Aston Villa 0 Man United 3: Three talking points
Aston Villa 0 Man United 3: Three talking points as the Red Devils win at Villa Park
Right wing most fruitful for United
Everything Manchester United did well came from some clever play worked down their right-hand side. The combination of Rafael and Antonio Valencia proved to be too much for Aston Villa’s Antonio Luna, who had to call on Gabby Agbonlahor and Yacouba Sylla to help out on many occasions. Each of United’s three goals came from crosses and passes down the right as Villa were absolutely torn apart. Valencia worked tirelessly for his team and the cause, and Rafael’s desire to join the attack as well as fulfilling his defensive duties overwhelmed Villa’s backline. United’s high line and fast tempo was a joy to watch.
Much needed response for Moyes
Along with the travelling United contingent, one of the happiest men at Villa Park will have been David Moyes. After a tough fortnight when United’s Premier League form left much to be desired and questions began to be raised about the personnel at the club, the visitors responded in the best fashion. It looked like another tough day ahead for Moyes and United when Marc Albrighton fired off two quick efforts for Villa and the hosts kept their opponents on the back foot. After ten minutes of being pegged in their own half, United had Rafael to thank for starting a counter-attack which ended with the Brazilian delivering a perfect cross for Danny Welbeck to turn in the rebound. Three minutes later and Welbeck had a second, this time after excellent pressure and a pinpoint cross from Valencia. The quick one-two blow stunned Villa, and they never really got another foothold in the game. With two more away games in December, Moyes will have been overjoyed with such a resounding away win from his team.
Crucial games ahead for Villa (Stoke, Palace, Swans)
Aston Villa will want to pick themselves up from such a heavy home defeat quickly. The home side faced United at a dangerous time, with the visitors without a Premier League win in four, but Villa’s players just didn’t turn up. Christian Benteke looked a peripheral figure, while the backline were entirely out of their depth. With three potentially tough games against Stoke, Crystal Palace and Swansea still to come in December, manager Paul Lambert will search for the scarce positives from their loss and rectify them as quickly as possible. One telling stat shows that Villa are the only Premier League side yet to score a first half goal before their opponents.