3️⃣ points as Man Utd strengthen title ambitions with Aston Villa win

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OneFootball

Phil Costa

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It was an eventful 90 minutes after Manchester United edged past Aston Villa 2-1 at Old Trafford on Friday.

Goals from Anthony Martial and Bruno Fernandes were enough to cancel out an equaliser from Bertrand Traoré.

Premier League

Manchester United
Aston Villa

Here are three points we took from the game …


Title talk

As Andy Tate famously said on Full Time Devils in 2014, “second half of the season … we’re going on a title charge” – it may have been seven years late but here we are.

Manchester United are level on points with Liverpool after 16 games and after eight wins in their last 10 Premier League games, talk of the title is no laughing matter.

Their attacking firepower is no secret with Anthony Martial, Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford never afraid to fire shots off, plus their counter attacking threat.

But with a few defensive tweaks – inspired by the madness of Eric Bailly – they look a well rounded side who are showing no signs of slowing down. It’s happening.


Hello Paul

For various reasons, Paul Pogba is one of the most divisive players at Manchester United. His performance against Villa showed that he still has plenty to offer.

The French midfielder completed 82% of his passes, made six ball recoveries, three tackles, three interceptions and ended up winning the decisive second half penalty.

It’s not always easy to fit Pogba into your side, but he showed defensive maturity, responsibility in attacking areas and lead by example during tough moments.

His relationship with Mino Raiola will always be a troublesome one. It’s easy to forget what a good player he is (when he wants to be).


Not going anywhere

Aston Villa leave Old Trafford with nothing after tasting defeat, but this performance was just another example of their impressive development this season.

They were fearless against one of the best sides in Europe and caused serious panic late on as United held onto their victory.

Heading into the new year, Villa sit sixth having beaten Arsenal and Liverpool, plus drawing against Chelsea.

Make no mistake; this is no purple patch. Dean Smith has done remarkably well to turn things around and we’re expecting them to compete for a top six finish.