Two points dropped. Sometimes you come away from a draw feeling that it was a good result but that certainly isn’t the case today after Manchester United’s draw against Aston Villa.
The win was there for the taking after Gabriel Agbonlahor’s red card but United lost their shape after James Wilson was brought on for Antonio Valencia. If you had turned in on the 70th minute, you wouldn’t have known United had a man advantage unless you were told.
Overall, it was a poor performance and a fair result because of it.
No need for a knee jerk. Dropping points away to Villa is frustrating but the emotions have been heightened because United were on a six game winning streak and there were murmurings of United being involved in the title race off the back of it.
Don’t get the prerogative of this season twisted because of a winning streak – United are aiming for the top four. That has always been the case and nothing will change that, so the fact we’re going to be in the top three at Xmas means this season is very much going to plan so far.
Van Gaal’s a genius but he got it wrong. The 3-5-2 didn’t work at all. We may have had plenty of possession in the first half but Villa offered more threat in attack than United did.
Van Gaal was forced into changing the personnel and Falcao’s equaliser got United back into the game but from then on, United were blunt. After Agbonlahor’s red, there wasn’t an increase in tempo from United as you would expect. If anything, the game became slower in attack.
There was plenty of possession but very few chances created and although the players have to take some of the blame for that, Van Gaal set United up wrong today so has to share the blame.
Radamel Falcao is back in business.
Darren Fletcher exposed his own frailty. Fletcher started today because Marouane Fellaini and Ander Herrera were both missing and it was no surprise to see him taken off at half-time by Louis van Gaal.
He deserves all the applause in the world for showing such grit and determination to overcome his illness and return to football but unfortunately for Fletcher his time as a United player seems up.
Worried about Jonny Evans. You’d be forgiven for thinking Evans is Man Utd’s most experienced defender from watching his performance against Aston Villa today.
The Northern Irishman was all over the shop defensively, it really was a poor performance from him. So many of his passes were errant and more than one of his clearances fell to a Villa player.
It’s a worrying time for Evans because since returning from injury he has very much struggled to find any sort of form.