Man Utd star who won 100% aerial duels outshone McTominay v Aston Villa

    A win that could just act as the catalyst for a second-half-of-the-season charge towards Champions League football.

    Manchester United defeated Aston Villa 2-1 on the road this afternoon, which took them five points behind Unai Emery’s side.

    Rasmus Hojlund opened the scoring within the first 20 minutes, in what was an end-to-end half full of attacking scenarios for both sides.

    After the break, Douglas Luiz equalised for the hosts, but a certain Scott gave Erik ten Hag’s team the potential season-defining three points.

    Super sub Scott McTominay

    Scott McTominay saved the day once again after replacing Marcus Rashford, which is a substitution that will have left some United fans confused, especially as the visitors needed a goal.

    But prior to his arrival, Man United were being overrun in the midfield, with Villa becoming increasingly dominant.

    The 27-year-old only made four passes and had six touches in his 17 minutes on the field, but his impact in the final third continues to deliver goals, and important ones at that.

    In the 86th minute, McTominay latched onto a wonderful Diogo Dalot cross to produce a bullet header, which left Emi Martinez helpless in the Villa goal.

    This was his seventh of the season, making him United’s top scorer in the Premier League. He’s also scored or assisted in all of his last three games, despite starting none.

    That said, another player in white stood out in the Midlands today, and it was a man devoid of much praise over the last few years.

    Harry Maguire was the real hero

    Harry Maguire stepped up immensely in the absence of Lisandro Martinez, putting in a simply “colossal” performance, as per StatmanDave.

    Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News gave the number five an 8/10 rating, describing him as “defensively solid”, perhaps an understatement considering just good his display at the heart of Ten Hag’s defence was.

    Harry Maguire vs Aston Villa







    Pass accuracy


    Ground Duels (won)

    5 (4)

    Aerial duels (won)

    7 (7)





    Stats via Sofascore

    As you can see, Maguire was a rock at the back all game long while serving as a dominant figure in both penalty boxes. The England international used his aerial strength to win the header which fell to the feet of Hojlund securing Maguire’s second assist of the season.

    The 6 foot 4 defender also stood strong at the back, clearing corners and crosses for fun while also making four tackles. Maguire also won 12 of his 13 duels in the tie, with a 100% aerial duel success rate, which provided security and assurance when Villa ramped up the anti.

    The best way to describe his evening is that he put his body on the line for his team.


    To top his performance off, he was comfortable on the ball, taking 71 touches and not giving the ball away often, which isn’t always an easy task at a hostile Villa Park where the fans become the Villan’s 12th man.

    Overall, it was a perfect evening for Maguire and United. Not only will the three points boost confidence, squad morale, and togetherness, but it was a performance that the former captain needed and one that he can build upon.

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