Aston Villa 0 - 1 United
Darmian Smalling Blind Shaw
Mata Depay(Young) Januzaj(Herrera)
|Januzaj won us the game, great to see him back in the side|
This game was pretty much similar to the one vs. Tottenham. We were poor going forward but defended brilliantly. Again, one of our central defenders, Blind, was the Man of the Match and the next best player on the pitch was his central defence partner, Chris Smalling. There were a few worrying signs but this team is bound to improve and I still expect an attacking player to join our side before the end of the transfer window.
I was quite surprised to see Januzaj start the game, especially given the fact that Young wasn't half bad against Spurs. Van Gaal was rewarded for this decision as Adnan scored a wonderful goal after receiving a brilliant pass from Mata, cutting inside while completely fooling one of Villa's defenders and then placing the ball to the far right of goal. The goal had excellence written all over it and was worthy of winning today's football game. That pass by Mata though! Brill.
Speaking of Mata; he made another world class pass to Memphis Depay who really should have scored from a very ideal position. Despite the pass that helped us score our first and another pass that should have made us seal the game, I think Juan had a bit of a mixed match. He did slow us down when attacking and he did get caught out in possession a couple times at the back. I'm not too convinced he should be played out wide but then again, what do I know about football?! Mata was slightly better when Herrera was on the pitch.
Schneiderlin is doing exactly what we need him to do and what we missed dearly last year. He intercepted the ball better than anyone else although his passing wasn't the best. He did look a tad better when Basti was on the field. The German just oozes class. When he got on for the unusually quiet Carrick, he managed to control proceeding without looking to be making much effort. How I wish he came to United three years ago!
Now, our defence. Excellent. It's been a while since I've seen a Manchester United back four that actually look like a unit. Do not underestimate Smalling's organisation skills back there. Blind's shift to a central defender is looking like a shrew move by van Gaal. Shaw looks sharp and he's set to have a very good season. And Darmian, well I'm absolutely in love with him. He could have conceded a penalty yes, but was near perfect in everything he did throughout the game. Even his fouls were intelligent and needed to be done. What a buy! Romero is a tad hesitant when pressed but I though he did well in the few instances when he had to do something. Villa didn't really test him.
Depay? Full of confidence, great movement but still miles from being the finished product. He'll blossom when he finds his feet in the Premier League and then watch him go! He'll come good. Rooney? Poor. Very poor. His touch betrayed him and looked very slow. Had a great chance at the end of the game but his heavy touch sent the ball to far wide and Villa's defenders recovered. We'll be in trouble if Rooney does not rediscover his old self, especially given that we don't really have any cover up front.
Two games. 6 points. 2 clean sheets. Let's get the play-off over with and get ourselves back in a competition our club truly deserves to be gracing year in year out. Come on United!