Manchester United’s nine-match unbeaten streak comes to an end, as Aston Villa easily brushed the Red Devils aside with a comfortable 3-1 win. Unai Emery’s team got the most out of their strong start, scoring two goals inside the first 11 minutes. It was Leon Bailey who opened the scoring, with left-back Lucas Digne doubling their lead. Luke Shaw’s deflected show in the final minute of the first half did not only mean a Jacob Ramsey own-goal, but hope for the visitors from Manchester. Yet, that was short lived, with Ramsey himself redeeming with a goal just four minutes into the second half, making this a 3-1 win for Villans.
United’s Slow Starts Make The Difference
Manchester United’s poor starts to both halves of this match turned out to be too much for the Devils and there was no coming back from such poor displays. Atrocious beginning of the match had seen United trail by two goals before the quarter of hour was up. This match further proved just how much United cannot let their focus wander, with Villa fighting for much needed points. Ultimately, Ten Hag’s team never showed up, their work in possession was far from good and there were too many individuals who did not enjoy their time on the pitch yesterday.
Van De Beek Cannot Fill The Gap
Considering Bruno Fernandes had to skip this match due to suspension, Ten Hag had the chance to reshuffle and try new things out. He decided to give Donny van de Beek another chance in the starting eleven, which was his second start in the same week. For a player who did not make his way into the lineup since December 2021, this was a great opportunity. But Van de Beek failed in making the most out of it. The Dutchman was not able to create anything and lacked quality, further highlighting the importance Bruno Fernandes holds in this team. Ten Hag does not have many options when wanting to replace him, unless he decides in future matches to move Christian Eriksen in his formerly usual role and leave the central midfield position to someone else.
Ten Hag Conforms Ronaldo, But For What?
There were many interesting moves from Ten Hag since he arrived at Man United from Ajax and his handling of Cristiano Ronaldo was one of them. He did not shy away from punishing the Portuguese superstar when he deserved it, he was adamant in Ronaldo having to work for his place in the team after missing out on the pre-season. But now it seems that Ten Hag has made his first poor decision in this regard. After recent Ronaldo’s antics, it was a surprise to see him get the captain’s armband for the trip to Villa Park. Cristiano was never the proper leader of this team and his deeds were showing him as a player who looks for himself and his image more than for the good of the team. With Ronaldo’s poor performance that came in this match, looking too frustrated, it begs the question what did Ten Hag and United actually get by this move? And for how long will Ronaldo actually stay at Old Trafford?