Six talking points from United's victory over Villa
Manchester United eased past Aston Villa with a superb 3-0 victory and moved back to within one point of the Champions League places in the Premier League, while further enhancing our goal difference.
A Bruno Fernandes penalty and Mason Greenwood thunderbolt gave United the lead going into the break, before Paul Pogba added a third in the second half – the Reds’ 100th goal of the season.
Here are the main talking points as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s continued a brilliant unbeaten run of form…
Ton up for the season
The wave of recent goals, 17 in all competitions since the restart, has seen United reach triple figures this season. It was Paul Pogba who brought up the Reds’ century for the 2019/20 campaign with a strike from the edge of the area as the Frenchman found the net for the first time since April 2019. The only Premier League teams to have scored more this season are Manchester City and Liverpool with 130 and 107 respectively.
De Gea celebrates milestone
David De Gea made his 399th appearance for United at Villa Park and has now turned out for the Reds more than any other overseas player, having surpassed Peter Schmeichel’s total. It was perhaps fitting that the four-time Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year should mark the occasion with a clean sheet. The Spanish stopper now sits only behind Alex Stepney in overall appearances for the club between the sticks.
Having won our last three matches in the league, was it any surprise United added a fourth? When you look at the teamsheet you may think not, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer named the same starting XI for the fourth consecutive league outing. Across that run of victories the Reds have found the net on 14 occasions, becoming the first-ever Premier League team to win four games in a row by three goals or more.
Fernandes’ record-breaking impact
By tucking away his first-half spot-kick Bruno Fernandes set the record for the most goals by a midfielder in their first 10 Premier League appearances. The Portuguese has netted seven times in the league in that period – once more than the previous record shared by Georginio Wijnaldum and Rafael van der Vaart. It’s not just Bruno’s finishing that has been impressive, six assists in those first 10 matches is a joint overall record for the league and means he has also been directly involved in a record-equalling 13 goals in that time – the same as Mick Quinn.
Goal difference boost
Not only did the Reds close the points gap on Leicester City, we further ate into the Foxes' goal difference advantage reducing the gap to just six. United, now on +26, have netted 15 goals in the league since the restart and lost just three. Brendan Rodgers' men meanwhile have scored six and conceded four, and currently sit on +32, with that last-day meeting between the two sides continuing to look hugely important in the race for a top-four spot. Chelsea, who currently lie third in the table two points ahead of us, are on +17 goal-difference wise.
United were awarded a 13th penalty of the campaign when referee Jonathan Moss blew for a foul by Ezri Konsa on Bruno Fernandes, before the midfielder scored from the spot himself. That total is the most to be awarded to any team during a Premier League season, only matched by Leicester City in 2015/16 and Crystal Palace in 2004/05.
We are all United as the Reds go marching on! On sale now, get your 2019/20 kit while stocks last.