Ratings: Garnacho & Martinez can hold their heads high; van de Beek, Lindelof & Ronaldo were terrible in Villa defeat

United's forwards need severe improvement if they are to compete this season

Manchester United were beaten 3-1 by Aston Villa at Villa Park. Leon Bailey struck first with Lucas Digne doubling Villa’s lead inside 11 minutes. Luke Shaw forced a Jacob Ramsey own goal at the end of the first half. Ramsey then struck with Villa’s third at the start of the second half. A terrible day for United’s forwards.

United did not start so well at Villa Park. The home side opened the scoring in the seventh minute of the match after Jacob Ramsey played the ball into Leon Bailey who scored the opening goal of the match. United were terrible defensively on that attack and should be a lot better.

Just three minutes later, United were under another attack with Lisandro Martinez making an error, losing the ball but getting it back under control. Villa then had possession again with Luke Shaw sliding in with a challenge, for which he was shown a yellow card. Villa had a free-kick.

Lucas Digne took the set piece, beating David De Gea to put his side 2-0 op in the opening 11 minute of the match. What a terrible match this has become for United. Casemiro tried a through ball into Cristiano Ronaldo in the 13th minute but the Portuguese forward was offside.

Villa then had two chances on goal through Emiliano Buendía and Matty Cash in the 16th and 17th minute of the match but both was off target. Casemiro then had United’s first effort on goal, which was blocked in the 20th minute. Marcus Rashford was caught offside in the 26th minute.

Both Alejandro Garnacho and Ronaldo had efforts on goal in the 34th minute of the match and both attempts drew saves from Emiliano Martinez. Bailey was booked for a challenge in the 42nd minute of the match. United then won two corners as they tried to get back into the match.

Nothing came from the corners but in the last minute of the half, United were on the attack trying to get a goal. The ball was passed out of the box to Luke Shaw, it looked like he was trying to cross into Ronaldo at the far post and the ball deflected off Jacob Ramsey for a goal.

United were back in the game. The pushed Villa until the whistle was blown and will have a big match to play in the second half as they look to get on level terms and push for the victory at Villa Park. Erik ten Hag may need to make some changes during the break to settle his side.

There were no substitutions for either side at the start of the second half. Bailey started well for Villa in the second half, having a shot on goal in the 46th minute which was saved by De Gea. Ramsey scored Villa’s third goal of the game in the 49th minute though with United out of it.

Ronaldo missed a chance on goal in the 53rd minute of the match, which is the story of his season. Martínez tried a through ball into Donny van de Beek in the 58th minute but the Dutchman was caught offside. Ronaldo and Tyrone Mings were booked in the 61st minute for a tussle.

Ten Hag made a triple substitution in the 65th minute with Tyrell Malacia, Anthony Elanga and Anthony Martial replacing Shaw, van de Beek and Garnacho. Elanga had a chance on goal with a header in the 67th minute, receiving a head injury in that chance causing a stoppage in the match.

Villa made their first substitution in the 70th minute of the match with John McGinn replacing Bailey – tasked with trying to keep the 3-1 lead they have fought well for in this match. United needed a miracle at this point to get back into this match. They have been terrible in this match.

Diogo Dalot was booked in the 72nd minute of the match, so will be suspended for the clash with Fulham next weekend. Ronaldo saw a shot blocked a minute later. United needed to do so much better in this match, which has been a disaster for United at a time where they should be better.

Villa made a triple substitution in the 79th minute; Boubacar Kamara, Danny Ings and Ashley Young replaced Ollie Watkins, Emiliano Buendia and Digne. Emiliano Martínez was booked in the 88th minute of the match. Morgan Sanson replaced Leander Dendoncker in the 90th minute.

United were well out of chances for this match and the writing should be on the wall that the attacking players have not been good enough so far this season. United have scored 18 goals in the Premier League this season – the same amount as Erling Haaland has scored for Manchester City.

Ten Hag and the United board will need to fix these problems as there are too many players who are not fulfilling their chances which is holding United back. That match today was a terrible performance from United today and was not good enough at all. Improvement is needed.

