Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba are loving life.
Heck, all of Manchester United is feeling mighty good after the Red Devils won yet another game with ease, this one a 3-0 defeat of Aston Villa at Villa Park on Thursday.
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Fernandes had a goal and an assist, joining Mason Greenwood and Pogba on the score sheet in a cruise past the relegation-threatened Villans.
United moves six points ahead of sixth-place Wolves and within a point of fourth-place Leicester City. The two sides meet to finish the Premier League season, and the Red Devils will meet Southampton, Crystal Palace, and West Ham before that.
Villa is four points behind safety and still meets Palace, Everton, Arsenal, and West Ham.
Three things we learned
1. Bruno and Pogba unfair: The are systems that will make Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba work a whole lot harder than what’s demanded by Aston Villa, of course, but don’t let that deter you from witnessing the special combination play between the Portuguese midfielder and his World Cup-winning French teammate. Fernandes had a goal and an assist, the latter a training ground routine that Pogba scored with class, and United looks a new team. No team has benefited more from the break than United.
2. He’s got the look: The stories out of the Manchester United training ground have been coming for years and we’re now getting an eyeful of what they’ve been promising about Mason Greenwood. The 18-year-old strikes a ball like it’s his job, or even better like he’s an artisan. Few players on earth possess a way about them that the ball’s path off their foot just looks different. His strike to beat Pepe Reina was absolutely marvelous and we can’t wait to see what he does in the future.
18 – Mason Greenwood is the fourth player aged 18 or younger to score in three consecutive Premier League appearances after Danny Cadamarteri (1997), Michael Owen (1997 & 1998) and Francis Jeffers (1999). Courage.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) July 9, 2020
3. Villa through the ugly stretch (hopefully): Dean Smith’s men have tried to escape the drop zone by getting points against a rough stretch of opponents and it has not gone well. Draws against Sheffield United and Newcastle have been joined by losses to Chelsea, Wolves, Liverpool, and now Manchester United. Villa finds itself four points adrift with four opponents to play: Palace, Everton, Arsenal, and West Ham. There are points there. Will Villa take them?
Man of the Match:
Aston Villa – Manchester United recap
Jack Grealish missed a back-post chance to give the hosts an early lead, as United was a bit uneven over the opening 20 minutes.
VAR helped United to a penalty soon after that, won and converted by Fernandes off Ezri Konsa.
United had a chance to double the lead in the 36th minute when Mason Greenwood got past Douglas Luiz to pump a hard shot saved by Pepe Reina.
Fernandes missed with a bullet header in the 45th minute off a Luke Shaw cross, but United scored just before halftime when Greenwood took an Anthony Martial layoff and blasted a shot past Reina. He has such a sweet stroke.
Pogba made it 3-0 with a tremendous strike in the 58th minute, Fernandes spotting the Frenchman above the arc and Villa giving him ages to address the ball.
Martial smashed the ball off the bottom of the bar at the hour mark, United threatening to put a cartoonish figure on the scoreboard..Follow @NicholasMendola