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Manchester United prove they are the comeback kings

by Ayantan Chowdhury

It seemed like Manchester United were down and out heading into half-time on Boxing Day as Aston Villa scored twice in the first half from set-piece deliveries.

The Red Devils had not scored in four consecutive games heading into Tuesday’s encounter and the attack and the minimal service offered to Rasmus Hojlund were heavily criticised leading up to the game.

Erik ten Hag’s decision of bringing back Marcus Rashford on the left and shifting Alejandro Garnacho to the right proved to be a masterstroke as the Englishman picked up an assist while the Argentine grabbed a brace.

Remarkable turnaround

The Dane, who was yet to open his account in the English top flight after 14 games, scored a memorable winner and was quite emotional after the strike.

Old Trafford was rocking under the lights and it made for a fantastic contest which the fans and the manager will be hoping is the start of something special.

Fans will hope the defence can do better moving forward but the thrill of snatching victory from the jaws of defeat remains unparalleled and one United fans have been treated to countless times over the years.

It was yet another timely reminder of United’s lost art of comebacks and should serve as a warning to teams in England about the club’s ability to create miracles.

As per Opta, this was the 20-time league champions’ 14th win in the Premier League after going behind by two or more goals.

United lead the charts

United are famous for their comebacks and their famed never-say-die attitude has meant they have done so five more times than their closest rivals.

The victory over Unai Emery’s team was the second time this has happened under the Dutchman, with the first coming earlier this season — against Nottingham Forest at the Theatre of Dreams.

Opposition teams used to cower in fear after going up by a couple of goals when Sir Alex Ferguson was in charge, with the Reds emerging triumphant seven times.

Jose Mourinho was the architect of three such turnarounds including the famous come-from-behind Manchester Derby victory back in 2018.

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