5 Ups And 3 Downs Of United’s Villa Park Win
Manchester United had a tough ask travelling to ‘The Villains’ hoping they wouldn’t ruin the heroes story of Champions League qualification and 22 minutes, it looked just like it was going that way until luck struck and Man United were gifted a very weak penalty that then took the game past Villa.
I think we can all agree, United fan or not, that the “foul” that resulted in a penalty wasn’t a penalty. But United don’t make the decisions and all they could do was slot the spot kick away, which Bruno did with ease, and continue with the game.
With this 3-0 victory over Aston Villa, Man United have created history by being the first team ever to win 4 consecutive Premier League games by a 3+ goal margin.
So, let’s get to upping those ups and downing those downs on a piece of Premier League history.
DOWN – THAT START
Since the restart, many teams have struggled to get going from the first whistle and usually are thankfully of the controversial drinks break. This was exactly the situation United found themselves in against Villa. For the first 22, United were weak and didn’t look up for it which was worrying. The post drinks break performance didn’t see much difference and it took a terrible penalty call for United to find their feet. Without that call, who knows whether United would have won that with as much confidence as they did or even won it at all.
DOWN – FATIGUE SLOWLY BECOMING A FACTOR
Whether this constitutes a down or not can be up for debate but it’s my article, so I decide what gets a down.
We all knew fatigue would play a major part in post lockdown football, even with the five subs rule. Despite winning comfortably, United started to falter with fatigue, as many passes were loose and the players didn’t look as sharp as they have done in their previous matches. Admittedly, the standard they have set themselves are remarkably high but with crucial games in three competitions still to play, changes may need to be made strategically in order for United to retain some sort of higher fitness.
DOWN – 3 KNOCKING ON 6
Anyone who weren’t sat watching their TV for the game would be mistaken to think United were clinical as ever in front of goal. In fact, United could have won that game six nil and maybe even more. I can think of many chances that could have resulted in a goal, including Wan Bissaka’s header and Martial’s woodwork hit. Ole has got his tricky reds firing and making headlines but if United converted more of the chances then ‘The Red Devils’ would be sending shockwaves in the division and making even Liverpool take note.
That record mentioned at the top of the article is impressive but would have been better if three turned to five which could have very much been a possibility.
UP – THAT MAN AGAIN
What can I say about Mason Greenwood that hasn’t been said already?
Another great performance from the 18-year-old has got many people talking and rival fans pulling up any statistic to make him look worse than he actually is. Honestly, Greenwood is rapidly becoming one of the best finishers in world football and will only improve under a manager who made a living from clinical finishing in his day.
A passing of the torch from one goal scoring machine to another.
UP – PAUL-ING THE STRINGS
Who knew a World Cup winning midfielder would be a class player? Questions have risen over Paul Pogba and his ability not even mentioning the constant talks on his future.
Well, Pogba is playing his best football right now and is at his most happiest. His performance against Villa was one filled with quality, precision and dedication and his goal, yet off the training ground so to speak, was one from the top drawer. This was by far his best game since the restart and is growing in confidence with every passing minute.
With talks emerging before the game that Ole has convinced him to stay at United for another contract, it appears that Pogba is willing to stay with Project Ole and is up for the challenge he was looking externally for previously.
UP – PORTUGUESE MAGNIFICO
Let me take you down the Statistic Street to Factual Farm.
Since his arrival on the penultimate day of the January transfer window, Bruno Fernandes has recorded 8 goals and 7 assists in 15 appearances for Manchester United and, in that time, he has also scooped up the two Premier League Player of the Month awards for February and June.
There is not a single football fan on planet earth that can see those stats and not feel a little amazed. Bruno has changed United instantly and is quickly becoming of the league’s best players in terms of goals and assists.
He is not just United’s Portuguese Magnifico he is the Premier League’s Portuguese Magnifico.
UP – OLE IS AT THAT WHEEL
I’ve gone there. I’ve only bloody gone there.
Truthfully speaking, I don’t think Ole is at the Wheel until he gets us Top 4 and maybe even a cup or two, but he got everything spot on at Villa Park yesterday.
The starting XI was what it needed to be, and he got the substitutes 100% correct. The right players off, the right players on at the right time.
Many were Ole Out at the back end of last year and admittedly I was on the proverbially fence. He was getting a lot wrong and was losing points where he shouldn’t be losing points even with a team including Lingard and Pereira.
But I am happy to say he proved me and many doubters wrong and especially since the restart has proven he is developing well as a young up and coming coach. He is our lord and saviour in more ways than one. 1999 reincarnated in the 21st century.
UP – SILENT BUT DEADLY
No, I’m not giving an UP to Phil Jones’s gaseous exchanges but instead the under the radar performance from our mate Tony.
He may not have scored yesterday but Martial played a key part in the performance and contributed significantly to the goals. His movement was superb and was showing many similarities to that Brazilian over in Liverpool I’m not going to name.
Many are slowly becoming believers in Anthony’s game and accepting he won’t score every game, but his style of play will help United going forward.
The only noisy part of his game was when he was subbed by Ole. He was visually irate which is perfect mentality to have for a striker who had failed to score in the game despite having the chances. A good performance but not good enough to please the high standards of our number 9.
What do you think of the history making game? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.