Aston Villa – Manchester United looked like being an upset win for the hosts, but the Red Devils sealed yet another comeback win as Manchester City’s wait to seal the Premier League title goes on.
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Bertrand Traore put Villa 1-0 up with a fine strike in the first half, as Man City were 45 minutes away from winning the title. Then Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s comeback kings do what they do best.
Bruno Fernandes scored a penalty, Mason Greenwood slotted home and Edinson Cavani added a clincher late on as Ollie Watkins was sent off to rub further salt into Villa’s win.
With the win United move on to 70 points for the season and sit in second place. They are 10 points behind City, but have a game in-hand. Villa remain on 48 points.
Three things we learned: Aston Villa – Manchester United
1. Comeback kings keep City waiting: It looked like United could hand City the title by slipping up at Villa, but they were a little unlucky to go behind. Shaw and Pogba were both excellent and the quality, experience and desire of Maguire (who limped off as a precaution) Fernandes, Rashford and Cavani sealed the win. This win means that if United lose to Leicester on Tuesday then City will win the title, but it looks like United could get as close as four points behind their rivals if they beat both Leicester and Liverpool before City play next. They won’t win the title, of course they won’t, but ending the season on a high is a very good sign for Solskjaer.
2. Greenwood, Shaw put on a show: With Gareth Southgate watching on, the England boss will be impressed with Shaw and Greenwood, both of whom are pushing for a starting spot in his team at the Euros this summer. Shaw looks nailed on to be the starting left back, ahead of Ben Chilwell, while Greenwood has an almighty scrap with Rashford, Sterling, Foden, Mount, Grealish, Saka and others for one of the wide forward roles. Greenwood has now scored the most Premier League goals by a teenager for United, beating Wayne Rooney’s record, and is destined for great things. On this showing, both players are in great form and Southgate will be a happy man.
3. Villa their own worst enemies: Villa looked sharp in stages but at key moments they let themselves down. A poor tackle from Douglas Luiz, a mistake from Tyrone Mings and poor finishing cost Villa. Without Jack Grealish they seem to lack belief, which is understandable, and they have now won just two of their last 10 games.
Man of the Match: Luke Shaw – Brilliant display from left back as he surged forward and was solid defensively.
United were lively early on as Greenwood almost finished at the back post, then Luke Shaw had a shot pushed away by Emiliano Martinez and the Villa goalkeeper then denied Paul Pogba.
Villa improved after a slow start as Traore had a shot deflected over and they started to get some joy out wide.
Greenwood then dragged a shot towards goal which Rashford couldn’t finish as Matt Targett made a fine tackle.
Traore then smashed home a beauty after good work from John McGinn, as Lindelof failed to clear and the Villa forward made him pay.
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United huffed and puffed either side of half time to try and grab an equalizer, as Watkins forced Dean Henderson into a stop.
Pogba’s shot was deflected wide after a rapid United counter, as the Red Devils then struck twice in quick succession to turn the game on its head.
First, Pogba dribbled into the box and although Douglas Luiz did well initially to stop him, the Villa midfielder then jumped in with a silly challenge to give away a penalty kick.
Fernandes scored that spot kick to equalize, and soon United were ahead. Aaron Wan-Bissaka played the ball inside to Greenwood and he rolled his marker, Tyrone Mings, before hitting a low shot into the bottom corner.
Harry Maguire headed wide as he almost scored, then headed away bravely at the other end as Henderson saved. VAR checked a possible handball on Greenwood in his own box but nothing was given.
Substitute Edinson Cavani cleared brilliantly in his own box as Anwar El Ghazi looked certain to nod home, while Maguire went off injured late on and Villa pushed hard for an equalizer.
Cavani then glanced a brilliant header home from Rashford’s cross to make it 3-1, while Watkins was shown a second yellow card for diving and was sent off.