MANCHESTER UNITED were deservedly beaten 3-1 by Aston Villa on Sunday afternoon.
Leon Bailey gave the hosts the lead after just seven minutes when Jacob Ramsey dropped into a pocket of space and slid a lovely pass through for the Jamaican to coolly finish off.
And Unai Emery, managing his first game for the club, saw his side double their lead four minutes later when Lucas Digne whipped a superb free-kick into the bottom corner.
Luke Shaw‘s hopeful long-range effort brought United back into the game before half-time thanks to a big deflection off Jacob Ramsey.
But Villa regained their two-goal advantage four minutes into the second period when Watkins pulled the ball back for Ramsey to lash home.
Here is how SunSport’s Dylan Terry saw the performances of the Man Utd players.
DAVID DE GEA – 6
Could do very little about either of the goals – Villa’s only two attempts on goal in the first half.
Made a couple of routine saves early in the second period before Ramsey’s accomplished finish had him beaten once more.
DIOGO DALOT – 5
Villa exposed the right side of Man Utd’s defence time and time again in the opening 30 minutes.
Dalot is still showing a superb amount of energy going forward, starting attacks and linking well with the midfield.
But in this game his end product left much to be desired.
VICTOR LINDELOF – 3
United had conceded just one goal from open play in their last four league matches before Varane’s injury. But they were ruthlessly exposed twice in 11 minutes at the start of this one.
Martinez clearly does not have the same understanding with the Swede as he does with regular partner Varane.
That could continue to be a problem at Fulham next weekend, with the idea of Maguire returning suddenly not such a worrying prospect.
Manhandled by Watkins on several occasions – including for the third goal. A very poor performance.
LISANDRO MARTINEZ – 5
Caught flat-footed for Villa’s first goal, failing to get back in time to block Bailey’s strike.
Showed his ever-present aggression and tenacity, but looked a yard or two short. Needs to get used to life without Varane before next weekend.
LUKE SHAW – 6
Seemed to be the only defender actually doing his job at times.
Covered for Martinez and Lindelof on a couple of occasions when he tucked in. Also blocked crosses coming in from the Villa right.
Rifled home the heavily deflected shot which got United back into the game.
Undeservedly hooked for Malacia midway through the second half.
CASEMIRO – 5
Was positionally at fault for the first goal but wasn’t helped by Eriksen continually being caught too high up.
His passing range is a major plus for United at the base of their midfield, but he failed to protect the back four sufficiently at Villa Park.
In particular, the third goal saw him fail to get back in time.
CHRISTIAN ERIKSEN – 4
Left a huge amount of space in behind for Villa’s opener as Ramsey wandered in between the lines and fed Bailey.
Saw a lot of the ball and was often asked to create something from a deeper midfield position, but didn’t really conjure up all that much.
MARCUS RASHFORD – 4
A very quiet game. Rashford has always proven himself to be effective off the left and more lately through the centre.
But he was asked to occupy the right side here and it simply did not work.
Unsure whether he can play in the same team as Ronaldo.
Not the ideal performance just days out from the announcement of Southgate’s final England squad.
DONNY VAN DE BEEK – 5
Actually looked pretty impactful in between the lines, popping the ball off neatly to those out wide.
But clearly does not currently have the confidence to impact the game how he would like. Lacked a final pass inside the area.
ALEJANDRO GARNACHO – 6
Seemed lively and energetic on the left-hand side during his first Premier League start.
Denied by a smart save from Martinez after half an hour.
Still needs to put on a bit of muscle as was bullied off the ball in attacking areas by Mings and Konsa.
CRISTIANO RONALDO – 3
Went close with a downward header which Martinez stopped with his feet. Other than that endured a forgettable afternoon in the Midlands.
The Portuguese superstar’s second half highlight saw him grapple with Mings in an embarrassing off-the-ball exchange.
United undoubtedly a better team without him in the side.
Still has just one Premier League goal so far this season.
TYRELL MALACIA (FOR SHAW, 66) – 5
Did not impact the game nearly as much as Shaw – the man he replaced midway through the second half.
ANTHONY ELANGA (FOR GARNACH0, 66) – 5
Gave Villa something to think about with his pace and trickery, but ultimately failed to threaten in the box.
ANTHONY MARTIAL (FOR VAN DE BEEK, 66) – 5
Clipped an aimless cross into the middle from a dangerous area.
Always looks promising on the ball but ends up making the wrong decision far too often.
Unused subs: Maguire, Fred, Pellistri, Dubravka, McTominay, Shoretire.
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