A tale of two halves as Manchester United beat Aston Villa to secure a spot in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup.
The first half could only be best described as a snooze fest as both sides failed to muster any kind of real opportunities. After the break, almost by a miracle, the game rose from the dead as Ollie Watkins opened the scoring. Just 19 seconds after the restart Manchester United responded with Anthony Martial scoring the equaliser. Further Red pressure ensued but almost out of nothing Villa reclaimed their lead as Leon Bailey scored minutes after being introduced. Villa’s second had a similar effect to their first with this time Marcus Rashford putting United back on level terms.
Erik ten Hag’s second-half substitutions had a huge part to play in the injection of urgency into both the players and the crowd. Alejandro Garnacho was one of those introduced and his directness inspired a comfortable victory in the end. Garnacho went on to assist the following two United goals.
Here’s how each player performed with a rating out of 10:
Goalkeeper and defence
Martin Dubravka: 6
When dreaming about making his United debut, Dubravka would’ve been hoping for the polar opposite of what happened. Dubravka played a game that saw very little goalkeeping action but a number of goals conceded.
Diogo Dalot: 5
The Portuguese right-back seems to be looking more fatigued as the games passed by. Tonight, that was perhaps evidenced by his own goal.
Victor Lindelof: 6
In the first half United’s chances consisted of hopeful lobbed passes over the top of Villa’s defence, Lindelof played a part in that. Defensively he was sound.
Harry Maguire: 4
Maguire was caught in no man’s land as Aston Villa opened the scoring.
Tyrell Malacia: 6
Tonnes of energy in Malacia’s performance and considering his lack of minutes in recent weeks, that final piece of quality was understandably missing.
Scott Mctominay: 5
It’s fair to say Mctominay grew into the game. In the first half, his performance lacked imagination. In the second his performance was a lot more assured in that midfield. His run-in behind for his goal was superb.
A Fred performance of old. His concentration lapsed a number of times and that manifested in poor decisions, late passes, and breakdowns in communication.
Donny van de Beek: 4
Another game, and unfortunately another relatively anonymous display from the Dutchman. You’d really hope that he’d have taken one of these games by the scruff of the neck.
Bruno Fernandes: 7
Some real moments of quality matched his work rate, a welcomed return back into the side. His goal was well deserved.
Marcus Rashford: 8
Buoyed by his England recall for the World Cup, Rashford was a joy to watch. The development he’s shown in his game in such a short spell is very encouraging. Starting on the left, to finishing his night as a combative no.9 that acted like a target man. His goal encapsulated his performance.
Anthony Martial: 7
The Frenchman struggled in spells with a lack of direct service. However, when he was needed, he stepped up to instantly get United back into the game.
Alejandro Garnacho: 8
A mature performance from the 18-year-old, direct, energetic and positive.
Anthony Elanga: 5
Christian Eriksen: 6
Lisandro Martinez: n/a