Mancheter United 2-1 Aston Villa: 3 Talking Points From the New Year’s Day Clash

Manchester United's Paul Pogba shakes hands with Bruno Fernandes before the match.

Pool via REUTERS/Phil Noble

2021 started off the brilliant way for Manchester United as they were able to cap off an excellent 2-1 win over Aston Villa at Old Trafford. The Red Devils went ahead first thanks to an excellent header from Anthony Martial who made the most out of a sublime Aaron Wan-Bissaka pass.

However, the away side were able to pull one back when Bertrand Traore netted a goal in the second half. Nevertheless, when Paul Pogba was brought down inside the box minutes later, Bruno Fernandes made no mistake in converting it into a winner.


1. Great Defensive Display

In what had become a rarity for much of the campaign, Ole Gunnar Solskjær fielded an outstanding defense. David De Gea was exceptional for much of the game, despite conceding the lone goal as the Spaniard made several momentous saves. Likewise, Eric Bailly made all the difference in the end with his blocks and clearances with Harry Maguire fielding a decent game too.

At full-back, both Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw did the needful, displaying a total-football ethos. More of the same, please.


2. Paul Pogba’s Resurgence

That Pogba has been gaining back form has been in little doubt for a while now. However, the Frenchman truly was in splendid display at the Theatre of Dreams, putting in excellent numbers. Apart from his crucial presence inside the box that led to the penalty, Pogba also attempted the most passes amongst all his teammates, with 48 to his name.

His shot-taking was back to excellent and Solskjær and company will now be expecting more from him going forward.


Man Utd Players Beautiful Reaction To Eric Bailly’s Goal-Saving Defending


3. Things Looking Up

United have now notched 8 wins in their last 10 games. Their 10 Premier League wins are the highest of any team on the table and only goal difference separates them from leaders Liverpool.

Simply put, the Norwegian gaffer can now start dreaming and laying the groundwork for a solid title challenge. However, immediately ahead they need to fend off Manchester City in a derby encounter on Thursday in the semi-final of the Carabao Cup.