Man Utd started the new year with a win and joined Liverpool on top of the Premier League table with 33 points in 16 games.
The home side’s lead via Anthony Martial in the first-half was cancelled out by former Chelsea winger Bertrand Traore in the second-half of the game. Nonetheless, like most title challenging teams, the Red Devils managed to step up again and found the net through Bruno Fernandes’ penalty in the 61st minute.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side also showed defensive resilience against the Jack Grealish-led Aston Villa, who have consistently shown this season that they are capable of coming from behind and get a result against any side in the league.
The Red Devils’ back four along with goalkeeper David de Gea were all brilliant, but Eric Bailly was tonight’s star of the match.
The Ivorian centre-back, who started his fourth consecutive match for the first time since September 2017, was impressive throughout the game and his block at the end saved all three points for Man Utd.
The importance of that last-minute heroics can perhaps be measured by the reaction of his cheering teammates, who surrounded him after the full-time whistle.
— utdreport (@utdreport) January 1, 2021
Some harsh critics might mistake this as over the top celebration, but moments like these also hint at the togetherness the Norwegian boss has managed to cultivate amongst his players.
Next up for the Red Devils is a Manchester derby in the semi-final of the Carabao Cup, and in absence of Victor Lindelof, Solskjaer will hope for a similar contribution from Eric Bailly.