Manchester United 1-0 Aston Villa: player ratings & man of the match as Red Devils progress to fourth round

Manchester United’s win sets up a meeting with Middlesbrough in the next stage of the FA Cup.

A 1-0 win for Manchester United over Aston Villa on Monday ensured the former progressed to the fourth round of the FA Cup.

The Red Devils opened the scoring on eight minutes when Scott McTominay headed home Fred’s excellent cross, after an encouraging start.

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It was a back and forth first 45 minutes, with both sides creating, and missing, great opportunities to net, meaning the score remained 1-0 at the break.

That could have changed within the opening third of the second period, as Villa twice saw goals ruled out - the first after a lengthy and confusing VAR check, while the second was due to Danny Ings being offside in the build-up.

Villa were much the better side in the second half, but failed to find a breakthrough moment, meaning United will play Middlesbrough in the next stage of the competition.

Villa were denied an equaliser after a lengthy VAR stop in the second half. Credit: Getty.

Manchester United player ratings

David De Gea- 7

The goalkeeper pulled off great saves in the first half to deny John McGinn and Emiliano Buendia, and kept out a powerful effort from Matty Cash in the second half. Another superb display from the United No.1.

Diogo Dalot- 5

It wasn’t the defender’s best performance in recent weeks, and he had a tough night defensively, especially in the second half. However, in the first half he linked well with Mason Greenwood in the attacking areas.

Victor Lindelof- 6

Had a mixed night at as he returned to the side. The big Swede headed away a dangerous cross from inside his own half midway through the opening half, but had a few awkward touches in possession.

Victor Lindelof returned to the team after a recent Covid absence. Credit: Getty.

Raphael Varane- 7

United’s best player on the night, the centre-back looked composed on the ball an dealt well with Villa’s attacks. The only awkward moments came when Ollie Watkins was running at him in the first half.

Luke Shaw- 5

Selected above Alex Telles, the England international had an average first half, but really struggled after the break, and he picked up a booking after several fouls.

Scott McTominay- 7

Netted the opener after eight minutes and had two more shots on target in the first half. The midfielder was one of the Red Devils’ better performers and he attempted to use the ball quickly, while limiting the space for Villa’s midfield.

Fred- 6

The Brazilian put in a delicious cross for McTominay’s opener, and was the hosts’ most energetic player, but he had a mixed night. There were plenty of good tackles, but he often misplaced passes and had a few heavy touches.

Mason Greenwood- 7

United’s best attacking player and Greenwood threatened when cutting inside on his left foot. The youngster delivered some promising dribbles, crosses and shots, although he should have done better with a clear-cut effort in the second half that was well held by Emiliano Martinez.

Bruno Fernandes- 6 (off 85)

Most of United’s attacks came in the wide areas, and Fernandes failed to stamp his authority on the game. He did have a few nice touches and good moments, but not enough to have a significant impact on proceedings.

Marcus Rashford- 4 (off 85)

Got on the ball and tried to make things happen, but with little success. Too often, Rashford slowed down the play as United looked to break quickly against Villa. It was no surprise to see him taken off in the latter stages.

Marcus Rashford had a difficult night at Old Trafford. Credit: Getty.

Edinson Cavani- 6 (off 72)

There was plenty of endeavour and spirit from the striker, but few moment of quality. Cavani went close with a shot in the 28th minute, but it was blocked by Tyrone Mings.

Donny van de Beek- 6 (on 72)

Didn’t see a huge amount of the ball in his cameo appearance, although he showed some nice touches in possession.

Jesse Lingard (on 85), Anthony Elanga (on 85)

Aston Villa player ratings

Martinez 7; Cash 6, Konsa 7, Mings 7, Targett 6; Luiz 6, McGinn 7, Ramsey 7 (Philogene-Bidace 85); Watkins 7, Ings 6, Buendia 6 (E Ghazi 79).

Man of the Match

Without a standout candidate, Villa’s Erzi Konsa takes the award after an assured showing on the ball, while also looking solid defensively.