Aston Villa – Manchester United: United Make Deserved Comeback (1-3)
Manchester United’s possession structure and wing dynamics presented a tough challenge for Aston Villa to contend with throughout the game. Villa were able to go ahead after some poor individual defending from United, but the away side quickly turned it around in the second half with goals from Bruno Fernandes and Mason Greenwood, before Edinson Cavani put the game to bed for United.
Tactical analysis and match report by Josh Manley.
United suffered defeat against Roma in mid-week, but nevertheless find themselves with a Europa League final to look forward to thanks to their efforts in the first leg. For the trip to Villa Park, Ole Gunnar Solskjær lined his side up in a 4-2-3-1 system, making three changes from the team which started that game. Victor Lindelöf returned to the defense in place of Eric Bailly, Scott McTominay replaced Donny van de Beek in midfield, and Marcus Rashford played up front as Edinson Cavani started on the bench.
For Villa there was also a 4-2-3-1 system, with a back four of Matty Cash, Ezri Konsa, Tyrone Mings and Matt Targett. In midfield, Douglas Luiz was partnered by John McGinn, while in attack Bertrand Traoré, Ross Barkley and Anwar El Ghazi supported striker Ollie Watkins. The obvious miss for Villa was the Jack Grealish, as Dean Smith’s side have around half the win rate without Grealish as they do when he is in the side.
United begin strongly
United started the game in a fairly strong fashion and were able to put pressure on Villa’s penalty box defending in the first . . .