How many times are United going to go behind this season? Remarkably, we’ve obtained 15 points from losing positions already but it has to end at some point, we surely can’t keep doing it. In truth, we were poor today, but Javier Hernandez bailed us out of jail with a Man of the Match performance.
We were poor defensively today, understandably Chris Smalling lacked match fitness after such a long period out with injury, but the rest of the back four have no excuses, we gave Villa far to much time and space on the ball. To be fair though, Villa they played very well for the best part of an hour, they frustrated our attack and they were clinical in front of goal, then came a Javier Hernandez masterclass.
His first goal summed up his game perfectly, we all thought the chance was gone but Chico remained calm and finished it superbly through the keepers legs. There was certainly an element of luck in the second, as he volleyed the ball towards goal it took a wicked deflection off Vlaar and ended up in the back of the net. The winner came courtesy of Robin van Persie, the Dutchman floated an excellent cross into the penalty box which Hernandez attacked with real passion, he beat his man superbly and headed the ball into the far post.
David De Gea – The young Spaniard didn’t really have an awful lot to do despite conceded two goals, both of which he could do nothing about. In the dying embers of the game he made some great punches as Villa came searching for a late goal. 6/10
Rafael – Arguably our best player of the season so far, once again he was great going forward but he went missing defensively at times, his cross for Javier Hernandez’s ‘second goal’ was inch perfect. 6/10
Chris Smalling – It was Chris Smalling’s first league start this term, he started against Braga on Tuesday and it was inevitable he’d tire towards the end of the game today, although he was at fault for Villa’s first goal he did reasonably well. 5/10
Rio Ferdinand – Rio was rested on Wednesday night, he had a fairly quiet game but when called upon he did his job well. 6/10
Patrice Evra – He had a poor 18 months but has seemingly rediscovered some form of late, Patrice was bombing up and down the wing all game but he had no real support from either Ashley Young or Wayne Rooney, he had a steady game. 6/10
Antonio Valencia – He had a frustrating game today, he seemed reluctant to try and beat his man and he wasn’t quick enough with his passing. 5/10
Paul Scholes – Scholsie had been rested for three weeks before today, it was difficult to tell whether you’d get a fresh Paul Scholes or one who lacked match fitness, and for the most part it was probably the latter. The pass he played for Hernandez’s first goal was pure class though. 6/10
Michael Carrick – The 31-year old did his job well, he broke up play and kept hold of the ball, he didn’t really threaten going forward. 6/10
Ashley Young – Playing against your former club usually goes one of two ways, unfortunately for Ashley he had a shocker today and rightly found himself subbed off at half-time. 4/10
Wayne Rooney – Rooney worked his socks off yet again, he linked up play excellently and drove the team forward. He seemingly picked up an injury and was subbed off with 15 minutes to go. 7/10
Robin van Persie – Today was probably Robin’s quietest game in a United shirt, he only came alive when we found ourselves level and probably should’ve put us in front with a header from six yards out. His ball for Hernandez’s winner was superb. 7/10
Javier Hernandez: Man of the Match by a long way, he was the reason we came away from Villa Park with all three points, the Mexican has now scored 7 in his last 5 games for United, he was superb. 9/10
Tom Cleverley: He replaced a tiring Paul Scholes, he kept possession well but didn’t cause Villa any real problems. 6/10
Anderson: Not enough time to make an impression on the game.