First Team Match Day Match Reaction News

What We Learned: Manchester United 4-1 Aston Villa

The banner backfired

The intention of the plane hired to fly over Old Trafford trailing a banner emblazoned with “Wrong One – Moyes Out” appeared to be to incite the growing discontent surrounding Sir Alex Ferguson’s successor. Though, just like the fairly unpopular banner draped on the Stretford End in the wake of David Moyes’ appointment, intentions appear to have backfired, with Old Trafford united in booing the plane when it made its arrival within the first ten minutes of the game. It’s been an embarrassing distraction over these last few days, and whilst the very public backing of Moyes from the home crowd was far more than the Scot has deserved after another PR nightmare after Friday’s press conference, it was nice to see that most of the stadium was denounce it.


The issue now is how long that support holds out, and how much of it was for show during a game that was of little consequence, given United’s disappointing league campaign. The reaction to the midweek derby defeat was not pretty, and in some ways, Moyes is still lucky to have this job. That’s not some throwaway comment, either; that’s just fact. But this game was never going to alter his fortunes, not with the Champions League quarter finals so close. No one expects United to progress, but you’d wager that those caught clapping Moyes today won’t be quite as generous if they’re staring down the barrel of another abject pummeling at home in midweek.

Bayern could eat United’s defence alive

If there’s one thing Christian Benteke proved in the second half of this match (three times, mark you), it’s that if United do not have a proper centre-back partnership to cope with the reigning European champions, then Pep Guardiola’s side will run riot. Admittedly, utilising Michael Carrick in that position did not help, but the space afforded to the Belgian, and the way in which he troubled Nemanja Vidic constantly makes for particularly grim planning. Any one of Bayern’s front six can cause us problems, and with plenty well-rested and desiring away goals, it will be a massacre if Moyes doesn’t have a functional, solid and disciplined back-line at his disposal on Tuesday night.


Kagawa must be grateful for Van Persie’s injury

At the risk of getting ahead of ourselves, the fact that Shinji Kagawa was hooked off just after the hour mark against Villa suggests that greater tasks await the Japanese international. Unlike last week, where he was allowed to complete 90 minutes at Upton Park, Kagawa, who again seemed to enjoy himself alongside Juan Mata and Wayne Rooney, was taken off with the result (mostly) assured, presumably with the impending European quarter final in mind. Kagawa’s had a rough ride this season, partly due to his new boss, and partly due to his inability to adapt when handed opportunities, but the form shown in the last week (not including his derby cameo) is highly encouraging.


The substitution is absolutely no assurance of anything positive, of course. Kagawa might get shunted out wide, where his influence is often diminished and find it difficult to influence proceedings against a team of much higher capability than Paul Lambert’s. But in this instance, the hope is that Moyes is analysing his options ahead of a huge game and deeming Kagawa to be a part of his plans with few better options available. As such, the Japanese couldn’t ask for a more overwhelming occasion in which to prove himself, but then again, if he feels dwarfed by it, then he might at the wrong club.

Mata’s goal end a difficult week with a smile

It’s taken a while; ten games to be exact, but United’s record signing has got his goal. It wasn’t particularly pretty, and owed much to a lucky inadvertent flick of Ron Vlaar after Maroaune Fellani lost control of the ball in Villa’s penalty area, but it was just reward for Mata’s desire to push further forward and after a fairly abject display in the derby, it was a warming sight to see the net bulge. The reaction told a story, too.

juan mata

Mata’s another player that has seemingly benefited from an increased licence to roam in the absence of Robin Van Persie, even if the hope is that this confidence can somehow be channelled when playing alongside the Dutchman, too. But either way, it was heartening to see a player who has slipped in to life so seamlessly in the North West and appears to enjoy being at this club get his moment in front of the Stretford End.

Rafael could use a break

With Patrice Evra already out of the game in midweek through suspension, United can ill-afford to lose another first choice wing-back against such ruthless opponents, and given the scope of the occasion, it’s almost impossible to consider giving Rafael a break if he’s fit. But in any other circumstances, it’d be wise to give the Brazilian a little time to rest.

It’s not something fans consider often, so ingrained is the assumption that footballers are robots and should be available for every game without fail. Obviously, they’re paid a lot of money to do so, but considering that Rafael receiving bookings in three of his last four league games has coincided with the birth of his second child, it wouldn’t be unkind to give him a day off at some point. Having a baby is one of the most amazing things you’ll ever do with your life, no matter how many times you’ll do it. Rafael’s most likely in the midst of nights where a few hours of sleep are all he can hope for, so if you’re wondering why he looks more frazzled than usual, look no further.

Enjoy that? Give it a share!

10 replies on “What We Learned: Manchester United 4-1 Aston Villa”

Manchester United used to have the most diverse fanbase with people from all walks of life and view on life and politics. Now it seems that freedom diversity has become the victim of the political correct agenda that runs the club on and off the pitch. I no longer feel I have anything in common with fellow United fans and my interest in the club and football in general seems to be dropping as every season passes. I am glad for what I experienced through the years when it comes to entertaining football and amazing success but doubt very much that I will be following the sport in the coming years.

That’s very sad. I will love football, and United, until the day my toes curl up and I’m put six feet under. I will support United through the highs and lows, as I’ve always done. The only thing I need to have in common with other United supporters is the constant support of the club.

