Manchester United laboured to a 2-2 draw with Aston Villa.

After going a goal down, United fought back to take the lead, before conceding an equaliser two minutes later.

United’s goals came from Marcus Rashford – although it has for now gone down as an own goal – and Victor Lindelöf.

Here is a look at five things we learned from the game…

Watching United is hard work at the moment

It has felt this way for a while in the Premier League.

You can look forward to watching the team all week, build your weekend around it, and then the game begins and it proves painful.

United have to fight for every win in the Premier League and sometimes hard work isn’t enough.

The talent is lacking and even going in at half-time against Villa we were very lucky to do so.

Standards at United are higher than most clubs, and that is why it is hard to accept our current situation.

It’s the games against the mid-table teams which give us the biggest problems. They see United as ‘there for the taking’ and push us hard.

The lack of quality in the team makes it hard for Solskjaer’s team to separate themselves from the rest.

(Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Andreas Pereira isn’t good enough

A match changing assist from Pereira helped United go level.

Sadly up until that point he had been genuinely terrible, arguably the worst player on the pitch.

You can’t have a player like that in central midfield just on the off chance they may do something positive.

United need Scott McTominay back desperately, but failing that, alternatives have to be considered.

Pereira struggles to keep the ball, or win possession back without giving away free-kicks. These are essentials any top quality midfielder should have.


Give Dylan Levitt or James Garner a chance. They can do the basics right.

(Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

Anthony Martial needs to do more

United’s number nine barely had a kick in the first half.

The Frenchman was too easily subdued and struggled to make an impact.

Martial has had his moments this season and there are times where he looks a real top quality player.

There are other moments where he is anonymous and drifts out of the game.

United need a striker who can give the team a spark from the opening kick-off.

Too often this season, Martial does not fit that description at all.

Defensive sloppiness a concern

Remember when our refreshed defence was a big improvement on last season?

That’s now five goals conceded in the last two games, against mid-table teams.

United seriously need to step it up with Tottenham and Manchester City to come.

United have invested a lot of money in the defence and it has not stood up to recent tests.

That hasn’t been helped by little to no protection from the midfield, but better is expected.

What has been most concerning is the timing of goals conceded. Today this was in the opening few minutes and then moments after taking the lead.

(Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

Mata fails to grab chance

Juan Mata has had a good rest since his last United start in the home win over Partizan.

This was a big opportunity for him and he failed to take it.

If United had better options, it should be a long time until he is given another chance.

Mata was substituted after 73 minutes, in which he had managed just 33 touches.

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