Game #5606

Season | 2020-21 |

Matchday | #18 |

League Match | #15 |
Manager Game | #102 |
Friday, 1 January 2021
Premier League | Away | Manchester United | Old Trafford | Behind closed doors | 

20-21 #18 6 Ezri Konsa
20-21 #18 6 Ezri Konsa

Friday, 1 January 2021 | Ezri Konsa keeps out Paul Pogba as Matty Cash and John McGinn look on primed and ready

20-21 #18 7 John McGinn
20-21 #18 7 John McGinn

Friday, 1 January 2021 | John McGinn, Tyrone Mings, Ollie Watkins and Matty Cash react to Manchester United celebrating their win like they've just won the Champions League

20-21 #18 4 Ollie Watkins
20-21 #18 4 Ollie Watkins

Friday, 1 January 2021 | Ollie Watkins puts the United defence under pressure once again

20-21 #18 6 Ezri Konsa
20-21 #18 6 Ezri Konsa

Friday, 1 January 2021 | Ezri Konsa keeps out Paul Pogba as Matty Cash and John McGinn look on primed and ready

1/7

Game Summary |

Manager | Dean Smith | 

KO | 20.00 |
Referee | Michael Oliver |

 HT Score | 0-1 |

 FT Result | Lost |
 FT Score | 1-2 |

Last 5 Games | DWWDL |

Scorer(s) | Bertrand Traoré | 58' |

Assists | Jack Grealish | 58' |

League Position | 6th | -1 |

Team News |

Dean Smith names an unchanged team from the side that drew at Chelsea in the previous game with one exception - the returning Tyrone Mings replacing Kortney Hause. Midfielder Ross Barkley and winger Trézéguet miss out once again due to hamstring injuries. 

Line Up |

GK Emiliano Martínez | 

RB Matty Cash |

CB Tyrone Mings |

CB Ezri Konsa |

LB Matt Targett | 

M John McGinn | 

M Douglas Luiz |

M Jack Grealish | ASSIST | 58' |

W Bertrand Traoré | GOAL | 58' | SUB OFF | 79' |

W Anwar El Ghazi | SUB OFF | 84' |

CF Ollie Watkins |

Substitutes |

M Jacob Ramsey for W Bertrand Traoré | 79' |

CF Keinan Davis for W Anwar El Ghazi | 84' |

 

Unused Substitutes |

GK Tom Heaton

LB Neil Taylor

CB Kortney Hause

RB Ahmed Elmohamady

RB Frédéric Guilbert

M Marvelous Nakamba

M Conor Hourihane

Cards |

None

Match Stats |

Possession F | 51%
Possession A | 49%
Shots F | 14
Shots A | 19
Shots on Target F | 5
Shots on Target A | 9
Corners F | 10
Corners A | 5
Fouls F | 10

Fouls A | 22

Team Stats |

Starting XI Average Age | 25.31 | 

Oldest Player | GK Emiliano Martínez | 28.35 |

Youngest Player | M Douglas Luiz | 22.67 |  

Not Selected |

GK Lovre Kalinić

GK Jed Steer

CB Björn Engels

Unavailable |

Injury | 3 |

CF Wesley | Knee, ACL 1 Jan 20 - 1 Jan 21 |

M Ross Barkley | Hamstring, 30 Nov 20 - 1 Jan 21 |

W Trézéguet | Hamstring, 17 Dec 20 - 1 Jan 21 |

Loaned Out | 2 |

W Indiana Vassilev | Burton Albion | 17 Sep 20 - 31 May 21 |

CF Cameron Archer | Solihull Moors | 2 Oct 20 - 3 Jan 21 |

Unregistered | 1 |

M Henri Lansbury |

On this day 1 January 2021

Bertrand Traoré scores his third goal in 4 games

Match Report

*Villa manager Dean Smith*

*Friday, 1 January 2021*

"I wasn't happy with the first half. We were miles off the levels where we have been. It felt like a testimonial pace then they deservedly had the lead at half time. I told the players we needed to be upping our levels.

"I asked for more at half-time and we deserved to get back in the game. Our goalkeeper has had to make some good saves but they were all outside the box.

