Talking Points: Villa 1 United 3
Manchester United completed yet another comeback this season to win 3-1 against Aston Villa in the Premier League.
Bertrand Traore’s goal against the run of play put the hosts in the driving seat by half time, before a thunderous four-minute spell turned the game in the Reds’ favour.
Firstly, Bruno Fernandes stepped up to score from the penalty spot, before Mason Greenwood struck a powerful shot into the bottom-right corner and, in the closing minutes, Edinson Cavani made the victory certain.
Below are all the essential discussion points from our victory at Villa Park…
For the 10th time this season, United conceded the opening goal in an away Premier League game, but are still yet to lose after doing so. Of those 10 matches, the Reds have won nine and drawn one. We have also now netted 44 second-half goals this term, increasing our already league-best tally.
In a familiar twist of fate Douglas Luiz fouled Paul Pogba in the box for a United penalty in the second half – exactly as happened in the reverse fixture at Old Trafford on New Year’s Day. In a repeat of history, Fernandes duly stepped up and scored the spot-kick. For Villa fans, there will also be a familiar feeling of failing to beat the Reds at Villa Park, they haven’t done so in the league in 22 matches since 1995.
Bruno’s goal means he has broken the record for the number of penalties scored in a single season for the club, having dispatched 13 spot-kicks in all competitions. Meanwhile, his penalty was the 113th taken in this season's Premier League, breaking the all-time competition record of 112 previously set in 2006-07.
After celebrating his century of appearances for the club away to Roma on Thursday, Mason Greenwood marked his 101st with an excellent goal to put United in front at Villa Park. Mason has now scored 16 times as a teenager for the Reds, more than any other youngster – one clear of Wayne Rooney’s tally. Greenwood has also been on the scoresheet five times in his last five Premier League games.
Edinson Cavani came off the bench to nod yet another goal and, in doing so, he equalled the club record for the highest number of Premier League goals as a substitute in a season – his total of five matches the tally notched by both Javier Hernandez in 2010-11 and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in 1998-99 (5 each). He also has six headed league goals in total, only Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin has more, with seven.
MAGUIRE MISSES OUT
After being in the wars in the second half and weathering a number of heavy challenges, Harry Maguire was substituted 12 minutes from time. It means, for the first time in his career, for the club Harry hasn't completed 90 minutes in a Premier League game. Today was his 72nd league appearance for the Reds and means he stays tied on Gary Pallister’s record of 71 back-to-back full United matches in the division.
Bertrand Traore’s surprise opener meant he became just the second player this season to score against United both home and away in the Premier League, after Tottenham’s Heung-min Son, and is only the third Villan to ever do so against the Reds in history. The only other Villa players to manage that feat are Julian Joachim (1998-99) and Christian Benteke (2014-15).
Having started a run of three matches in five days, the Reds will now face Leicester City at Old Trafford in just two days' time, before hosting Liverpool on Thursday night. No doubt Ole will have plenty to think about when managing his squad for both of those matches.