Ratings: Fernandes was top notch, De Gea and Elanga impressive; Sancho needs to work harder to start but United need to find a way to avert the errors

Manchester United drew 2-2 with Aston Villa at Villa Park in the Premier League. Bruno Fernandes opened the scoring for United in the sixth minute of the match with Villa’s goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez making a howler with the ball going through his legs. Fernandes put United 2-0 up in the 67th minute of the match with United crossing at the time. However, Jacob Ramsey got a goal back in the 77th minute with Philippe Coutinho equalising five minutes later. United nor Villa were able to find a winner to take all three points. It was better for United, but simple mistakes cost them once again.

United started in fine fettle against Villa, seemingly discovering something different since the two teams last met five days ago. Rangnick’s side pressed Villa from the start, winning a free-kick which Alex Telles took, taping the ball slightly with Bruno Fernandes then running into the box with the ball and shooting towards the keeper, who had an absolute howler with the ball ending up going into the back of the net, just like Massimo Taibi. Villa did not like the goal going in with the keeper upset after what happened. Mason Greenwood, Anthony Elanga and Edinson Cavani all looked in good form and up for the challenge.

United had seven shots on goal in the first half, four of those on target, scoring one goal, also having 55% of the ball. Villa, having just 45% of the ball, had just four shots on goal, three of which were on target with David De Gea once again stepping up to make the difference for Unite with his saves. Lucas Digne, on loan from Everton was the first player to be booked, seeing yellow in the 27th minute of the match – his fifth of the season but he will not face suspension as it was his first for Villa. Nemanja Matic saw yellow four minutes later (31) and will need to watch himself in the second half of the match.

United played a hard-fought 45 minute at Villa Park, going into the break in the lead with a lot of work to be done. Villa will be seeking to at least get an equaliser, knowing what they did against United on Monday evening, despite two goals being ruled out for a foul and an offside. Villa fans will be hoping to see Philippe Coutinho at some point in the second half, as the commentary team kept talking about as if he was some kind of superstar who has been pulling it out of the bag for the past three years. Villa have done well trying to get back into the match during the first half, but it just did not happen for them.

At the start of the second half, Villa made their first substitution after Ezri Konsa could not continue after suffering an injury in the first half. He was replaced by Kourtney Hause in the 46th minute of the match. United had done some good work at the start of the second half, mostly attacking play but they were unable to double their lead, which I feel is something they must do in order to get the win in this match, which is much-needed. In the 67th minute of the match, after a Villa error, Fred got the ball, ran towards the goal before playing it to Fernandes, who scored his second of the match and seventh of the season.

In the minutes before Fernandes scored the second goal of the match, he was fouled by Douglas Luis, who appeared to step on him, whether an accident or not, we shall see. The Portuguese magnifico seemed to be in some pain as he went off for treatment. Of course, he got his own back by scoring minutes later, putting United 2-0 up and with a great chance of winning this match. Villa brought Coutinho on in the 68th minute, replacing Morgan Sansom who looked dejected on the bench after coming off. Villa had some positive periods but they were still very much out of the match until Jacob Ramsey got a goal back in the 77th minute.

Rangnick made his first substitution in the 78th minute with Jadon Sancho replacing Anthony Elanga, who was a largely positive presence in the team against Villa. Just a minute before, Villa made their third substitution with Carney Chukwuemeka replacing Danny Ings, whose impact was not the best against United this time. Coutinho scored the equaliser for Villa in the 82nd minute of the match, unmarked running towards the goal. Raphaël Varane tried to cut the cross out but could not reach it before it connected with the Brazilian. De Gea was unable to make the save. United had more work to do in order to win this match.

Rangnick made a late double substitution in the 89th minute with Donny van de Beek and Jesse Lingard replacing Greenwood and Fernandes. There were four minutes added at the end of the match with United needing a goal to win the match. That goal never came but looking at the usual suspects on Twitter, who were so sure that a change of manager would change everything for United, it is quite satisfying watching them come up with excuse after excuse to avert them from any kind of responsibility for their clearly wrong opinions on everything. United will face Brentford on Wednesday, which is a must win match.

[player_ratings id=”114150″]

Goals: Jacob Ramsey 77′, Philippe Coutinho 82′; Bruno Fernandes 6′, 67′

Assists: Philippe Coutinho 77′, Jacob Ramsey 82′; Alex Telles 6′, Fred 67′

Manchester United: De Gea; Dalot, Lindelof, Varane, Telles; Matic, Fred; Greenwood (Van de Beek 89′), Fernandes (Lingard 89′), Elanga (Sancho 78′); Cavani

Substitutes Not Used: Heaton, Henderson; Jones, Maguire; Mata

Bookings: Lucas Digne 27′; Nemanja Matic 31′, Bruno Fernandes 46′

Written by John Walker

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About editor 2163 Articles
I support Manchester United, the greatest English football team to have ever existed. Bruno Fernandes is the latest in a long line of players with great ability to play for the club. I idolised Bryan Robson, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, and Eric Cantona growing up.