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Manchester United 2:1 Aston Villa

Post-match discussion


Fri, 01 January 2021

Zlatans Knee

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It was a great match. Such a shame that a crowd was not there to enjoy it.
What gives me hope and puzzles me a little bit is how a player like Rashford has not learned how to cross a ball yet. He always tries to cream it. If you watch Grealish he calmly plays it with the inside of his boot. Matty Cash also put in a couple of cracking crosses. I played a bit of amateur football in my time and whilst not achieving David Beckham class of crossing, I did learn how to cross the ball. Of all the skills in football, this is not one of the most difficult. So I can't understand why some of our players cannot improve that aspect of their game.
Apart from that, I loved the game and the attitude of all the players. We are in a strong position to avoid relegation (joke).
 
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lysglimt

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I'm quite surprised to see the amount of people that are saying we didn't play well last night, but also heartened by the amount of people that recognised that we did. I thought it was a perfect example of how far this team have progressed.

First things first, Villa are an impressive side. Full of lively players and with no small amount of grit. Felt like a genuine top 4 contender that we beat last night. I watched their game against Chelsea the other day too and we created a lot more opportunities than they did, and we have a Villa fan here saying that United were the most dangerous side they've faced. We need to recognise that, and not have unrealistic expectations. You dont have to have 85 minutes of possession and win 4-0 to have played well.

Notable mentions to Pogba (I can get behind this version of him 100%), Bailly, Maguire, AWB & Shaw. All very good performances. De Gea too actually.

What gets me most excited about this team is that we still have another 20% in there. Another couple of gears. Belief is growing, and we rarely look like losing these days. Obviously the Liverpool game is an opportunity to get out in front, but even if we lose i can see us going on another 10 game run afterwards.

Strap yourselves in guys. This is going to be a nail-biting season.
Agreed - it was 2 levels above the Wolves-game when we played a worse team who had a lot less energy. This Villa-side is good. Grealish is probably the best player who has played against us all season
 

Alemar

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It needs to be said that United got a well deserved victory yesterday.

surely, Villa played very well , cudos to them. But we played better in every respect: more good chances, more shots, more shots on target...

That said, based on the performance, this Villa team might end up getting European competition spot, if they manage to maintain energy levels
 

The Original

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It was a great match. Such a shame that a crowd was not there to enjoy it.
What gives me hope and puzzles me a little bit is how a player like Rashford has not learned how to cross a ball yet. He always tries to cream it. If you watch Grealish he calmly plays it with the inside of his boot. Matty Cash also put in a couple of cracking crosses. I played a bit of amateur football in my time and whilst not achieving David Beckham class of crossing, I did learn how to cross the ball. Of all the skills in football, this is not one of the most difficult. So I can't understand why some of our players cannot improve that aspect of their game.
Apart from that, I loved the game and the attitude of all the players. We are in a strong position to avoid relegation (joke).
On the contrary learning how to cross can be one of the most tricky skills to learn especially for players who are very good at striking the ball in one particular way.

This is because the sweet spot changes depending on the technique and it can be difficult for a player accomplished in striking the ball in one way, to figure it out in another.

For example, Scholes and Pogba are great at driving the ball but neither was or is a great crosser.

Ronaldo and Rashford are grateful at knuckleballs but neither is particularly good at whipping in a cross.

Players like TAA who have such complete mastery over a range of techniques are truly unique.
 

Tincanalley

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Guardian’s Jamie Hackson is all about their manager claiming Pogba tripped himself up
 

Matt851

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It was too chaotic for my tastes. They had a lot of chances and we were at risk with the defenders getting booked.

It's certainly not the sort of performance that makes me think we can be consistent yet!
Agreed

I am always amazed by how little control the mcfred double pivot offers. They are great are breaking up play but give the ball away so often games end up becoming like basketball matches

Realistically i don't think either sre good enough to start for a title challenging team. For example i would prefer the villa double pivot
 

Zlatans Knee

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On the contrary learning how to cross can be one of the most tricky skills to learn especially for players who are very good at striking the ball in one particular way.

This is because the sweet spot changes depending on the technique and it can be difficult for a player accomplished in striking the ball in one way, to figure it out in another.

For example, Scholes and Pogba are great at driving the ball but neither was or is a great crosser.

Ronaldo and Rashford are grateful at knuckleballs but neither is particularly good at whipping in a cross.

