Aston Villa 0 Man Utd 1: Player ratings as Adnan Januzaj nets winner

Player ratings as Adnan Januzaj scores a first-half winner for Manchester United at Villa Park

By Callum Orr

Aston Villa

Brad Guzan Was alert to smother Depay early on, and was not at fault for United’s first. Villa have found themselves a very solid keeper. 6/10

Leandro Bacuna A decent showing from the right-back. Never looked to be too threatened by Depay or Shaw, but did perhaps concede possession a few too many times. 5

Micah Richards Was put on the floor by Januzaj for the opener, but was unlucky not to be awarded a penalty on the 37th minute. Looks like he can still do a very good job in the Premier League, but will need to work on his decision-making. 4

Ciaran Clark Stood up to the task relatively well. Did more than enough to keep Rooney caged, and was unable to do anything about Januzaj’s close-range effort. 6

Jordan Amavi The attacking left-back had a mixed game against Darmian and Smalling, but his perseverance found him in some excellent positions in the final third. Unlucky to see a tantalising cross evade everyone in the area. 5

Jordan Veretout The game passed him by from start to finish. Questions will be asked about his ability to make an impact. 3

Idrissa Gueye Looked leggy early on, and lost track of Januzaj for the Belgian’s opener. Fairly anonymous thoughout. 4

Ashley Westwood A fantastic passer of the ball. Keeps it simple but has some Hollywood magic tucked up his sleeve. May well prove to be a bright spark for the Villa this year. 7

Jordan Ayew Didn’t quite have the same impact as his brother did last weekend, and blasted wildly over when Mata’s mistake put him through on the United goal. Booked for diving. 4

Gabriel Agbonlahor A quiet game for the Villa mainstay, perhaps should have done better with a free header straight at Romero. 4

Scott Sinclair A forgettable night for the City reject. Floated across the back four but never really imposed himself before he was hooked on the hour. One to forget. 3

Substitutions

Rudy Gestede Brought on in place of Scott Sinclair, but failed to recreate his heroics at Bournemouth last time out. Will need a few games to settle at this level. 4

Carlos Sanchez Brought on in place of Veretout. n/a

Manchester United

Sergio Romero The Villa forwards were clearly instructed to pressure him with the ball at his feet, but the Argentina stopper looked relatively assured in a comfortable night between the sticks. 6

Matteo Darmian Lucky not to give away a penalty for a choke hold on Richards, but was relatively solid throughout. A vast improvement on the efforts of Valencia and Rafael. 7

Chris Smalling (Man of the match) Again, very solid on the edge of his own area, and ventured into the Villa half with the ball at his feet on several occasions. Enjoying a solid start to the season. 7

Daley Blind His passing from the back gave United some welcome incisiveness, and despite the arrival of the towering Gestede, he held his own despite his glaring physical disadvantages at centre-half. A very intelligent player. 7

Luke Shaw An excellent defensive display from the England international. Started the game with a well timed tackle on Veretout in the area, and snuffed out any real attacking danger down his channel. 7

Michael Carrick A subdued performance from the former Spurs midfielder. Kept it simple but did little to spark the imagination. 5

Morgan Schneiderlin Has provided a bit of midfield muscle that has been desperately missing for the best part of five years. Still has a lot of work to do to convince that he can make a difference at United’s level. 6

Juan Mata Was wasteful early on, but his pinpoint ball through for Januzaj’s goal was a touch of class. Swayed between sloppiness and brilliance in a decidedly mixed display. 6

Memphis Depay A toilsome night for United’s devil in disguise. Blazed over with a free kick from forty yards, and skewed his shot wide of the post when through one-on-one with Guzan. Still troubled the Villa defenders throughout, but should’ve ended the night with his first Premier League goal. 5

Adnan Januzaj Still looked a little lightweight with his back to Villa’s defence, but was at his nimble best when he stood two Villa defenders up for United’s opener. Faded before he was brought off. 7

Wayne Rooney Looks out of shape and well short of match sharpness. His first touch and distribution were sloppy. If United really are going to go the season with the England captain up top, he really needs to find some sort of form, and quickly. 2

Substitutions

Ander Herrera Brought on in place of Januzaj. Brought a bit of life when the game appeared to be dying out, but needs more than 30 minutes a game to work his magic. 5

Bastian Schweinsteiger Brought on in place of Carrick. Didn’t have enough time on the ball, but his supposedly fading star is shining brighter than Carrick’s. 5

Ashley Young Brought on in place of Depay. n/a

Follow @thesportreview on Instagram

MORE:

MORE: The latest football transfer news

MORE: Meet the Premier League's most stylish footballers

MORE: Do you know the top Muslim footballers in the Premier League?

MORE: Take a tour of Arsenal star Mesut Ozil’s £10m London house

MORE: Man United latest news

MORE: Arsenal latest news

MORE: Chelsea latest news

MORE: Liverpool latest news

Paul Merson
Paul Merson suggests where Chelsea FC will finish this season
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
Meet Arsenal star Mesut Ozil’s girlfriend Amine Gulse
Meet Arsenal star Mesut Ozil’s girlfriend Amine Gulse
Take a tour of Arsenal star Mesut Ozil’s £10m London house with us
Take a tour of Arsenal star Mesut Ozil’s £10m London house with us
Top 50 most stylish footballers in the world in 2017: Chelsea, Arsenal stars feature – Slideshow
Top 50 most stylish footballers in the world in 2017: Chelsea, Arsenal stars feature – Slideshow
Meet Chelsea FC star Andreas Christensen’s girlfriend Katrine Friis
Meet Chelsea FC star Andreas Christensen’s girlfriend Katrine Friis
Jamie Carragher
Jamie Carragher names two Chelsea FC stars who need to step up
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Photo: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang / Instagram)
Aubameyang outlines Arsenal’s targets amid title challenge talk
Gary Neville
Gary Neville predicts where Man United, Chelsea FC will finish this season