Connect with us

News

Manchester United stages a thrilling comeback to defeat Aston Villa, ending Hojlund’s goal drought

Published

on

Hojlund

Garnacho struck again to equalize before Hojlund finally ended his goal drought with eight minutes left. This marked Hojlund’s inaugural league goal for United in his 15th appearance and his sixth in all competitions since joining from Atalanta in August.

United’s winless run of four matches in all competitions came to an end with Hojlund’s cathartic strike, propelling them to sixth in the Premier League and denting Villa’s unexpected title challenge after two winless games.

Despite their first defeat in 11 matches in all competitions, Unai Emery’s men occupy the third position, trailing leaders Liverpool by three points.

United’s disappointing 2-0 loss at West Ham had resulted in 13 defeats in all competitions, the most before Christmas since 1930. This led to increased pressure on manager Erik ten Hag, who was striving to persuade British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe to maintain faith in him.

Ratcliffe agreed to purchase a 25 percent stake in United for £1.03 billion ($1.3 billion) on Christmas Eve, with INEOS director of sport Dave Brailsford attending the match as the first sign of Ratcliffe’s investment.

With Brailsford’s mantra being “marginal gains,” this hard-fought success is a crucial step in Ten Hag’s efforts to avoid dismissal.

United’s defensive vulnerabilities were glaring as they fell behind in an uncharacteristically sloppy manner, with Bruno Fernandes conceding a needless free-kick leading to Villa’s opening goal.

Subsequently, Clement Lenglet’s unmarked header from a corner resulted in Dendoncker’s first Villa goal, further exacerbating the pressure on United and Ten Hag.

However, United’s fortunes changed as Garnacho tapped in Marcus Rashford’s low cross, and a deflected strike from Fernandes found the net through Garnacho, setting up a tense finish.

While United defender Jonny Evans cleared a shot off the line, Hojlund’s pivotal moment came when a deflected United corner found him, allowing him to score a sweet volley and claim the victory.

Overall, the match concluded with wild celebrations from Hojlund and his teammates, providing respite for Ten Hag as United secured a crucial victory.

AFP


Trending