[Editor’s Note] Every match, Liam - our young writer - selects a ‘man of the match’ - win, lose or draw.
Aston Villa secured a point at the Theatre of Dreams after Dean Smith’s side drew with Manchester United 2-2. The Villans climb up one position to 15th whilst Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side now sit in the top half of the Premier League after today’s result.
The floodlights shone brightly on the young Red Devils with the United faithful hoping for a home win for the first time since 10th November whilst the visitors where aiming for their second consecutive win after beating the Magpies on Monday. Jack Grealish opened the scoring in the 11th minute after exquisitely curling the ball into the top right hand corner of the net, reminiscent of Lionel Messi manipulating the ball at his feet with The Villa View’s Tom Julian full of praise for Villa’s skipper. “It was a spectacular finish - something that Grealish has been looking to add to his game for the last couple of years. I thought that Manchester United had no way of dealing with him, other than bringing him down, and the goal capped another scintillating display. Long may it continue!” The away side continued to sporadically dominate possession however United started to create chances as Martial and Rashford both tested Heaton in the net however Dean Smith’s defence remained resolute. With three minutes of normal time to be played, Manchester United equalised after Marcus Rashford’s header from close range rebounded of the post and deflected of Heaton into the goal.
The Villans became complacent during the early stages of the second half and allowed Ole Gunna Solskjær’s side to pressurise their defence. Fred, Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Biska’s attempt’s at goal caused the Villa faithful to become concerned about their side conceding and the Swedish centre back Victor Lindelöf’s intricate header saw the Stretford End erupt with euphoria as United took the lead in the 64th minute. Two minutes later England International Tyrone Mings equalised from close range as his powerful left footed shot beat a helpless De Gea in the net. Despite both sides’ efforts, the game finished as a draw with the Red Devil’s securing their sixth draw of the season whilst Villa picked up a point for a third time in this Premier League campaign.
After a valiant performance from every player in claret and blue, there were a lot of potential nominees for the Man of the Match however the award could only be given to one man, Super Jacky Grealish.
A maestro in midfield, an artful attacker, Grealish was simply superb. For 90 minutes he was a constant nuisance to Man United’s backline as he controlled the speed of the game at his own pace. As I have previously said in my Man of the Match articles, “On the ball, he floats like a butterfly as he continually bamboozles defences with his skill and stings like a bee as he possesses a clinical edge which is finally blossoming in front of our very own eyes.” Aston Villa Vlogger Kai Carter was amongst the Villa faithful at Old Trafford and described the atmosphere when Grealish opened the scoring. “In the first 10 minutes, obviously he scored an absolute screamer which sent the away end bussing. On another day he could have got two or three more however you could tell that he was trying his best.”