Manchester United get revenge against Aston Villa as Martial shines in six-goal thriller

MANCHESTER, England– Manchester United secured their place in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup with a 4-2 win over Aston Villa at Old Trafford. United were beaten 3-1 by Villa in the Premier League on Sunday and retaliated by coming twice from behind to oust Unai Emery’s side.

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After a memorable first half, the visitors led twice through Ollie Watkins and a Diogo Dalot own goal, but were pushed back by equalization from the fit Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford, who scored his eighth goal of the season to celebrate his World Cup call-up in England.

Bruno Fernandes gave United the lead with 12 minutes left before Scott McTominay added a fourth in added time, while Erik ten Hags’ hopes of lifting the trophy for the first time since 2017 stayed alive.

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Fast reaction

1. Ten Hag sets trophy hopes ahead of World Cup

Before the game, Erik ten Hag said his priority this season is to get United into the Top 4 and back into the Champions League. But the Dutchman also knows the importance of ending the club’s five-year trophy drought quickly and even with the World Cup just days away there have been no days off for his key players.

Ten Hag made seven changes from the team that lost at Villa Park on Sunday but still started with Harry Maguire, Martial, Dalot, Rashford and Fernandes and was rewarded with a spot in the Carabao Cup fourth round draw . Ten Hag is smart enough to understand that even English football’s second domestic title is worth its time, especially given that United haven’t won anything since 2017 when Jose Mourinho was in charge.

Progress in the Carabao Cup means playing again just days after December’s World Cup final, but Ten Hag doesn’t care as long as he has a chance to win some silver. His celebration after the final whistle showed that he wants to win this trophy.

2. United need Martial to stay fit

Martial was one of United’s standout players on the pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia but his season was cut short by three separate injuries. Fully fit again and with Cristiano Ronaldo out due to illness, he started against Villa and scored his fourth goal in just his sixth appearance of the season. Goals have not been a problem for the Frenchman this season; The problem was staying fit.

Martial, back in action, could play a big role for United in the second half of the season. With him dropped from the France squad for the World Cup, he should be well-rested when the Premier League restarts after Christmas and Ten Hag is hoping his return will help United solve their scoring problem.

He’s obviously better suited than Ronaldo to the role of Ten Hag’s centre-forward and United certainly looked like a better team with him at the helm over the summer. He was substituted early here – presumably as a precaution as he builds up his match fitness – but will be crucial in the restart of the season after the World Cup. Ten Hag can only hope he stays injury free.

3. Emery learns a lot as Villa push United close

Villa is out of the Carabao Cup but Emery will have learned a lot about his squad. After beating United so comprehensively on Sunday, Villa’s new manager could have stayed with the same team just days before the World Cup break but instead decided to rearrange his squad and look at his fringe players.

The Spaniard made seven changes from the team that won 3-1 at Villa Park, with only Ezri Konsa, Douglas Luiz, Jacob Ramsey and Watkins retaining their spots. Villa meet Brighton on Sunday but then have another game after Christmas due to the tournament in Qatar and the trip to United was the only real chance to get a closer look at the likes of John McGinn, Boubacar Kamara and Danny Ings before the second half of the season .

Villa have not won a major trophy since 1996 – beating United in the League Cup final – and while fans will no doubt be disappointed that a realistic shot at silver this season is gone, Emery is likely to feel the risk of rotating his team was worth it because he wants to get to know his new players as quickly as possible.


Player Ratings

Manchester United: Dubravka 6, Dalot 7, Malacia 7, Lindelof 6, Maguire 6, McTominay 6, Fred 5, Van de Beek 4, Fernandes 8, Rashford 7, Martial 7.

Subtitle: Elanga 6, Garnacho 7, Eriksen 7, Casemiro 6, Martinez 6.

Aston-Villa: Olsen 7, Young 7, Augustinsson 6, Chambers 6, Konsa 6, Luiz 7, Kamara 6, McGinn 6, Ramsey 7, Watkins 7, Ings 5.

Subtitle: Buendia 6, Bailey 6, Mings 6, Cash 6, Digne 6.


Best and worst performers

Best: Bruno Fernandes

Back after his suspension he scored United’s crucial third goal.

THE WORST: Donny van de Beek

The midfielder managed just 21 touches in just over an hour and, like Sunday’s game at Villa Park, was substituted early on.


Highlights and notable moments

A minute after Watkins scored for Villa, Martial United leveled.

United went under again after Dalot’s own goal.

Fernandes scored the winning goal in a continuous second half.

A nice pass from Garnacho found McTominay, who scored United’s fourth stoppage-time goal.


Important statistics

– Antony Martial has six goals in six appearances this season

– First goal in seven games against Manchester United for Ollie Watkins

– Marcus Rashford has scored in three straight home games for Man United in all competitions


Next

Manchester United: Erik ten Hag’s side meet Fulham in the Premier League on November 13 before the World Cup begins. United then travel to Spain for two friendlies, the first against Cadiz on December 7 and the second against Real Betis on December 10, to keep their squad fresh before they resume their league clash against Nottingham Forest on December 27.

Aston-Villa: Unai Emery and Villa travel to Brighton on November 13, followed by a game against Liverpool on December 26 and a visit to Tottenham Hotspur on January 1.

https://www.espn.com/soccer/blog-the-match/story/4798744/manchester-united-get-revenge-against-aston-villa-as-martial-shines-in-six-goal-thriller Manchester United get revenge against Aston Villa as Martial shines in six-goal thriller

Emma Bowman

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