Players like TAA who have such complete mastery over a range of techniques are truly unique.
When you got to the part about Ronaldo not being particularly good at whipping in a cross, you lost your credibility. If Gary Neville managed to learn how to cross a ball then Marcus Rashford is also capable of learning this dark art.
 

The Original

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When you got to the part about Ronaldo not being particularly good at whipping in a cross, you lost your credibility. If Gary Neville managed to learn how to cross a ball then Marcus Rashford is also capable of learning this dark art.
Let's say I'm wrong about Ronaldo as an example, how does that affect the underlying logic?

Rashford is obviously capable of learning it.

I'm pointing out why he might be having some difficulty doing so. If you argue that he is both capable of learning but my argument has no credibility then what do you advance as the reason why he has not learned it?

It would appear that you believe he just doesn't want to.
 

Zlatans Knee

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Let's say I'm wrong about Ronaldo as an example, how does that affect the underlying logic?

Rashford is obviously capable of learning it.

I'm pointing out why he might be having some difficulty doing so. If you argue that he is both capable of learning but my argument has no credibility then what do you advance as the reason why he has not learned it?

It would appear that you believe he just doesn't want to.
I believe that he is capable because it is not that difficult in my opinion. I can give lots of examples of players with less skill than Marcus who are capable of crossing the ball. That is why I stated in my original post that it puzzles me why he is not already doing it.
 

Bilbo

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I believe that he is capable because it is not that difficult in my opinion. I can give lots of examples of players with less skill than Marcus who are capable of crossing the ball. That is why I stated in my original post that it puzzles me why he is not already doing it.
Marcus hasn't ever been a particularly subtle player. He isnt what you'd call a finesse finisher either. He usually strikes it as hard as he can and that can be frustrating at times.

However he is developing nicely and he will continue to improve. Must be a nightmare to play against, and when he reaches his peak I think he'll have a 3 or 4 season stretch when he puts it all together and becomes practically unplayable
 

Comet49

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According to the Villa manager and Football Focus it wasn’t a penalty because Pogba kicked his own leg. That means it’s ok to try to pull a player back, get him off balance and if he kicks his own leg, tough???
 

Ballache

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Saying that we didn't play well is unfair to Villa who are a very good side. They played very well and both teams performed in an evenly matched contest.
 

SER19

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According to the Villa manager and Football Focus it wasn’t a penalty because Pogba kicked his own leg. That means it’s ok to try to pull a player back, get him off balance and if he kicks his own leg, tough???
More than that before pogba kicks his own leg he quite clearly clips the villa players leg, who is nowhere near the ball.

The more time that passes and moaning you hear the more I actually prefer VAR. We're at a point now where players and managers are moaning, stirring up fans, despite clear slow motion footage from several angles proving them wrong. It's insane.
 

mitchmouse

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That was a really good game - it just sort of flashed past and didn't even have time to get on here! One of Pogba's most in ifluential games for ages and thought Shaw was excellent. Rashford didn't look comfortable on that side of the field and Martial was fairly anonymous again which Scotty wasn't great but at least battled hard. As ever, where would we be without Bruno?

Of course, Villa helped us by not seeing back and trying to bore everyone to death and Grealish would certainly benefit from playing with a bigger team (hint possibly!), but I thought you just about deserved to win. Three back-to-back away games in the league now, including the dippers which should tell us more about how the season will turn out...
 

Plymouth Red

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According to the Villa manager and Football Focus it wasn’t a penalty because Pogba kicked his own leg. That means it’s ok to try to pull a player back, get him off balance and if he kicks his own leg, tough???
What does Bradley Walsh know about football, though.
 

MikeeMike

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Credit to Aston Villa. They played excellent, high-tempo, fearless attacking football. What a world of difference to the way Wolves set up to play against us.
I was impressed how , a few times, they played out from the keeper. Simple triangles with great weighted passes out of defense. Towards the end of the game they pressed full when DdG had a goal kick and we still look vulnerable when teams do this.
 

Foxbatt

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Interesting that Andy Gray was adamant that it was a penalty. He said pogba didn't even see the leg of the Villa player. And once a player is running at full speed any contact is going to make him lose his balance. That's why it was a penalty only and not a booking.
 

