By Kiran Thakare
- Rashford seals 1-0 win for United
- Defeats confirms the visitors relegation
Manchester United continued their quest for top four position after grabbing a sneaky 1-0 win over Aston Villa. The defeat to the Red Devils confirmed relegation for the visitors.
The win for United closed down the gap with fourth placed Manchester City to one point ahead of their game with Chelsea later today.
Louis Van Gaal made numerous changes from the side that faced West Ham United on Wednesday. Valencia replaced Fosu-Mensah in the back four while Blind, Smalling and Rojo all retained their places in the starting eleven.
Morgan Schneiderlin replaced Carrick forming a midfield pivot with Fellaini. Memphis, Rooney and Mata all came in for Martial, Lingard and Ander Herrera in an attack lead by Marcus Rashford.
Manchester United as expected dominated the possesion from kick off. The Red Devils kept ball ticking in the midfield as Aston Villa remained very compact while defending. The first chance came from a corner for the Red Devils after ten minute mark as Smalling and Fellaini were unmarked but couldn’t capitalise due to miscommunication between them.
The deadlock was broken just after half-hour mark as Rashford finished from close range from a Valencia cross. Rooney played a key role in the goal as his diagonal ball to Valencia initiated the move.
The Red Devils kept the ball well and created half chances. Mata was looking dangerous when he was coming centrally and trying to find his teammates in small pockets behind defence.
Manchester United started the second-half in the best way possible as Rashford got a shot blocked off Lescott after some clever play from Mata and Memphis.
Memphis was the most dangerous player for the Red Devils as he was beating his man and started creating chances for his teammates. He was left disappointed as there were no bodies in the box to convert his crosses. The Red Devils continued to control the game as Villa hardly looked dangerous in attack.
Villa got two great chances in last few minutes of the game as the substitute Gestede got his header saved by the crossbar. Clark also came close from a set-piece only for it to be saved by De Gea.
The Red Devils looked nervy but managed see off few minutes of danger. Depay was unlucky in the end for his shot to be pushed on to the crossbar. Manchester United got the three points at the end of the day which mattered but will be disappointed with lack of goals.
Manchester United: De Gea, Valencia, Smalling, Blind, Rojo, Schneiderlin, Fellaini, Mata (Fosu-Mensah 89), Rooney (Lingard 66), Memphis, Rashford (Martial 76) Substitutes Not Used: Romero, Darmian , McNair, Young