Manchester United’s unbeaten run came to an end at nine games after Erik ten Hag‘s men lost 3-1 against Aston Villa this afternoon.

Here are five things we learned from the clash in Birmingham.

Return of Unai Emery

Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Today’s clash was the tenth time the Spaniard had faced off against the Red Devils, which is more times than any other English club the 51-year-old has faced.

No games against Emery sides are by any means plain sailing and today’s clash was another tricky encounter.

The former Villarreal manager has now won three matches against the twenty-time league champions and today was his first meeting against Ten Hag.

Not at the races

Having only conceded one goal from our last seven games, United were far too easy to play against at Villa Park.

Time and time again, Emery’s side cut through us, and Erik ten Hag’s side looked weary after a hectic run of fixtures.

Having conceded four at Brentford and six at Manchester City today was the third time already this season that we’ve conceded three or more goals in a game.

Anthony Martial back

Photo by James Gill/Getty Images

Having missed the last seven games with a back problem, the mercurial Frenchman returned against the Villains.

Martial’s stop start to the season has been frustrating, but hopefully United’s number nine remains fit for the second half of the campaign after the World Cup.

The 26-year-old struggled to get in the game with Cristiano Ronaldo occupying the number nine position.

Bruno Fernandes a huge miss

With United’s influential number eight unavailable due to suspension, Donny van de Beek was given another opportunity to impress in the number ten role.

But United’s number 34 flattered to deceive and Ten Hag’s side badly missed Fernandes’ creativity, drive and ability to grab the game by the scruff of the neck.

Immediate chance for revenge

The Red Devils only have to wait until Thursday to respond to today’s bitterly disappointing performance as Emery’s men come to Old Trafford to play out a Carabao Cup third-round tie.

Ten Hag may opt to shuffle his pack come Thursday and a number of players will be hoping for recall in what will be our penultimate game before the World Cup break.

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Passionate Football fan that completed a NCTJ-accredited Diploma in Multimedia Sports Journalism in 2016.