Thursday 9 July 2020

Match report: Aston Villa 0-3 Man Utd

Paul Pogba scored his first goal of the season as Manchester United cruised to victory over struggling Aston Villa and moved to within a point of the Premier League's top four.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's in-form Reds surged to a fifth win in six games to keep up the pressure on Leicester and Chelsea with four games remaining, extending our stunning unbeaten run to a record-threatening 17 games.  United visit the King Power on the final day in what could be a straight shootout for the final place in Champions League.

The tie brought United face-to-face with potential new employee Jack Grealish, linked with a summer move to Old Trafford after a string of impressive performances in a poor season for the west Midlands side. The result left Grealish and co. in desperate trouble at the foot of the table, four points adrift of fourth-from-bottom Watford and in nineteenth place with matches against Crystal Palace, Everton, Arsenal and relegation rivals West Ham to come. Relegation and an immediate return to the second tier would certainly make United's potential pursuit of Grealish more palatable and less costly.

It was Villa's captain and talismanic figurehead whom had the first opening of the game, when he failed to hit the target with an angled effort from close range after being played in by John McGinn.
Anwar El Ghazi headed wide and Douglas Luiz also went close to an opener when he flashed a shot wide having burst clear.
Mahmoud Trezeguet cannoned a shot off the outside of the post but United repelled the quick-starting hosts and soon gained control when Bruno Fernandes spun Ezri Konsa but was brought down as he shaped to shoot. After a brief VAR check, referee Jonathan Moss upheld the decision and Fernandes was spot on again for his eighth goal since joining the club in January.

Pepe Reina saved well from Anthony Martial, and the former Liverpool keeper was called into action again with a full-length stop to deny Mason Greenwood.
Fernandes headed over the bar and Pogba then had an effort saved by the busy Reina but, where those two had failed, Greenwood showed his more senior colleagues how it's done.
The Reds devastating, clinical and free-flowing attack dovetailed again as Pogba found his compatriot Martial and he in turn picked out Greenwood. The most exciting young talent in world football latched on to the pass and thumped home a trademark finish in first half stoppage time to effectively end the game as a contest.

Aaron Wan - Bissaka missed a golden opening for his first United goal when he nodded wide from point blank range after Marcus Rashford had picked him out. Rashford himself then had another strike chalked out for offside, but the third goal was not long in coming as United's superiority was rubber stamped.  Pogba stroked home a curler- our 100th of the season - two minutes shy of the hour mark for his first goal since returning from a long injury lay off.
Martial rattled the bar, substitute Fred should have done better and our no.10 again went close.

In a unique slice of history, the team managed something not even Sir Alex Ferguson's vintage ever achieved, becoming the first team in history to win four consecutive games by a three-goal margin or more.

Overall team performance: 7/10
United Faithful Man of the Match: Mason Greenwood.

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