"We competed a lot better [in the second half], showed more quality and created chances. I'd take the second half performance all day long. A dubious penalty has lost us the game.

"I thought it was a penalty at the time, but I looked at it after the game and saw he tripped himself. I don't see why Michael [Oliver] couldn't have looked at it. That's what VAR is for isn't it? He's tripped himself up. There's margins in football. I've seen it again, and I don't think it's a penalty.

"My view was it was a penalty from where I was stood. I thought Douglas Luiz got too tight with Paul Pogba but then I've just gone in and seen it back and I think he's just tripped himself up. I think there's enough doubt there to send the referee over to the screen.

"We know we're on a good journey at the moment. We believe we've got five key arrivals to go with the players who are Premier League ready now.

"This is only our second season in the division, but competing here and against Liverpool and Arsenal shows our journey is going well so far."

"We came here last season and had a good go. It was a tough season. We felt we would be better this season. When you look at our performances and results, it shows we are very competitive in this league now which is what we wanted it to be."

*Villa right back Matty Cash*

*Friday, 1 January 2021*

"Manchester United are a top side and play some good football but we had our chances to score. A draw would have been a fair result but we pushed until the end like we have all season and were unlucky not to get one.

"They are hard to break down and on the counter-attack are really good. We were unfortunate. All season we have played some good stuff and picked good results up away from home.

"The game was in their hands a little in the first half so we said we would fight until the end. It fell to me [at the end] and I put my foot through it but it was a good save."

*Douglas Luiz: Aston Villa midfielder criticises Man Utd penalty decision*

*Saturday, 2 January 2021*

Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz says he "can't believe" Manchester United were awarded a penalty in their 2-1 win over his side on Friday.

Luiz was adjudged to have fouled Paul Pogba in the second half, with Bruno Fernades then converting from the spot.

Villa manager Dean Smith claimed after the match that Pogba had tripped himself.

"I always support fairer football, with fewer mistakes, but then I stop and see these types of moves," Luiz said.

The penalty decision came shortly after Villa had equalised at Old Trafford.

Luiz posted the video of the foul on Pogba on Twitter, writing: "If we have VAR to help, let's start using it correctly.

 

"These mistakes can define the future of clubs."

 

Smith also said that the video assistant referee should have asked on-pitch official Michael Oliver to review his decision.

 

"I thought it was a penalty at the time, but I looked at it after the game and saw he tripped himself. I don't think it's a penalty," he added.

 

The loss was Villa's first defeat in six matches, while Manchester United moved level on points with league leaders Liverpool.

*BBC Sport*

*Friday, 1 January 2021*

Manchester United moved level on points with Premier League leaders Liverpool as a Bruno Fernandes penalty saw off stubborn Aston Villa.

Fernandes drilled his 11th league goal this season - and his fifth from the spot - into the bottom corner to punish Douglas Luiz's clip on Paul Pogba and hand United an eighth win in 10 games.

Bertrand Traore's calm finish underneath David de Gea had deservedly drawn Villa level, cancelling out Anthony Martial's stooping first-half header for the hosts.

 

But Fernandes' penalty extended United's hold over Villa - they have now won 32 and lost just one of the past 44 league meetings between the sides - and leaves Liverpool top only by virtue of goal difference.

 

The spot-kick award angered Aston Villa boss Dean Smith who claimed Pogba "tripped himself" and that the video assistant referee should have asked on-pitch official Michael Oliver to review his decision.

 

"I don't see why Michael couldn't have looked at it. That's what VAR is for isn't it?" Smith told BBC Sport.

 

"I thought it was a penalty at the time, but I looked at it after the game and saw he tripped himself. I don't think it's a penalty.

 

"I think there's enough doubt there to send the referee over to the screen."

 

Smith's side were perhaps unfortunate not to have left Old Trafford with at least a point from a thoroughly entertaining game but they also needed several fine saves from Emiliano Martinez to keep them in it.

 

After Fernandes' spot-kick put United back in front, Martinez superbly tipped a stinging 25-yarder from the Portuguese on to the crossbar as well as denying Martial a second.

