Manchester United maintained their strong league record at home, whilst Aston Villa’s relegation to the Championship became official.
United’s form at home has been fantastic – their last defeat at Old Trafford was back in January when Southampton picked up the three points with a late Charlie Austin winner.
The Red Devils completed a solid performance against Villa on Saturday, but they weren’t good enough to complete the job convincingly. The home side had to see out the game by defending against the bottom side, which led to a lot of boos from the United fans in the final minutes of the game.
Here are three things learned from the match which ended ‘Man United 1-0 Aston Villa’.
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1. Youngster saves United once again
United picked up all three points courtesy of a Marcus Rashford goal, but other than that the fifth-placed side didn’t trouble Villa much. Rashford has saved United on many occassions this season.
The 18-year-old, who made his senior debut in February, has made seven consecutive league apperances and is already the fourth top goalscorer for the club this season. He has kept United’s top-four hopes alive and may well be keeping Louis Van Gaal in a job.
2. Rooney impressive in the deep role
Wayne Rooney started his first game for the senior side since his return from injury. And he pulled the strings in an attacking midfield role.
The captain, who is still waiting to break the club’s all time goalscoring record, completed 67 minutes of the game.
Rooney looks like a serious option in midfield, after being used as a forward for so many years. He has lost a bit of his touch and pace, but could be used in the deeper role for a few years yet.
3. United unconvincing against the lower sides
The red side of Manchester have been impressive against the big sides in the league, but they haven’t been good enough against the teams in the relegation battle.
United have now completed home and away games against Villa, Newcastle and Sunderland – the three worst sides in the league, on the evidence of the table – picking up just 11 points out of 18.
Furthermore, fellow scrappers Norwich won at Old Trafford back in December.
Dropped points against small fry will be a big talking point at the end of the season, especially if United miss out on the top four.