McTominay's late header gives Man Utd win at Aston Villa

11 Feb 2024
McTominay, Man Utd

Rasmus Hojlund also scores while Andre Onana stars in goal as Red Devils boost top-four hopes

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Scott McTominay was the hero once again for Manchester United as his late header earned a 2-1 win at Aston Villa, boosting the Red Devils' hopes of securing UEFA Champions League football next season.

Rasmus Hojlund opened the scoring on 17 minutes in a breathless encounter at Villa Park, but Douglas Luiz levelled for the home side midway through the second half.

It was McTominay who provided the decisive moment on 86 minutes, heading in from Diogo Dalot's superb cross to secure a crucial three points and United's third straight league victory. His seven league goals this season have won United 12 points this season, more than any other player in the competition.

Goalkeeper Andre Onana was also in inspired form, making eight saves, his joint-most in a match since joining Man Utd, as Villa suffered back-to-back home defeats following a 17-match unbeaten run at Villa Park.

The race for Europe

Position Pos Club Played Pl GD Points Pts
3 Arsenal ARS 26 +39 58
4 Aston Villa AVL 26 +21 52
5 Spurs TOT 25 +14 47
6 Man Utd MUN 26 0 44
View More
How the match unfolded

Viila made two changes from the team that won 5-0 at Sheffield United last weekend, with Matty Cash and Jacob Ramsey coming in for Ezri Konsa and Youri Tielemans.

As for Man Utd, Raphael Varane replaced the injured Lisandro Martinez.

In an open start to the match, Villa dominated possession, but Man Utd carried the greater goal threat, with most of their opportunities coming from set-pieces.

Harry Maguire headed over the bar from a corner before playing a direct role in the opening goal.

The centre-back rose highest to direct Bruno Fernandes' corner towards Hojlund, who beat the offside trap and finished from close range.

Aged 21 years and seven days old, Hojlund is the second-youngest player to score in five successive Premier League appearances, only behind Nicolas Anelka, who did so for Arsenal in November 1998, aged 19 years and 239 days.

Hojlund goal

Villa reacted well and had a series of shots as Leon Bailey curled an effort wide and John McGinn stung the palms of Onana with a long-range strike, before Ollie Watkins was thwarted by the Cameroon goalkeeper.

United were forced into making a change at half-time, with Luke Shaw making way for Victor Lindelof. Erik ten Hag revealed after the match that the left-back with withdrawn as a precaution. 

Both sides had chances early in the second half, with Marcus Rashford's driving run resulting in a tame effort that was saved by Emiliano Martinez before Watkins missed a great opportunity to level, shooting straight at Onana from point-blank range.

The home side continued to press for an equaliser, with Ramsey's weak shot cleared by Dalot, but Villa's persistence paid off as they made it 1-1 through Douglas Luiz.

United were unable to clear Bailey's corner, and when the ball came back to the winger, his low cross was turned into the roof of the net by the Brazilian for his seventh goal of the season.

Douglas Luiz, Aston Villa

The lively Alejandro Garnacho nearly put United back in front immediately, but his low shot went agonisingly wide of a post.

Douglas Luiz then missed a great chance to give Villa the lead, failing to get enough on a left-footed effort that was easily dealt with by Onana.

That miss proved costly as McTominay, United's top Premier League scorer this season, put Man Utd 2-1 up, heading in powerfully from close range to take the Red Devils onto 41 points, just five behind Villa and six behind Tottenham Hotspur.

Club reports

Aston Villa report | Man Utd report

Next five Premier League fixtures
Key facts

Only Manchester City (eight) and Arsenal (seven) have won more Premier League away games this season than Man Utd, with six.

Man Utd have now won four consecutive away games in all competitions, their longest such run on the road since winning 10 in a row from June to October 2020.

McTominay has scored seven Premier League goals this season, the most of any player for Manchester United. Four of those have been as a substitute, the joint-most by any player in the division in 2023/24, level with Joao Pedro.

Each of Douglas Luiz's last nine Premier League goals for Aston Villa have come at Villa Park, including all seven this season; this is the most by a player to score 100 per cent of their goals at a single ground in the competition in 2023/24. His seven goals are the most he has netted in a single Premier League campaign.

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