Game #5606

2020-21

Position:

8th (-3)

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Premier League

Manchester United

Old Trafford

Attendance: Behind closed doors (COVID-19)

Friday, 1 January 2021

New Year, same old stitch up. Villa, Referee, Manchester United = Penalty.

Manchester United

2-1

Aston Villa

Scorer(s) | Bertrand Traoré | 58' |

Assist(s) | Jack Grealish | 58' |

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AT A GLANCE

Game #5606

Season | 2020-21 |
Matchday | #18 |
League Match | #15 |
Manager Game | #102 |
Friday, 1 January 2021

MATCH SUMMARY

Manager | Dean Smith |
KO | 8.00pm |
Referee | Michael Oliver |
HT Score | 0-1 |
FT Result | Lost |
FT Score | 1-2 |
Last 5 Games | DWWDL |
League Position | 6th | -1 |

TEAM STATS

Team Cost:
| £149m |

Starting XI Average Age:
| 25.31 |

Oldest Player:
GK Emiliano Martínez | 28.35 |

Youngest Player:
M Douglas Luiz | 22.67 |

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.

UNAVAILABLE

Not Selected | 3 |
GK Jed Steer
GK Lovre Kalinić
CB Björn Engels

Injury | 3 |
Wesley | Knee, ACL 1 Jan 20 - 1 Jan 21 |
Ross Barkley | Hamstring, 30 Nov 20 - 1 Jan 21 |
Trézéguet | Hamstring, 17 Dec 20 - 1 Jan 21 |

Unregistered | 1 |
M Henri Lansbury

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

MATCH PROGRAMME

LEAGUE TABLE

STARTING 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 |
W Bertrand Traoré |
W Anwar El Ghazi |
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

THE OPPOSITION

GK David De Gea, CB Eric Bailly, CB Harry Maguire, LB Luke Shaw, RB Aaron Wan-Bissaka, M Paul Pogba, M Fred (CB Axel Tuanzebe (ex)), M Bruno Fernandes (g) (W Daniel James), M Scott McTominay (M Nemanja Matić), CF Anthony Martial (g), CF Marcus Rashford.

Manager: Ole Gunnar Solskjær.
Team Cost: £532.80m
Homegrown players: 3

ex: Also played for the Villa

g: Scored

s/o: Sent off

s-: Sub off; s+: Sub on

Bertrand Traoré celebrates hitting Villa's equaliser, 1 January 2021.jpg

https://www.premierleague.com/match/59061

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https://www.premierleague.com/match/59061

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MATCH TIMELINE

40’ Goal, 0-1, (Manchester United)
HT Manchester United 1-0 Aston Villa
58’ Goal, 1-1, Bertrand Traoré, Assist by Jack Grealish
61’ Goal, 1-2, (Manchester United, pen)
79’ Sub off, W Bertrand Traoré, Sub on, M Jacob Ramsey
84’ Sub off, W Anwar El Ghazi, Sub on, CF Keinan Davis
FT Manchester United 2-1 Aston Villa

ON THIS DAY

Bertrand Traoré scores his third goal in 4 games

QUOTES

Post Match
*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."
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​*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."
---
​*Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz*
*Friday, 1 January 2021*

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

“If we have VAR to help, let's start using it correctly.

"These mistakes can define the future of clubs."
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*Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville*
*Friday, 1 January 2021*

“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.”
---

VIDEO

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*BBC Sport*
*Friday, 1 January 2021*

"Smith's side were perhaps unfortunate not to have left Old Trafford with at least a point from a thoroughly entertaining game."

*BBC Sport*
*Friday, 1 January 2021*

MATCH REPORT

MATCH REPORTS

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​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."
---

​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."
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