Report: Aston Villa 0 United 3
Manchester United moved to within a point of fourth-placed Leicester City on Thursday night, thanks to an excellent 3-0 win against Aston Villa.
It was a slow opening at Villa Park, with United dominating possession in the early stages, but the hosts creating the main opportunities. However, efforts from Anwar El Ghazi, Douglas Luiz and Jack Grealish failed to hit the target.
The Reds picked things up after the drinks break and, after Trezeguet brushed the outside of the post, United opened the scoring via the penalty spot.
The Reds were in the ascendancy now and Anthony Martial tested Reina with a curling effort from the edge of the box, before Greenwood forced the Spaniard into a full-length dive to keep out his powerful strike.
As we ticked closer to the half-time whistle, Villa were struggling to get out of their own box, given United’s intense interchanging movement. Fernandes came within a whisker of doubling our advantage, but his header flew just inches over the hosts’ crossbar.
What Bruno was unable to do, Mason managed. The Reds’ free-flowing offence was on fire and a counterattack seconds before the interval resulted in the teenager crashing his shot home after excellent work in the build-up from Martial. It was a beautiful move, as was the finish from Greenwood.
The Reds came close to making it three soon after, when Rashford cut inside on his right foot and fired the ball home. However, with Pogba standing in an offside position and blocking Reina’s vision, the goal was disallowed.
Yet the Frenchman soon made up for it. After being found from a corner by Fernandes on the edge of the box, Pogba took a touch, composed himself and calmly slotted the ball into the bottom corner, from around 25 yards. It was his first goal of an injury-plagued campaign and our 100th strike of the season.
His compatriot Martial went close to making it four on the hour-mark when his bullet shot smashed off the underside of the crossbar but, unfortunately, bounced out.
It was a tepid end at Villa Park, with the outcome really decided by the 58th minute and somewhat disrupted by the many changes. Despite that, United continued to knock the ball around and Pogba created a great opening for Rashford, which Reina saved well with his feet.
The referee’s full-time whistle went soon after and ensured the Reds came away with all the points, and a Premier League record to boot! That was our fourth consecutive league win by three or more goals, something no side in the division has ever achieved.
Aston Villa: Reina; Konsa, Hause, Mings, Taylor; McGinn (Nkamba 58), Luiz (Vassilev 84), Grealish (c); El Ghazi (Hourihane 58), Samatta (Davis 58, Trezeguet
Subs not used: Nyland, Guilbert, Elmohamedy, Landsbury, Jota, Davis
Booked: Konsa, Nkamba
United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka (Williams 66), Lindelof, Maguire (c), Shaw; Matic (McTominay 66), Pogba; Greenwood (James 79), Fernandes (Fred 71), Rashford; Martial (Ighalo 79)
Subs not used: Romero, Bailly, Andreas, Mata
Scorers: Fernandes 27, Greenwood 45+4, Pogba 58
Booked: Wan-Bissaka, Matic, Fred
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