Manchester United 2-1 Aston Villa: Four Things We Learned

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Manchester United have started 2021 the way they ended 2020 – with a win! Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s side has managed to get all three points on the New Year’s Day and put more pressure on Liverpool at the top of the table. It feels great to finally be able to say something like that… Manchester United won 2-1 against Aston Villa in a match which had seen some troubles to get the job done, but in the end, everything was done in the span of just 20 minutes.

Anthony Martial opened the scoring in the later stages of the first half, before Bertrand Traore equalised just before the hour mark. Despite that unsettling United, they needed just three minutes for Bruno Fernandes to score the winner from the penalty spot.

Martial Steps Up In Cavani’s Absence

Last year did not end ideally for Manchester United, as Edinson Cavani was handed a three game suspension due to his recent Instagram post. That is why Man United need some good performances from Anthony Martial. The Frenchman delivered in the first game of 2021. It was a great performance from Martial, who started up front with Marcus Rashford. He scored the opening goal from close range, giving United a much needed goal before half-time. It was only his fifth goal of the season and hopefully this will kickstart his 2021 in the best possible way.

Pogba Gets The Most Out Of New Role

Paul Pogba’s performance in the 1-0 win against Wolves was somewhat slow and meek, but the Frenchman started 2021 in much more lively fashion. Pogba played in a midfield where both Fred and Scott McTominay were already on the pitch, giving him a licence to get further forward and show his qualities. He was involved in the opening goal of the match and Pogba was also a big part of United’s attacks later on.

Pogba played further to the left, the way he prefers and apart from a close range miss midway through the second half, there was not many things that could have better in his game against Villa.

Wan-Bissaka Shines Again

Aaron Wan-Bissaka has had some issues going forward in recent weeks and there were once again many talks about how good he could become as an attacking outlet. But against Villa he showed some of the better parts of his game. He was more decisive going forward and was a bigger threat from the right flank. Wan-Bissaka made an assist for Martial’s goal, he made six recoveries of the ball, won seven out of eight of his duels and managed to create another chance from his position.

United Get Equal On Points With Liverpool

Manchester United won the match and now they have as many points as Liverpool, the champions currently sitting top of the table. Man United – although many like to point that out – are not actually joint-top with Liverpool, since our big rivals have the better goal-difference through scoring more goals than the Devils. Nevertheless, that takes nothing out of United’s achievement of climbing that high in the standings. It is a fact this season’s Premier League campaign is a chaotic one, the most chaotic since that season Leicester won the league. That might give a chance to United in some ways to try and keep up as long as it is possible.

The start of 2021 has been good.

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