Aston Villa vs Man United
Manchester United faced a trip to Villa Park on Sunday afternoon for a meeting with Dean Smith’s Aston Villa.
The Red Devils actually had very little to play for on the day, with a Champions League place already all but secured.
However, a loss would have meant that United’s cross-town rivals, Manchester City, would be crowned Premier League champions for a 3rd time in five years – something all involved at United were no doubt keen to delay for as long as possible.
Man United’s weaknesses exposed
But it would actually be Villa who took the lead on Sunday through Bertrand Traore.
The Reds would lose the ball in midfield after a breakdown between Fred and McTominay.
Victor Lindelof then failed to clear his lines, allowing Bertrand Traore to smash an effort straight into the roof of Dean Henderson’s net.
TRAORE WITH A BEAUTY! 😍
How about that for a finish? Bertrand Traore finds the top far corner from a tight angle ⚽️
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) May 9, 2021
Traore’s goal on Sunday would expose two of the biggest weakness in United’s side at present.
The first being in midfield, with Man United still clearly lacking a dominant no.6-style player.
Nemanja Matic, in his prime, would be able to fill that void well. But it is fair to say that the Serbian has lost a few steps in recent years, which has forced Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to often start the ‘McFred’ pivot to make up for his side’s lack of a top defensive midfielder.
That choice also often means that Paul Pogba is forced to play out of position, much like he did on Sunday.
But as shown from the first goal at Villa Park, even having both players on the pitch is sometimes still not enough.
Elsewhere, Traore’s goal once again highlighted that Lindelof simply just is not good enough to be playing every game for a side who should be challenging for the PL and competing in the Champions League.
A centre-back has been touted as one of the Manchester outfit’s transfer priorities this summer, and Sunday’s game would indeed once again showcase the need for fresh legs in that spot if United want to actually challenge Manchester City’s domestic dominance next season.
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|1||Manchester City FC||34||47||80|
|2||Manchester United FC||33||29||67|
|3||Leicester City FC||35||20||63|
|5||West Ham United FC||34||11||58|
|6||Tottenham Hotspur FC||35||20||56|
|11||Aston Villa FC||33||10||48|
|12||Wolverhampton Wanderers FC||34||-13||42|
|13||Crystal Palace FC||34||-20||41|
|14||Newcastle United FC||35||-18||39|
|15||Brighton & Hove Albion FC||34||-4||37|
|19||West Bromwich Albion||34||-34||26|
|20||Sheffield United FC||35||-44||17|
|Kane, Harry||Tottenham Hotspur FC||21|
|Salah, Mohamed||Liverpool FC||20|
|Son, Heung Min||Tottenham Hotspur FC||17|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United FC||16|
|Bamford, Patrick||Leeds United||15|
|Calvert-Lewin, Dominic||Everton FC||15|
|Vardy, Jamie||Leicester City FC||13|
|Watkins, Ollie||Aston Villa FC||13|
|Lacazette, Alexandre||Arsenal FC||13|
|Wilson, Callum||Newcastle United FC||12|
|Gundogan, Ilkay||Manchester City FC||12|
|Wood, Chris||Burnley FC||11|
|Iheanacho, Kelechi||Leicester City FC||11|
|Rashford, Marcus||Manchester United FC||10|
|Sterling, Raheem||Manchester City FC||10|
|Ings, Danny||Southampton FC||10|
|Aubameyang, Pierre-Emerick||Arsenal FC||10|
|Zaha, Wilfried||Crystal Palace FC||10|
|Mane, Sadio||Liverpool FC||9|
|Pereira, Matheus||West Bromwich Albion||9|
|Player||Team||Red Cards||Yellow Cards|
|Maguire, Harry||Manchester United FC||10|
|Gallagher, Conor||West Bromwich Albion||9|
|Milivojevic, Luka||Crystal Palace FC||1||8|
|Lundstram, John||Sheffield United FC||1||8|
|Luiz, Douglas||Aston Villa FC||8|
|Hojbjerg, Pierre||Tottenham Hotspur FC||8|
|Xhaka, Granit||Arsenal FC||1||7|
|Bellerin, Hector||Arsenal FC||8|
|Egan, John||Sheffield United FC||1||7|
|Holgate, Mason||Everton FC||8|
|Bissouma, Yves||Brighton & Hove Albion FC||1||7|
|Hayden, Isaac||Newcastle United FC||8|
|Soucek, Tomas||West Ham United FC||1||6|
|McGoldrick, David||Sheffield United FC||7|
|McGinn, John||Aston Villa FC||7|
|Shaw, Luke||Manchester United FC||7|
|Neves, Ruben||Wolverhampton Wanderers FC||7|
|Dunk, Lewis||Brighton & Hove Albion FC||2||5|
|Reid, Bobby||Fulham FC||7|
|Evans, Jonny||Leicester City FC||7|
|Kane, Harry||Tottenham Hotspur FC||13|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United FC||11|
|Son, Heung Min||Tottenham Hotspur FC||10|
|Grealish, Jack||Aston Villa FC||10|
|De Bruyne, Kevin||Manchester City FC||10|
|Vardy, Jamie||Leicester City FC||8|
|Rashford, Marcus||Manchester United FC||8|
|Werner, Timo||Chelsea FC||8|
|Gross, Pascal||Brighton & Hove Albion FC||7|
|Cresswell, Aaron||West Ham United FC||7|
|Digne, Lucas||Everton FC||7|
|Bamford, Patrick||Leeds United||6|
|Sterling, Raheem||Manchester City FC||6|
|Mane, Sadio||Liverpool FC||6|
|Pereira, Matheus||West Bromwich Albion||6|
|Ward-Prowse, James||Southampton FC||6|
|Harrison, Jack||Leeds United||6|
|Firmino, Roberto||Liverpool FC||6|
|Neto, Pedro||Wolverhampton Wanderers FC||6|