Manchester United ran out comfortable 3-0 winners away to Aston Villa on Thursday night.
Bruno Fernandes opened the scoring from the penalty spot on 27 minutes before Mason Greenwood’s powerful strike in first half stoppage time set us on our way to three points.
Aston Villa heads were down from the start of the second half and it showed when their players showed a lack of effort to close down Paul Pogba from a corner, who duly curled an effort into the bottom corner to make it 3-0.
We are now two points behind Chelsea in third and one behind Leicester City, with four games remaining.
Here are our player ratings:
David de Gea 6 – Nothing to do but pick up the ball a couple of times as our defence protected David de Gea very well once again.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka 5 – Caught out by a couple of deep crosses early on but fortunately they didn’t lead to any shots on target. Worked well with Bruno Fernandes and Mason Greenwood at times down the wing. Picked up a first half yellow card for a foul when he didn’t need to make a challenge.
Victor Lindelof 6 – Comfortable game at the back as Aston Villa didn’t cause any threats down the centre in open play.
Harry Maguire 7 – A couple of comfortable interceptions and headed clearances but Harry Maguire rarely needed to break a sweat at Villa Park.
Luke Shaw 8 – Looked decent going forward and created an excellent chance for Bruno Fernandes in the first half. Teamed up well in attack down the left and had a comfortable game defensively.
Nemanja Matic 7 – Won the ball back a couple of times and looked after the ball well before going off on the hour. Did pick up a yellow card at the end of the first half.
Paul Pogba 9 – Fine 25-yard strike to make it 3-0 just before the hour from a well-worked corner as the Aston Villa players didn’t make much of an effort to close the midfielder down. Paul Pogba showed some nice touches and passes throughout as our midfield took over the game after we took the lead.
Mason Greenwood 9 – Produced a nice run and shot that forced a decent save from Pepe Reina in the final 10 minutes of the first half. Wasn’t afraid to take on Tyrone Mings. Put the game to bed in the fifth minute of first half stoppage time with a thumping 20-yard effort on his right foot. Constantly looked a threat cutting in from the ring and when collecting the ball in the middle.
Bruno Fernandes 8 – Won and converted the penalty to give us the lead shortly after the first water break in which neither side had tested either goalkeeper prior to this. Pulled the Aston Villa midfield apart at times, creating a few opportunities. Given a rest in the final 20 minutes.
Marcus Rashford 7 – Influential down both the wings but didn’t test Pepe Reina himself. Some nice passes into and around the penalty area. Well denied by Reina one-on-one in stoppage time.
Anthony Martial 8 – Denied a chance from six yards by a last ditch challenge from Neil Taylor. Struck the bar and post with an effort shortly after our third. Brought his fellow attacking teammates into play several teams, showing good hold up. Looked disappointed not to get among the goals himself when being substituted.
Scott McTominay (25 mins) N/A – Brought on to give Nemanja Matic a rest. Completed a few simple passes but nothing of note.
Brandon Williams (25 mins) 6 – Introduced at right-back to give Aaron Wan-Bissaka a rest. The starting right-back wasn’t at his best tonight. Brandon Williams denied Conor Hourihane a late consolation.
Fred (20 mins) N/A – Didn’t see as much of the ball as he did against Bournemouth as a substitute over the weekend. Did pick up a late yellow card for a foul on Jack Grealish.
Odion Ighalo (12 mins) N/A – Barely got a touch of the ball let alone a shot on goal.
Daniel James (12 mins) N/A – Came on down the left wing, fired an effort across goal and wide immediately but ran out of time to do anything afterwards.