Manchester United have been left to lick their wounds as they suffer their first Premier League defeat of the season at the hands of Aston Villa.
A late header from Kortney Hause was enough to earn the Villans all three points at Old Trafford as Bruno Fernandes is left to rue a late miss from the penalty spot.
The defeat leaves Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in a vulnerable position, with the flurry of challenging fixtures coming up next month. Stretty News takes a look at three takeaways from the defeat to Aston Villa.
An alarming lack of cohesion in possession
Manchester United’s lack of creativity or gameplan in possession is telling and it proved to be costly this afternoon. Aston Villa were clear in their pressing and it disrupted United’s limited ball retention. Often, it resulted in United launching a ball upfield in hope of Mason Greenwood latching onto a loose ball.
United look bewildered when they have the ball in the middle of the park, almost like there’s no idea and everything’s off the cuff rather than executing a carefully assembled plan or pattern of play.
Ultimately, most of the wins recently have been down to individual brilliance but there comes a point where more is required, and seemingly that time has arrived.
Stick with Bruno Fernandes
The 27-year-old Portuguese midfielder remains United’s talisman and despite missing the decisive penalty in the dying moments, he should be trusted with the next one.
Fernandes boasts an impressive record from the spot, with the mishap against Aston Villa being only his second miss from 12 yards since he signed for the club in January 2020. Cristiano Ronaldo will be in the running to take the next penalty but Solskjaer should stick with his trusted midfield maestro.
Double injury concern for United
As if the defeat wasn’t enough, United’s misery has been compounded after two first-team regulars came off due to injuries. Luke Shaw was withdrawn in the first half despite an attempt to play on and Harry Maguire suffered the same fate after the interval.
United have two more games before the second international break of the season but an extended spell on the sidelines for either player could prove to be costly for Solskjaer.