Manchester United booked a meeting in the fourth round of the FA Cup with Middlesbrough, as Scott McTominay’s header was enough in the eighth minute to beat Aston Villa at Old Trafford.
McTominay was able to run undisturbed to the edge of Villa’s six-yard boxing, where he met Fred’s perfectly balanced cross to direct the ball over Emilian Martinez.
The goal condemned Villa boss Steven Gerrard to an unfortunate return to Manchester, where he was lured by home fans for his loyalty to Liverpool.
However, the result was incredibly harsh for Gerrard and his team.
Twice in a few minutes at the beginning of the second period they had the ball in the United net, but both were eliminated.
The second was a direct offside goal against Danny Ings, although the flag was raised only after Ollie Watkins placed the ball in the net.
However, the first was much more debatable and involved a lengthy wait before the VAR asks Michael Oliver to make a final decision on the on-screen consultation, the referee finally deciding that Jacob Ramsey was offside and preventing Edinson Cavani from accumulating.
Villa’s misery continues in the third round
Villa’s recent record in this competition was terrible. Their last victory was a replay of the third round against Wycombe in 2016, which means that according to next year, they will have seven seasons without winning the match.
This unfortunate statistic could have been easily avoided, given their contribution to the breathtaking encounter at all the highlights, which was full of offensive invention and defenses in defense.
John McGinn and Emiliano Buendia tested David de Gea. Watkins beat United, but not a crossbar, before Ramsey’s spotted shot was bounced off McTominay’s feet.
Watkins’ efforts came from the sad first touch of Victor Lindelof, who was Raphael Varan’s partner in absentia due to injuries to Harry Maguire and Phil Jones.
Lindelof’s attempt to control the high ball in front of his own goal only resulted in the Swede catching him to his own goal. De Gea didn’t come for it and left United’s defender in a duel with Watkins, who won the striker.
Instead of directing the ball to the far corner, Watkins lifted it around De Gea and onto the bar.
Villa will be saddened that Ings’ apparent equalizing goal was not allowed due to the length of time the decision took, as fans on both sides became increasingly irritated because they had no idea what was going on.
Interim United boss Ralf Rangnick has repeatedly said his party needs to start controlling the matches.
But this latest effort has given no indication that they know how to do it.
The home team repeatedly sold the ball under little pressure to the extent that it was Villa who had the majority.
Marcus Rashford had a particularly gloomy night when he shot his best chance at Martinez from a sharp angle and failed to follow up on Mason Greenwood’s shot, which swayed towards him when the villa keeper couldn’t keep up. When Jesse Lingard replaced him four minutes ago, the Englishman looked like a completely desperate character.
He now has 11 goals without a goal and has not found a net since October 30, when he scored 3-0 on Tottenham.
“He’s trying hard and he’s done well in training in recent days,” Rangnick said. “It’s important for the attackers to score goals. It would be good for Marcus to score, but if he tries and trains well, I don’t see a problem.”
It was also the evening when those who felt that Cristiano Ronaldo was at the root of United’s problems were thought-provoking.
Ronaldo was missing from what Rangnick described as “minor problems,” but the spark and fluidity that United had recently lacked did not reappear.
- 1of Gea
- 20DalotReserved for 70 minutes
- 23ShawBooked in 68 minutes
- 17FredBooked in 65 minutes
- 18Bruno FernandesReplaced byLingardon 86 ‘minutes
- 10RashfordReplaced byElangaon 86 ‘minutes
- 21CavaniReplaced byvan de Beekon 72 ‘minutes
- 34van de Beek
- 6Douglas Luiz
- 41J RamseyBooked in 11 minutesReplaced byPhilogene-Bidaceon 86 ‘minutes
- 10BuendíaReplaced byEl Ghazion 79 ‘minutes
- 21El Ghazi
The match ends, Manchester United 1, Aston Villa 0.
The second half ends, Manchester United 1, Aston Villa 0.
Roh, Manchester United. Admitted Jaden Philogene-Bidace.
The attempt failed. Anwar El Ghazi (Aston Villa) shot from the right foot from the right hand side of the penalty area is high and wide. Assist: Ollie Watkins with the header.
Attempt saved. Mason Greenwood (Manchester United) shot left behind the lime, was placed in the middle of the goal. Assist: Jesse Lingard.
Roh, Aston Villa. Fred admitted.
Substitution, Aston Villa. Jaden Philogene-Bidace replaces Jacob Ramsey.
Manchester United substitution. Anthony Elanga replaces Marcus Rashford.
Manchester United substitution. Jesse Lingard replaces Bruno Fernandez.
The attempt failed. Danny Ings (Aston Villa) missed from the right touchline. Assist: Matt Targett with a cross.
Roh, Manchester United. Admitted Jacob Ramsey.
Substitution, Aston Villa. Anwar El Ghazi replaces Emiliana Buendía.
Offside, Manchester United. Luke Shaw tries to break through, but Marcus Rashford is caught offside.
Attempt saved. Mason Greenwood (Manchester United) shot with the left foot from the right side of the penalty area is placed in the lower left corner. Assist: Bruno Fernandes.
Attempt saved. Mason Greenwood (Manchester United) shot left behind the lime, was placed in the middle of the goal. Assist: Bruno Fernandes.
Manchester United substitution. Donny van de Beek replaces Edinson Cavani.
The attempt failed. Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins left shot was very close to giving the visitors the lead, but the shot glanced harmlessly off the frame of the goal.
Diogo Dalot (Manchester United) is shown a yellow card for a foul.
Foul Dioga Dalota (Manchester United).
Aston Villa’s Matt Targett swung in a good chance from the left, but the visitors’ defense were able to clear the ball.