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Will A Villa Draw Do?

 Posted by on December 21, 2014 at 7:28 pm  Aston Villa, Blogs/Media, England, EPL, Manchester United
Dec 212014

Aston Villa 1-1 Manchester United
79866334 falcaoheadereuropeanphotopress Will A Villa Draw Do?There can be no excuses for this poor display. In spite of all the boastful chit-chat from Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick, true United fans will have been crossing their fingers under the table. Without the underrated creativity of Ander Herrera and the awkward but diligent graft of Marouane Fellaini, United just aren’t good enough. With the defense, especially the relentlessly. tactically-challenged Jonny Evans, allowing Christian Benteke to run rampant in the box as if he were a latter-day Ronaldo, fat or thin, United were desperately lucky to leave Brum behind with a point in hand. The lesson players like Fabian Delph have repeatedly shown to United, but the team seems too dense to absorb, is that aggression is more important than just the fact of pure possession. Part and parcel of this is that, with Fellaini out sick, trust was placed in United’s sad old pro, Darren Fletcher, to run the midfield. As has most often been the case with the Scot, long before the onset of colitis, desire is not enough. Repeatedly guilty of giving the ball away, it was his glaring error that set up Benteke’s brilliant goal.

Further to that, with Fletcher and Evans so utterly dreadful, Louis Van Gaal was forced to pull Carrick from the back line (where we can trust him to tell Evans where he’s supposed to stand) and put him in midfield. Consequently, United’s passing improved in midfield, but transformed into rudderless at the back. Worse yet, tired though the rest of the team were Benteke, Okore and Delph, who clearly lead by example for the last 25 minutes, Paul Lambert’s side courageously held on for a draw which wiped away what should have been a simple exercise in wearing down one off the division’s weaker teams.

More than a bit fortunate that Gabriel Agbonlahor got a harsh, straight red card, that even his victim of a high tackle, Ashley Young, confessed was more or less bogus, United, injury shattered at the back, still ought to have had the wherewithal to have used as a means of simply overwhelming their opponents.. United, whose two attacking midfielders, Mata and Rooney, had nothing to do but frolic all day but simply had no heart for on the day.

79868644 lvgap Will A Villa Draw Do?Benteke’s exquisite goal—his first at Villa Park in the league since March – was brilliantly created out of slight of hand. Completely against the run of play, the Belgian took the ball down on his chest, seemingly extracting a powerful Fabian Delph’s dipping free-kick after a needless Fletcher foul, out of the air. The Belgian striker then shifted the ball over to his left foot and, with a static Jonny Evans blocking his view, Benteke still somehow managed to curve a shot from just inside the box which flew into the top corner o0f the net leaving David De Gea flat-footed.

Never dominant, Villa just about held on throughout, throwing out only a very rare counterattack. Then, at last, ten minutes into the second half, Radamel Falcao grabbed only his second United goal ever after making his first league start in more than two months. Ashley Young repeatedly left alone to gambol on the left flank finally managed to execute a decent pass out of the reach of Villa’s energetic keeper Brad Guzan which the Colombian powered home off his head. Unfortunately, whatever cavalry charge United fans expected to materialize from then on simply never occurred. Ashley Young is a very diligent worker and has added much to his generally weak all-around game by becoming a committed left wing back under Van Gaal. Tragically, like Aaron Lennon, Stewart Downing, Matthew Etherington, David Bentley, Jermaine Jenas and a number of other English wingers of his generations, Young simply doesn’t own the skill, technique or coordination to put in the simplest of square crosses to help his teammates score the simplest of goals.

Even after Agbonlahor’s dismissal—for a boot raised high on an advancing Ashley Young rather than a nasty tackle—United could simply never find it within themselves to overwhelm a stoic Villa. A relentless nuisance, Benteke almost added a second early in the second half, when David de Gea finger tipped his vicious header, over the bar. United huffed and puffed in pursuit of a winner as Carrick’s glancing header was hacked clear by Okore. James Wilson, a second-half substitute, forced the impressive Guzan into a late save, but it was a soft powder-puff of a shot and Villa, who had a late chance, held on.

79864830 falcaogetty Will A Villa Draw Do?

Ivor Irwin

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