It was another dramatic afternoon of action at Old Trafford yesterday as Manchester United played host to Aston Villa in a really important clash for both sides in their start to the season. The Red Devils had a few bright moments but in the end, it was a late Kortney Hause header that won the day as Villa secured yet another impressive win to vault themselves into the top half of the Premier League table.
It wasn’t easy, but it definitely came at the end of a game that told us an awful lot about both sides’ chances this season.
The Bruno drama
Bruno Fernandes is known for being one of the best penalty takers in the game and, in general, one of the best set-piece takers. So, when Manchester United were awarded a late penalty, it only made sense for the Portuguese star to step up to the plate and take it.
Unfortunately for the home faithful he wasn’t quite able to keep it on target as Bruno’s penalty went soaring into the stands in injury time. After the miss, many questioned whether or not the time has come to switch veteran Cristiano Ronaldo back onto spot-kicks.
Villa control the game
This wasn’t a fluke result; Aston Villa earned their win and they did so in emphatic fashion – even if the scoreline doesn’t suggest that. They were head and shoulders above some of the other performances they’ve put in throughout the early stages of the campaign and they proved how much a big win (the 3-0 success over Everton) can improve your confidence in this league. Dean Smith has a really promising side at his disposal and we shouldn’t be surprised to see them putting in shifts like this on a consistent basis between now and May.
False title hopes?
The idea that Manchester United are still title contenders is, to put it lightly, a foolish one – at least for now. Yes, Chelsea and Liverpool dropped points with Manchester City being the only ones to make up any ground in the title race, but there’s just something missing at United that they can’t always make up for with a late comeback. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has done an incredible job in getting this team back to a really competitive point but sometimes, you need to throw your hands up in the air and proclaim that this is as far as you can go.
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