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

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Manchester United simply cannot get the things done in consecutive matches – the run without back to back wins continues. The Red Devils have managed to win just a point against Aston Villa at their Villa Park, as they failed to hold on in the final 15 minutes of the match, earning mere 2-2 in the process.

Ralf Rangnick’s side started perfectly when they scored after just six minutes, with Bruno Fernandes getting the most out of Alex Telles’ assist. Things got even better 20 minutes into the second half, with Bruno Fernandes completing a brace. United, however, could not get things done. Jacob Ramsey and Philippe Coutinho both scored in the span of just four minutes, negating United’s big lead to split the points between the two sides.

Here is what we learned from this underwhelming result.

Man United Midfield Still A Problem

This was a great match for Bruno Fernandes, who in recent weeks has looked less certain in his performances. Things changed against Aston Villa, as he went on two score both times from emphatic finishes, but it was behind him that United found problems yet again. Nemanja Matic started alongside Fred in central midfield, but this team proved to be playing more in a 4-3-3 formation, rather than a 4-2-3-1 with two holding midfielders. That was because Fred was going further forward, with the Serbian starting back, but such midfield still did not offer much balance to this team. United’s problems in central midfield were yet again obvious, further highlighting the issues of not pursuing a central midfielder in the transfer market which could solve those problems.

Ronaldo Out Of Action Once Again

Many have expected Cristiano Ronaldo to return to action after missing out on the FA Cup clash with Villa, especially when he started training properly during the week. However, Rangnick decided it was not yet time for Ronaldo to come back, as he is still struggling with a hip injury. Ronaldo’s absence was evident, as team’s options in attack were limited, but it was not his absence that cause United such problems for them not to beat Villa.

Devils Succumb To Pressure

It is interesting to see Man United have once again managed to tarnish a result they had in their hands. After scoring for the second time to make it 2-0 after 67 minutes, not many have expected it to happen, but Villa came back. They were much better in the second half, making six shots on target, to United’s two, and also having 65 per cent of the ball in the process. United finally succumbed to pressure, conceding twice in four minutes and also failing to be of any danger in the last 20 minutes of the match.

Fight For Top Four Increasingly Harder

Man United are now still in seventh place with mere nine wins from the first 20 matches of the season. They have as many wins as Wolves and are behind West Ham, Arsenal and Tottenham in the race for the top four. These four sides will want to snatch the final place for Champions League qualification, but nothing still points in direction of Red Devils having great chances of reaching it. Tottenham are a point ahead despite having played two games less and while things are far from being lost, United have been perpetually unable to string several good results in the league despite not facing the toughest opponents.

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