Not many would have given Manchester United a chance after they went two goals down against an Aston Villa side that had not tasted defeat after going ahead this season.
But against the odds, Erik ten Hag’s side came roaring back to win 3-2 and continue their fantastic Boxing Day record and now are unbeaten in 20 games on this day at Old Trafford.
While the attacking triumvirate of Rasmus Hojlund, Alejandro Garnacho, and Marcus Rashford will rightly take most of the credit, the display of Jonny Evans at the back was another major highlight.
What a block from Evans
Unai Emery’s team had the chance to score their third with John McGinn diverting the ball goalwards with Andre Onana caught out of position.
But the Northern Irishman made a crucial goal-line block to preserve the parity after the Red Devils had done so well to come back into the contest.
It was a crucial piece of play at that moment which would certainly have shattered the team if it had gone against the team after they put in so much effort to finally end the curse in front of the goal.
That clearance almost acted like a booster shot as it imbued the team with confidence and subsequently, the young Dane proceeded to score the winner.
The 35-year-old was immense at the back, blocking three goalbound efforts and making one clearance and that crucial last-ditch intervention (all stats from Sofascore).
He also made four interceptions and won all his three aerial duels with the in-form Ollie Watkins hardly getting a sniff on the night.
The academy graduate was calm on the ball and despite the Villa pressure, always kept his wits about himself and made the right pass.
He had 49 touches of the ball and completed 92 percent of his passes while also successfully delivering one long ball as United tried to beat the high Aston Villa backline.
Many were disappointed when the club signed the veteran as an emergency signing instead of spending big on a defender but the manager’s choice has certainly been vindicated.
He has undoubtedly been the signing of the season and despite a chastening campaign for the team, Evans can hold his head high.