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Ranking Manchester United's 5 best players against Villarreal | UEFA Champions League 2021-22

Villarreal CF v Manchester United: Group F - UEFA Champions League
Villarreal CF v Manchester United: Group F - UEFA Champions League
ANALYST

Level on points atop Group F, Manchester United made the trip to Villarreal for their UEFA Champions League matchday-five encounter on Tuesday night. Manchester United’s interim manager Michael Carrick took charge of the team for the first time. He hoped to bring some positivity back to the club after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s dismissal.

Playing at home, Villarreal dominated proceedings early on. They kept hold of the ball better, passed it around nicely and created more chances. Cristiano Ronaldo’s Manchester United, on the other hand, were struggling to find their footing.

David de Gea was called into action by Manu Trigueros in the 27th minute, but the Spaniard passed the test with flying colors. A couple of minutes later, Ronaldo registered Manchester United’s first shot on target, but could not trouble the keeper Geronimo Rulli.

In the 58th minute, Trigueros came close again, this time with an even better effort. De Gea produced the save of the match to deny the Spanish forward.

Then, in the 78th minute, Cristiano Ronaldo came up with the opener for Manchester United, chipping the ball over the head of the Villarreal keeper. Finally, in the 90th minute, Jadon Sancho netted United’s second, capping off an eventful night in Villarreal.

With the win, Manchester United secured Champions League round-of-16 football with a match still to play. Here are the top five standout performers from Manchester United’s 2-0 win over Villarreal:


#5 Bruno Fernandes

Manchester United v Atalanta: Group F - UEFA Champions League
Manchester United v Atalanta: Group F - UEFA Champions League

Michael Carrick left Bruno Fernandes on the bench against Villarreal on Tuesday night. Unfortunately, his replacement Donny van de Beek did not do enough to justify his inclusion.

Only two players have provided an assist in five consecutive #UCL games for an English club:◉ David Beckham (1998)◉ Bruno Fernandes (2021)It's a Man Utd thing. 🤝 https://t.co/dRyNsExEvD

When Fernandes finally got the nod to come on in the 66th minute, he took it upon himself to prove a point. In only 27 minutes, he produced two key passes, provided four accurate long balls, and assisted Jadon Sancho’s goal. It was a thoroughly impressive outing by the Portuguese, enough to win him a place in the starting XI the next time out.


#4 Victor Lindelof

Villarreal CF v Manchester United - UEFA Europa League Final
Villarreal CF v Manchester United - UEFA Europa League Final

Filling in for the injured Raphael Varane, Victor Lindelof played an outstanding game against Villarreal on Tuesday night. He was decisive and brave and stopped Villarreal in their tracks more than once.

The Sweden international, who was playing in his fourth Champions League encounter this season, made a total of eight clearances against Villarreal. He won two ground and three aerial duels, made a couple of tackles and blocked two Villarreal shots.

All in all, it was a sure-footed display by Lindelof, and Manchester United were better off for it.

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Edited by Aditya Singh
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