Why is there always the proviso that fans may not be as generous in their support for Moyes “if we are pummelled in mid week” you almost sound, like others, who hope and want Utd to lose to suit their Moyes out agenda. I want Moyed to succeed, because if he does Utd will have. Fans clapping Moyes on to the pitch showed class , unlike the lack of it shown by “Wes”, with his fly by. He didn’t even understand most true supporters wouldn’t even see it, let alone support this embrassement.

I like your sentiment and I never want United to lose. However, to blindly follow is sheer folly. When all the evidence is there, we need to encourage change (as we did under Sexton even though he had managed to take us to our highest league finish, post Busby.

What I learned.

The banner in the sky was counter-productive, or at least premature, because the fans in the stadium have not yet reached the point where they are prepared to chant for Moyes’ dismissal. If the fans in the stadium had been chanting for Moyes’ sack then the appearance of the banner would have brought a great cheer. As it turned out, Moyes got a generous round of applause which allowed him to milk the moment and declare that the majority of the fans were with him. Until the fans in the ground turn on Moyes in great numbers then he is going nowhere.

The poor finishing of Beneteke denied the fans the excitement of seeing United equalise in the last minute of an eight goal thriller.

Chicharito is not a happy boy.

Kagawa is a quality player just like Mata and I hope the two most technically gifted players we have are paired together for a long time to come. Recent performances when played together show what a great duo they could become so I was a little taken aback with your suggestion that if Kagawa fails in the CL this week then he is at the wrong club.
On Tues Mata is not available, Evra suspended, we have one center back & no midfield, we have recently been thumped at home by two of our fiercest rivals and we now face the re-crowned German champions. If Kagawa was not available and Mata played with the same circumstances would you judge his future by his performance in such a match?
Kagawa was brought in by Sir Alex to replace Rooney who was getting too big for his own boots, before he retired he stated that this year would see the best of Kagawa. He would have been played in the right areas and given time, unfortunately events overtook the plans and Kagawa has never really been given a real opportunity amongst a bad team. We do not have a problem with the forwards (except Rooney’s ego) our desperation is to rebuild the defense and connect that to the forwards with a new quality midfield.
If we lose Kagawa it would be a travesty.
The management is a different story, to handle the top dealers in any profession you have got to have earned the right for them to respect you and up to now I would not like to deal with what I have seen.

I learned United had a decent game and Benteke was off form.I learned that the fans can suck up to the Moyes and Fergie establishment all they want.Looks like results will be the only factor left now for any change

moyes has the responsibility of getting the most out of players, developing them in training, fielding the most effective squad, and getting them to perform at their best.

so far moyes has been doing a terrible job! i agree the banner in the sky is no the classiest way to get the anger of his current performance accross…. but the principle is their. instead of moyes trying to dismiss the anger, i would have hoped he would have turned around and said he accepts we arent getting the results a team like utd should be getting, but he hopes those that feel that strongly against him will give him more time.

instead he tries to dismiss the upset of fans, publicly advertises utd suddenly need to aspire to their biggest rivals time and time again, and suddenly becomes so happy at a victory that was ok, but would never have happened had villa been in average form. fine, teams need to ride their luck, but tooooo often moyes relies on luck

i reluctantly agree moyes should be given time, but on the principal only of it gives the club bad credit if he does get sacked. publicly he does not support the club or fans in a way to respect our opinions, and constantly asks us to just ignore his mistakes.

kagawa vs bayern…. i strongly disagree his furture inclusion should rely on that one match. mata even his his role behind rooney is very good, but u guarantee kagawa in that role would be far better. for the remainder of the season, i am pushing to 2 formations.

1 striker
valencia mata kagawa janujaz

2 strikers
mata kagawa janujaz or valencia kagawa mata
rooney welbeck/hernandez

i stand by us only needing 1 holding midfielder. as far as i can tell… madrid do it, barca do it, and even bayern do it (but i accept i dont know a huge amount of the roles of these other players in those clubs)

from last team selections i have seen, its only really alonso and busquets for madrid and barca that have the holding role

keep kagawa and mata together in the middle with 1 striker, and we keep width and the bility to completely dominate possession.

mata i believe based on recent performances can be just as good on the wing as behind the strikers. if anything, its having kagawa there thats really helped elevate his game

kagawa is a class player, definitely can do more, but that cross to rooney… the sheer class is unbelievable. firstly he took out 2 defenders with a simple turn, and opened up a huge amount of space for himself, then the inpoint cross to rooneys head such that rooney didnt have to move… and the timing of it all… to bring us back level in a game we were struggling to push up. it was a very important moment.

throughout the game kagawa was making some nice passes, and on the end of some poor passes from his team mates. he adds a different dimention. the reason i like the idea of mata and kagawa in closer proximity, is we can have mata feeding him more supply. them two build a relationship, along with rooney RVP and other strikers, too much for teams to cope with.

we shouldnt worry too much about defensive midfielders, and need a stronger back 4

there is too much compromise at the moment in how we can attack, which means we are less efficient and loose the ball more often.

again, vs bayern
de gea
rafael smalling jones buttner
valencia giggs kagawa welbeck

id sacrifice welbeck on the left wing purely for his pace, he could be incredibly good there.

carrick…. the two games he hasnt been in midfield goals have come…. moyes will o doubt bring him back in… but this is a huge mistake!!! for all his quality, he is not mobile enough and wont be effective against bayern. same for fletcher imho.

Had Benteke been his usual self, we wouldn’t have won the game. Teams like Aston Villa are not our competition, we expect to beat them no matter what. Come Tuesday we are going to face our real competition in Bayern Munchen. I would like to see the headline; What we learned: Man utd 0 – “add an integer here” Bayern Munchen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.