MikeeMike

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Interesting that Andy Gray was adamant that it was a penalty. He said pogba didn't even see the leg of the Villa player. And once a player is running at full speed any contact is going to make him lose his balance. That's why it was a penalty only and not a booking.
Typical post match as usual. Losing manager adamant it is no penalty and VAR is a farce. Winning manager adamant it is clear penalty and VAR justified.
Reverse for following weekend.
 

SadlerMUFC

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we seem to concede a lot of soft set piece goals - yday wasn't imo - which makes me think it has something to do with zonal marking. a case in point is also the goal we let in against sevilla in the el semi.
Zonal marking? What zonal marking? If there was zonal marking yesterday then Grealish wouldn't be standing by himself by the touchline and Shaw wouldn't have been in Bailley's position. I get it that Goldbridge likes to talk about Sevilla and our zonal marking issues, but think for yourself and don't just repeat what he says, especially considering most of the time he's speaking out of his arse. Yesterday had nothing to do with zonal marking. Zonal marking would at least be some sort of marking. Yesterday nobody was in position for that free kick and nobody was doing any sort of zonal or man to man marking...
 

SadlerMUFC

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Typical post match as usual. Losing manager adamant it is no penalty and VAR is a farce. Winning manager adamant it is clear penalty and VAR justified.
Reverse for following weekend.
Villa manager probably only saw (or chose to saw) the still of Pogba kicking his own leg. Probably "missed" the part where the Villa player has two arms holding Pogba and kicks his foot which causes Pogba to trip himself. It was a blatant penalty. Ref called it in real time and VAR confirmed it...
 

lex talionis

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I’m still surprised by the negative comments in this thread. Villa are a very decent squad this season which has a legitimate shot at a top four finish. No one thought before the match that we’d walk over Villa, and in fact they gave us a class performance. Even with brilliant performances by our four defenders, Villa put De Gea to the test (presumably not his first real test!) and Dave answered the call.

This one had an air of two heavyweights going 15 rounds. Expect our visit to Villa Park to be another slugfest...unless we can pry Grealish loose from Villa in January, but that seems very unlikely.

But apart from McTominay, the starting XI put in a very good performance yesterday.
 

Redlyn

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Best I have seen of Bailly and Pogba in long while and I don't remember the last time both of our fullbacks were such an attacking force. It was a good game from us and could have been better if our forwards were on it and midfield less wasteful. Scott was extremely poor, what a shocking bottom level from someone who was prime lampard just a few games ago.
 

Maticmaker

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Last nights game against Villa and the match against Wolves have I feel made us more 'battle-hardened' (hope I don't regret that later). Wolves and in particular Villa took some beating, but we kept at it and got the prize. Apart from Grealish, who is the star of the show for Villa, they also have a few half decent players, particularly impressed by McGinn and they kept at it and in so doing made sure we did. Rashford is great but he can be wasteful sometimes and last night we saw some of that, but Rashford and Bruno's understanding is growing and becoming one of our main weapons of counter-attack. 2021 looks at lot brighter if only we could get back to watching it at OT live. Still I would take a virtual PL championship, anything to stop you know who getting another one!
 

rollingstoned1

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Zonal marking? What zonal marking? If there was zonal marking yesterday then Grealish wouldn't be standing by himself by the touchline and Shaw wouldn't have been in Bailley's position. I get it that Goldbridge likes to talk about Sevilla and our zonal marking issues, but think for yourself and don't just repeat what he says, especially considering most of the time he's speaking out of his arse. Yesterday had nothing to do with zonal marking. Zonal marking would at least be some sort of marking. Yesterday nobody was in position for that free kick and nobody was doing any sort of zonal or man to man marking...
It was just an idea. I guess goldbridge is the guy who runs the united stand podcast. I don't listen to h im. Its a pattern I've seen where too many of our goals seem soft and I got thinking that it may not be down to a lack of competence.
 

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My takeaways:

* Perseverance is a great quality, and we have it, both in attitude and performance.
* created a lot of chances, but need to be better in finishing: Fred, Pogba, Rashford. The mark of true champions is ruthlessness in front of goal.
* McFred were both a bit off with the passing and touch today. Love their energy, but if they we just 15% more reliable, we’d be flying
* Grealish is excellent. I was pro Sancho, anti Grealish during the summer transfer season, but I can see a very good case to bring in Grealish over Sanch despite the age difference. His service is spectacular. At the risk of offending, doesn’t his ball striking remind you a bit of Beckham??? He’s got a ton of charisma and attitude, a high work rate and is a fierce competitor.
 

