June 15, 2021

Manchester City have to wait for Title as Man United come from behind to beat Aston Villa

The title celebrations for Pep Guardiola will have to wait a little longer after Manchester United came from behind to win for a 10th time this season.

With defeat sending the Premier League to Manchester City, United fell behind to Bertrand Traore before staging a second-half comeback with goals from Bruno Fernandes, Mason Greenwood and Edinson Cavani.

It preserved their status as kings of the road this season and they will go through the season unbeaten away from Old Trafford with a positive result at Wolves on the final day of the campaign.

As they have done so often this season, United fell behind after a slow start. This time it was Bertrand Traore taking advantage of their susceptibility to only going through the gears after conceding.

Scott McTominay lost the ball to John McGinn in midfield and it led to Douglas Luiz sending Traore away just inside the penalty area. The Burkina Faso forward forced his way around Victor Lindelof, who was well positioned but tackled with little conviction. His finish angled into the top corner.

This United team seem to respond to half-time team talks from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and this was the case again. Within 11 minutes of the restart they were ahead.

Paul Pogba was the first to spring to life, teasing Luiz with the ball before taking a knee in the back of the legs to earn a penalty. Fernandes stuttered in his run up but calmly waited for Emi Martinez to move before rolling it into the opposite corner.

After Sergio Aguero’s miss kept the champagne on ice at the Etihad Stadium, this was a masterful spot-kick.

Greenwood nudged United ahead and became the club’s highest teenager goalscorer in the Premier League, ahead of Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ryan Giggs and other stars of previous eras.

His 16th strike came after being fed the ball from Aaron Wan-Bissaka and turning sharply to deceive Tyrone Mings. He took his shot early, beating Martinez at the near post. With two more games this week, Solskjaer took him off shortly after.

There was still work to do to keep City from celebrating. Maguire was at the heart of the action, forcing his own goalkeeper Dean Henderson into action as he tried to clear. He also picked up a booking, asking referee Chris Kavanagh  “are you taking the p—?” as he tussled with Ollie Watkins.

Then came the sight Gareth Southgate was fearing. Maguire hobbled off with a suspected calf injury to leave England sweating ahead of the Euros.

Cavani headed in from Marcus Rashford’s cross to complete the scoring, with Watkins dismissed late on for a second bookable offence after he was penalised for diving in the penalty area.

 

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