Player Ratings

David De Gea: The Spaniard was well beaten for all three goals that he conceded, which came as a shock after three clean sheets in a row for United and six in their last seven matches. It could be a good reason to give Martin Dubravka his debut on Thursday. ★★★★★

Diogo Dalot: I would not say he was on the receiving end of much against Villa but it was a massive underperformance from him. Perhaps he has been used too much so far this season and needs a rest. He could have created something in the second half too, but chose not to. ★★★★★

Victor Lindelof: It was a bad performance from the Swede. Harry Maguire should have started. I found him to be lacking confidence and he was out of place ahead of the opening goal. I don’t think he likes teams that press against his defending. Time to buckle up I think. ★★★

Lisandro Martinez: The Argentinian had to cover for Victor Lindelof time and time again. A change to the defence should have been made after the first goal, not to mention the second. Gained credit for himself again as he did as much as he could to avert the damage. ★★★★★★

Luke Shaw: The England left-back conceded the free-kick that Lucas Digne doubled Villa’s lead. Got United back into the match with a goal, although it was deflected and awarded as an own goal for Jacob Ramsey. Saw himself replaced by Tyrell Malacia in the second half. ★★★★★

Casemiro: He was consistent in the first half – one of a handful of his teammates to be in the same boat. In the second half, he was powerless as United attacking players were so off the pace it was embarrassing. I am sure there will be discussions about this result. ★★★★★

Christian Eriksen: Perhaps needs a break as he was out of sorts for this match. If this match was a few weeks ago, Eriksen was in good form and running the midfield with Casemiro. Should be given a break this week to get ready for Fulham on Sunday. Still a top signing. ★★★★★

Marcus Rashford: His form as disappeared. He was terrible on the right. Should have moved to the left when Anthony Elanga came on, or even played in the number ten role. He needs to become effective again as attacking players not able to score is a joke. ★★★★

Donny van de Beek: Not sure how he started after that bad performance on Thursday. That carried on today. He really is a player out of his depth at United. I think his time is over if clubs are interested in buying him. I’m not sure what he did but he was right replaced by Martial. ★★★

Alejandro Garnacho: Kept his place in the team following his first goal for the club on Thursday evening. Tried to inspire United into getting back into the match but it was not working for him. He played well but could not shine through at Villa Park. Replaced by Elanga. ★★★★★★

Cristiano Ronaldo: In terms of finishing, if Ronaldo is not offside, he’s off target. A prolific goalscorer seems to have lost his ability this season. Is it age or is there a bigger underlying issue. All the greats lose it at some point. It is in fits and starts for him though. ★★★


Tyrell Malacia: Replaced Shaw 65′. I don’t think he did much better than Luke Shaw did during his appearance but the result was not his fault. He has not played many minutes recently but did at least try to get United forward. It was not meant to be though. ★★★★★

Anthony Elanga: Replaced Garnacho 65′. Created a chance on goal with a header but suffered a head injury in that chance too, which resulted in treatment. United were so far out of the match he was never going to rise to the occasion as other than pace, has has nothing. ★★★★★

Anthony Martial: Replaced van de Beek 65′. Made another return from injury – how long before the next? In terms of creating something, United were so far out of the match I noticed nothing. He needs to find his fitness and form, quickly to save United’s season. ★★★★★

Match Information

Goals: Leon Bailey 7′, Lucas Digne 11′, Jacob Ramsey 49′; Jacob Ramsey o/g 45′

Assists: Jacob Ramsey 7′, Ollie Watkins 49′

Manchester United: De Gea; Dalot, Lindelof, Martinez, Shaw (Malacia 65′); Casemiro, Eriksen; Rashford, van de Beek (Martial 65′), Garnacho (Elanga 65′); Ronaldo

Substitutes Not Used: Dubravka; Maguire; Fred, Pellistri, McTominay; Shoretire

Bookings: Leon Bailey 42′, Tyrone Mings 61′, Emiliano Martinez 88′; Luke Shaw 10′, Cristiano Ronaldo 61′, Diogo Dalot 73′

Written by John Walker

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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.