Inigo Montoya

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My takeaways:

* Perseverance is a great quality, and we have it, both in attitude and performance.
* created a lot of chances, but need to be better in finishing: Fred, Pogba, Rashford. The mark of true champions is ruthlessness in front of goal.
* McFred were both a bit off with the passing and touch today. Love their energy, but if they we just 15% more reliable, we’d be flying
* Grealish is excellent. I was pro Sancho, anti Grealish during the summer transfer season, but I can see a very good case to bring in Grealish over Sanch despite the age difference. His service is spectacular. At the risk of offending, doesn’t his ball striking remind you a bit of Beckham??? He’s got a ton of charisma and attitude, a high work rate and is a fierce competitor.
They'd both cost ridiculous money but the former has just signed a contract extension and I don't see him leaving if Villa have a decent season. Besides he looks like a one club man.

Sancho on the other hand is on a shorter contract and may leave cheaper.
 

crossy1686

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My takeaways:

* Perseverance is a great quality, and we have it, both in attitude and performance.
* created a lot of chances, but need to be better in finishing: Fred, Pogba, Rashford. The mark of true champions is ruthlessness in front of goal.
* McFred were both a bit off with the passing and touch today. Love their energy, but if they we just 15% more reliable, we’d be flying
* Grealish is excellent. I was pro Sancho, anti Grealish during the summer transfer season, but I can see a very good case to bring in Grealish over Sanch despite the age difference. His service is spectacular. At the risk of offending, doesn’t his ball striking remind you a bit of Beckham??? He’s got a ton of charisma and attitude, a high work rate and is a fierce competitor.
I literally said all these things about Grealish in the summer and was told he was massively overrated and his final ball was shit/he doesn't score enough.

He's born to play for United, he's the next Beckham. The media love him but he doesn't play for a big club so there's nothing to report.
 

Isotope

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It just doesn't look fair to the rest of the League if we have Bruno and Grealish.
 

city-puma

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Agreed

I am always amazed by how little control the mcfred double pivot offers. They are great are breaking up play but give the ball away so often games end up becoming like basketball matches

Realistically i don't think either sre good enough to start for a title challenging team. For example i would prefer the villa double pivot
McFred were not deployed as double pivot against Vila. We played diamond with Fred bottom, McT on right, Pogba to the left, Bruno top.
Vila had their left side heavily loaded because Grealish likes going to the left more to combine with El Ghazi. McGinn is on that side too. McT was not able to go forward much and have to stay in our half most of time to protect the defense line.
I think Ole wanted to use Pogba to have a physical present in the final third especially in the box. But the diamond midfield is not very balanced against Vila as I feel. Bruno also likes floating more to the left, thus, were also heavily loaded in our left side, with Shaw, Pogba, Bruno, and quite often Fred joined them.
As a result, eventually, the diamond became a parallelogram tilted to the left and Rashford moved to the right wing to help out.
Vila’s intensity was amazing. We could not dominate. They have Witkins as target man and he is very good in that role. Thus, they can directly skip the midfield with long ball. Combining it with high pressing and workrate. They can quickly transit to play high line. Our defense dealt very well in the game. It’s a hard fight and we deserved the win overall.
 
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DRJosh

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Great game and decent performance but let’s harbour reasonable expectations. Barring a Leicester like miracle, we aren’t winning the premier league this season.

Great attacking flow from us but there were collective lapses at the back that would easily be capitalised on by stronger teams. Having said that, individual moments of brilliance from Bailly and De Gea, helped us to 3 points. But that’s not something we can rely on consistently.

and...Maguire is painfully slow in his movement for a 80mil defender. Bailly however seems to have better potential at being a consistent feature of our rear-guard. A couple more signings in midfield and defence and we can start dreaming...
 

Steve 007

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I agree that it’s hard to see us winning the league, especially after our start and there are still some things that haven’t clicked yet, like Greenwood’s form from last season and Martial. The last 10 have got better and better though. This is the good news though, apart from the two cup games and Liverpool our next 3 league games are Burnley (16th), Fulham and Sheffield Utd. Liverpool have in that time Southampton and Spurs and a trip to West Ham. We don’t need to be world class amazing if Liverpool have a terrible run.
 

