Manchester United took a step closer to securing a second placed finish in the Premier League with yet another come from behind win to beat Aston Villa 3-1 at Villa Park.
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer named a strong team for the game despite United being scheduled to play three times in five days this week, as well as a gruelling game against Roma just 72 hours before the game.
They fell behind too in the first half as a stunning strike from Bertrand Traore found the top corner after some slack defending from Victor Lindelof when Scott McTominay lost the ball on the edge of the box.
United bounced back in the second half though when Paul Pogba was fouled by Douglas Luiz in the penalty area and Bruno Fernandes tucked home the resulting penalty. Just a few minutes later they had the lead when Aaron Wan-Bissaka found Mason Greenwood on the edge of the box, who rolled Tyrone Mings and slammed the ball into the near corner with his left foot.
Villa piled on the pressure looking to get back into the game but Marcus Rashford’s fine cross found substitute Edinson Cavani who headed beyond the keeper to round the game off. Villa were reduced to ten men when Ollie Watkins dived looking for a penalty and picked up a second yellow card.
It was the TENTH time in the Premier League this season that Manchester United have come from behind to win, a new record, and showed the incredible spirit that Solskjaer has brought to this side.
Being able to win games when playing badly and coming from behind are often traits associated with championship winning teams and while United look likely to miss out on the title this time around, it’s been a relatively impressive season.
Despite crashing out of the Champions League much earlier than they should, they have maintained a decent push at the top of the Premier League throughout the season and as well as reaching the latter stages of the FA Cup and Carabao Cup are now in the final of the Europa League.
They have lost just four times in the Premier League this season, after losing three of their first six games, and have found a way of beating teams who set up against them in a low block too.
There has been a clear evolution under Solskjaer this season and United have improved immensely, but a few too many draws have seen them unable to keep up with a relentless Manchester City side.
If they can start to work towards playing with the same intensity and quality from the beginning of games instead of when they go 1-0 down they’d be much better placed to put together a real challenge for the title.
The squad is a good mix of youth players and experience and with a few additions such as a defensive midfielder, a centre back and a right-winger (plus a striker if Cavani leaves) then they will be ready to push forward even more.
Solskjaer has made United hard to beat and capable of beating anyone on their day and there’s not much more you can ask for at this point. Now on to the next level.