Manchester United got off to a difficult start to their league games when they came back from one-zero, beating Aston Villa 3-1.
Ole and the squad ended up with an overloaded schedule list in which they will play six games in 17 days.
A win today was crucial to keeping second place and Champions League football firmly under control for the next season. The added sweetener delayed City’s title celebration by at least a couple of days.
Here are the top three players in today’s win over Villa …
(Photo by Matthew Peters / Manchester United via Getty Images)
The teenager was a buzzing bundle of energy from the first whistle today.
He demonstrated a side of his game that has been blossoming lately – his game.
We have seen a lot of evidence to suggest he is a clinical finisher. His goal for today was proof of that, and his style has often been compared to that of United’s great Robin Van Persie.
But in the past few weeks we’ve seen Greenwood pull out some incredible templates.
Today he drifted in from the left wing and sprayed passes into the box with the peach of a left foot, opening opportunities for Pogba and Rashford.
Not satisfied enough with that, he drove through the mansion’s defenses several times and managed to fire off some difficult shots that goalkeeper Martinez was able to save.
And then the goal came by sucking in Villa defender Tyrone Mings before rolling him on the turn. Greenwood shot into the left corner in a low penalty, the kind of goal we expect the teenager to score these days.
(Photo by Shaun Botterill / Getty Images)
The Frenchman started his third game in a row in the attacking midfielder role on the left and it looks like it’s starting to gel.
He is able to show his best qualities and removes the defensive responsibilities that he has faced in the past and that came with central midfield role.
What he lacks in the explosive pace that Marcus Rashford normally brings to this role, he makes up for with exquisite technique, vision and power.
It’s the little things that make Pogba such a huge asset: ball control and flicks around the corner to start attacking moves, strength to keep the game and players off the ball, and positioning to hold back in case the ball is outside of the penalty area breaks.
Winning the penalty kick with his brand strength and triggering the comeback was a prime example of this.
It seems that only Pogba knows where he will play his football next season, with his contract and the potential to stay free at the end of this season.
But the prospect of long-term play in that role could be enough to keep the World Cup winner at Old Trafford.
(Photo by SHAUN BOTTERILL / POOL / AFP via Getty Images)
At his 250th club appearance, Luke Shaw contributed another outstanding performance that must make him an eye-catcher for Gareth Southgate’s plans for the summer.
The English left-back showed his pace and strength as he bullied Villa players from the ball and pushed them out of the room to push forward.
As we’ve always known with Luke Shaw, his attack strength is up there with the best left-backs in the league and today he offered another attacking opportunity to drive defenders in the style Rashford would normally do, which Pogba doesn’t quite have to pace to do.
As defensive as he is offensive now, Luke Shaw has had a memorable season in which he will play a central role in Ole’s plans for the next season.
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