Manchester United’s nine-game unbeaten run came to a crushing end after being beaten 3-1 by Aston Villa at Villa Park.
With Unai Emery at the helm and taking his first game in charge, the Villains swarmed all over the Red Devils and Erik ten Hag’s side looked sluggish and worryingly off the pace in Birmingham.
Here were Manchester United’s four worst players against Aston Villa.
The Iceman has looked assured alongside Lisandro Martinez, but the former Benfica man didn’t look comfortable whatsoever dealing with Ollie Watkins,
The England international was constantly running the channels, but United’s number two looked hesitant about engaging in a physical tussle, and the former Brentford man had an easy afternoon.
With Harry Maguire on the bench, Raphael Varane was a big miss today especially considering that Martinez had an off day by his very high standards.
With Villa constantly hitting United on the break due to our sloppiness in possession, the Dane’s lack of pace in the engine room unfortunately became a factor this afternoon.
United’s number 14 is at his best with the ball at his feet, but like Martinez, he was uncharacteristically poor and lacklustre in possession and Emery’s side won far too many turnovers.
In hindsight, Ten Hag may have wished he’d have given Fred or Scott McTominay a recall and played the former Brentford man further forward in place of Donny van de Beek.
Donny van de Beek
After being given his first start of the season against Sociedad on Thursday, the Netherlands international was handed his first Premier League start for the Red Devils since May 2021.
But the 25-year-old once again struggled to impose himself on the game and while he can make clever runs in-behind, he doesn’t really bring or add anything to our game when the ball is at his feet.
With Bruno Fernandes out suspended, our number 34 failed to seize the chance and he was brought off after 65 minutes.
With Maguire on the bench and Fernandes serving a one-game suspension, Ten Hag gave the five-time Ballon d’Or winner the captain’s armband.
But the 37-year-old endured a frustrating afternoon, and he registered one shot on target, which came via his head, but Emiliano Martinez managed to kick the ball to safety.
After starting the last four games, United’s number seven will likely start Thursday’s Carabao Cup tie on the bench, but with Anthony Martial making his return, it will be interesting to see who leads the line at Fulham next week.