playing fairly well against Villa, Scott will be a certain starter, Van De Beek has to be given a chance in one of the three midfield spots and I expect Ronaldo to also return. I am confident that United have the players to beat any other team. It is up to the Manager to unlock their potential and make them click as a team.
- De Gea was good again today, Elanga also excellent but my special mention goes to captain for the day Fernandes, both for his two goals and also for leading by example in working his socks off and inspiring his teammates.
Looking forward to receiving your thoughts on the Facebook page. GGMU
Article contributed by Contributor Roderick. Comments are appreciated on our Facebook page.