 

Martinez's counterpart David de Gea was just as busy, with a late save from Matty Cash's long-range strike preserving the points, not long after Tyrone Mings had headed wide a glorious chance to level.

 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side have displayed their ability to grind out points at Old Trafford in recent weeks, as evidenced in 1-0 home wins over both West Bromwich Albion and Wolves.

 

But they have also shown a willingness to go toe-to-toe with teams who are happy to open up the game and, while this was not quite the shootout of the 6-2 win over Leeds, it was just as easy on the eye.

 

A number of fluid first-half moves produced chances before Martial's opener as the France forward saw a curler tipped over by Martinez, while Fernandes and Wan-Bissaka were narrowly off target with similar efforts.

 

Martial stole between Mings and Ezri Konsa to nod the Red Devils ahead from Wan-Bissaka's inviting cross for only his second league goal of the season on his return to Solskjaer's starting line-up.

 

While Luiz was unfortunate to be penalised for what might have been an accidental clip on Pogba, there was enough contact for the penalty to be given and Fernandes continued his excellent record from the spot.

 

United were nine points behind Liverpool after a 1-0 defeat by Arsenal at Old Trafford on 1 November but have made up that gap in just two months to set an intriguing title race into motion.

 

A minute's silence before the game paid tribute to former boss Tommy Docherty, who famously prevented Liverpool claiming the treble by leading United to an FA Cup win over the Reds in 1977.

 

And while talk of foiling a second successive Liverpool title might be premature, moving alongside them at the Premier League's summit will give Solskjaer's side even more confidence as they eye up a trip to Anfield on 17 January.

 

Villa impressive even in defeat

 

While Villa were ultimately outgunned by their hosts, their brave display was further evidence of the progress Smith's side have made this season.

They held their own in the first half, causing United a number of problems down the flanks, with playmaker Jack Grealish prompting and probing to show why the hosts have long considered a move for the Villa captain.

But they were even more impressive in the early stages of the second period, Grealish crossing for an Ollie Watkins header that was saved by De Gea before collecting a quick free-kick and finding Traore to tuck home the equaliser.

 

Luiz's foul on Pogba came with Villa very much in the ascendancy and while they then had to ride a storm the visitors still came close to pinching a point as Mings beat fellow England centre-half Harry Maguire to a free-kick only to nod wide.

 

With Ross Barkley's return from a hamstring injury imminent, this performance should keep Villa optimistic even if defeat halted a five-game unbeaten run and saw them slip a place to sixth, behind Chelsea on goal difference.

 

And while their rotten record at Old Trafford continues - just one win in 34 visits since 1983, which came courtesy of a Gabriel Agbonlahor header in 2009 - they have still only conceded five times in eight away games this campaign.

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith told BBC Sport: "I wasn't happy with the first half. We were miles off the levels where we have been. It felt like a testimonial pace then they deservedly had the lead at half-time. I told the players we needed to be upping our levels.

 

"We competed a lot better [in the second half], showed more quality and created chances. I'd take the second-half performance all day long. A dubious penalty has lost us the game.

"When you look at our performances and results, it shows we are very competitive in this league now, which is what we wanted it to be."

*Sky Sports*

Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville

“We saw a really good Villa side. After watching Villa last season, this is a completely different proposition."

“They were really good in the game and contributed, as both teams did, to a brilliant game of football. It was end to end and I was massively impressed with Villa."

“Ollie Watkins up front, if that gets that little turn of luck and they start going in for him, they could be even more dangerous."

“They look really good in defence, really good in midfield, good in possession. McGinn was outstanding and Grealish looks a different level. We knew he had the talent and potential, but talent and potential has to go on and deliver."

“The numbers these lads are achieving – the Messi, the Salahs, the Ronaldos, the Harry Kanes – their assists and goals are off the scale."

“As a number 10, if you’re not assisting goals and scoring goals, you’re going to be seen as a luxury, style over substance, which is what was levelled at him [Grealish] a year or so ago. It’s not like that anymore, it was a really top performance from him on Friday night."

“United had to be at full pelt to win that game and get a bit of good fortune along the way. It was a big, big win for United.”