Manchester United won their third Premier League game in a row as they overcame Aston Villa 2-1 away from home on Sunday.
This was Erik ten Hag’s first away win as manager against a team in the top nine since he became manager.
United closed the gap with Villa to five points and are only six behind Tottenham Hotspur in fourth. The race for Champions League football is heating up.
The Red Devils opened the scoring through Rasmus Hojlund, who showed his killer instincts as a striker to pounce on Harry Maguire’s header from a corner.
United keep losing control
But true to form, the away side relinquished all control since taking the lead, allowing Unai Emery’s team back into the contest.
The defence somehow held firm till the 67th minute when the barrier broke as Douglas Luiz equalised after constant pressure from the Villans.
It was coming for some time since Luke Shaw’s injury-enforced substitution at half-time which forced the manager to bring on Victor Lindelof on the left.
Scott McTominay, as has been the case pretty often this season, sealed all three points as he headed home after a brilliant cross from Diogo Dalot.
The manager will be delighted with the three points but the injury situation will be deeply concerning.
He had indicated that the team is prepared to treat every game as a Cup final but losing two out of your three key players will affect the plans moving forward.
Lisandro Martinez is out at least until March and now Shaw could be joining him. The left back was playing a key part in United’s form and he was dovetailing nicely with Marcus Rashford.
United had decided to end Sergio Reguilon’s loan and the Spaniard has since started strongly at Brentford.
Alvaro Fernandez was deemed to be not ready and Tyrell Malacia remains injured. Lindelof and Sofyan Amrabat are not good enough.
The injury of Aaron Wan-Bissaka is another big blow. The recent resurgence could once again be threatened in the days to come.
United next face Luton Town away from home. It will be interesting to see how the manager copes.