Adnan Januzaj's goal helps Manchester United defeat Aston Villa 1-0
Manchester United continued their winning start to the 2015/16 Premier League after a 1-0 victory over Aston Villa, to add to their 1-0 win over Tottenham last week. The all-important goal came from Adnan Januzaj in the first half, who was set up beautifully inside the box by Juan Mata. That ensured that United continue their great record at Villa Park, where the Red Devils have not lost for 20 league games now.
Prior to the game, the record between the two teams showed that the Villans were one of the Manchester-based team’s favourite opponents as they had won 32 games against the Birmingham-based outfit in Premier League history. The same fixture last season ended in a 1-1 draw in an action-packed match, a match that saw Christian Benteke score for Villa while Radamel Falcao equalised for United as Aston Villa held on despite having gone down to 10 men.
They bettered their result this time around, sealing all 4 points thanks to Januzaj’s goal, in a match that didn’t see much goalmouth action, with Villa choosing to try and hit United on the break, while the away team were happy keeping possession and trying to break the Midlands outfit down.
The match saw Sergio Romero starting in goal again for Manchester United after Van Gaal had told the press in his press conference that De Gea won’t be played till he is in the right sense of mind and that the goalkeeper had indicated that he doesn’t want to play for the club till his future is sorted.
Though there weren’t many incidents in the match to talk about, the only goal of the match came after some neat approach play and some great thinking from Spaniard Juan Mata. His smart turn and pass deep into the penalty box released the Belgian, who stopped, left Micah Richards for dead and then curled the ball home, albeit with a deflection off the defender’s leg.
That one moment of genius was enough for the Red Devils, who still had some issues in defence but managed to go the length of the match without conceding. Villa’s biggest chance of the match came in the first half when there were indications that Matteo Darmian, the right-back for Manchester United had pulled Richards’ jersey in the box and was looking to distract the burly Englishman defender during the corner.
In the second half, the home team tried their luck as they looked to get in behind the United defence to find an opening but they were thwarted in all their attempts. The best chance of the second period fell to United and Memphis Depay, who was put clean through by that man Mata again, but the Dutchman’s shot did not have any bend on it and it rolled wide.
After two matches, United are top of the table with 6 points and a goal difference of +2, and manager Louis van Gaal will be happy that his team has managed to keep two clean sheets so far. The team members have started to gel well with each other, but Van Gaal will be worried at two things - how easily the defence was left exposed on a couple of occasions and the lack of firepower up front.
With a couple of weeks still to go for the transfer window to close, some activity could be expected, with Pedro the most-linked name. They next face Club Brugge in the Champions League qualifier and Newcastle next Sunday.
Aston Villa have 1 win and 1 loss from their two opening matches and will look to get back to winning ways next week when they take on Crystal Palace away from home. They will welcome new signing Adama Traore into the team and will hope he adds some much-needed pace and incision to their attacking play.