Eric's-collar

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Very good game to watch, Villa a decent side and will do well this year, Bailly needs to stay fit, Maguire looks much better beside him, Pogba playing well now his move is on the horizon, Bruno needs a rest, thought he looked knackered, all in all vg xmas period for us, Credit to Ole, has taking some abuse, me included, some justified tbf but he has got us in the mix.
 

Craig Ward

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It needs to be said that United got a well deserved victory yesterday.

surely, Villa played very well , cudos to them. But we played better in every respect: more good chances, more shots, more shots on target...

That said, based on the performance, this Villa team might end up getting European competition spot, if they manage to maintain energy levels
Agree with this - it was a competitive game with chances for both but ultimately we'd have been mortified with anything but a win.

Should have been easier - again we miss easy chances. The Pogba one especially comes to mind.

But alarmingly - we again gave away too many presentable chances. On another game - Villa score 3 or 4. We are that open in the back - this seems worse when McTom and Fred play together. I won't go into the Pogba debate - he's a shambles defensively and all his good work going forward means nothing when he is playing as a CM and cannot track players or retain the ball. He's a great footballer but so naive positionally in a defensive sense. Villa's midfield of Luiz and McGinn looked so much better than ours - and Grealish looks twice the player Pogba is.

Martial - glad he got a goal but another laboured lazy display.

The positive is we won and spirits are high and there's scope for so much improvement.

We are on a good run and looking confident - despite some glaring frailties in the team.

Really hope we sign a CB and a CM/DM within the next 2 windows. We're not far off.
 

United58

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Great game and decent performance but let’s harbour reasonable expectations. Barring a Leicester like miracle, we aren’t winning the premier league this season.

Great attacking flow from us but there were collective lapses at the back that would easily be capitalised on by stronger teams. Having said that, individual moments of brilliance from Bailly and De Gea, helped us to 3 points. But that’s not something we can rely on consistently.

and...Maguire is painfully slow in his movement for a 80mil defender. Bailly however seems to have better potential at being a consistent feature of our rear-guard. A couple more signings in midfield and defence and we can start dreaming...
Absolutely; even consolidating 3rd while playing attacking football (like we had vs Villa) would be great for me.

But winning a title... :devil: I'm convinced Liverscum hit 21 before us, but if Ole hits one in the interim, I'm chipping away at his marble statue myself
 

justsomebloke

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More than that before pogba kicks his own leg he quite clearly clips the villa players leg, who is nowhere near the ball.

The more time that passes and moaning you hear the more I actually prefer VAR. We're at a point now where players and managers are moaning, stirring up fans, despite clear slow motion footage from several angles proving them wrong. It's insane.
I've been thinking the same thing. People discuss VAR decisions as if they weren't made by a group of people poring over screens with enough technology to determine if somebodys nosetip is ahead of the point of someone else's elbow. If a decision is made that contradicts their own after having watched four replays on tv, the reaction is "all this technology and they still can't get it right!". :)

It's quite fascinating really. Psychologists should study this.
 

Man of the Match

Eric Bailly image Eric Bailly 52% of 428 votes

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Score Predictions

196,12,26
  • Man Utd win
  • Aston Villa win
  • Draw

Detailed Results

  • 24% Man Utd 2:1 Aston Villa
  • 19% Man Utd 3:1 Aston Villa
  • 17% Man Utd 2:0 Aston Villa
  • 7% Man Utd 1:0 Aston Villa
  • 6% Man Utd 1:1 Aston Villa
  • 5% Man Utd 3:0 Aston Villa
  • 5% Man Utd 2:2 Aston Villa
  • 4% Man Utd 3:2 Aston Villa
  • 3% Man Utd 4:1 Aston Villa
  • 3% Man Utd 5:0 Aston Villa
  • 2% Man Utd 0:2 Aston Villa
  • 2% Man Utd 1:2 Aston Villa
  • 1% Man Utd 4:0 Aston Villa
  • 1% Man Utd 4:2 Aston Villa
  • 1% Man Utd 0:0 Aston Villa
  • 0% Man Utd 1:4 Aston Villa
  • 0% Man Utd 0:5 Aston Villa
  • 0% Man Utd 2:3 Aston Villa
  • 0% Man Utd 1:3 Aston Villa
Compiled from 234 predictions.
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Match Stats

  1. Man Utd
  2. Aston Villa
Possession
49% 51%
Shots
19 15
Shots on Target
9 5
Corners
5 10
Fouls
22 10

Referee

Michael Oliver