Manchester United right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka was brilliant vs Aston Villa
Manchester United kickstarted 2021 in style after a customary penalty from Bruno Fernandes condemned Aston Villa to a 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford on Friday night.
The gruelling encounter was United’s first game to mark the new year and looked like it would end all square with the two sides coming close to scoring on multiple occasions.
But the Red Devils grit their teeth, dug deep and eked out a victory over Villa behind closed doors at the empty stadium, with Fernandes picking up where he left off last year with his 15th goal in 24 appearances across all competitions, via Transfermarkt.
Who was YOUR MOTM for Manchester United vs Aston Villa?
However, this doesn’t mean that some of the defensive displays should go unnoticed, none more so than Aaron Wan-Bissaka. We must reserve a special mention for Anthony Martial, who was equally impressive, but Wan-Bissaka was in imperious form after a somewhat shaky start to the season.
The 23-year-old, who earns around £90,000-per-week at Old Trafford, has often been criticised for his perceived lack of creativity in the final third. Against Villa, the defender defied the critics, as the full-back was a real threat bombing up and down the right flank. He picked up the assist for Anthony Martial’s opener but his attacking output didn’t stop there, either, as this was just one of two key passes he produced last night.
As per SofaScore, his performance was graded at 7.9 out of ten for his efforts – the highest rating out of any other player on the pitch including Fernandes and Jack Grealish – he made four tackles, also a game-high metric, two interceptions, two clearances and blocked one shot.
On one occasion halfway through the second half, Grealish sent a sublime pass towards Anwar El Ghazi waiting at the back post, only to be denied by the outstretched foot of Wan-Bissaka.
The Manchester Evening News awarded him with a 7/10 rating, claiming he ‘overcame an iffy start to get his first assist of the season with a spirited surge and cross for Anthony Martial’, while The Sun were equally effusive in their praise by giving him a notch below, insisting he ‘showed a willingness to get forward early on and took advantage of Rashford’s infield runs by bombing up the right.’
There’s no denying the fact the full-back was the standout performer, as it’s the type of performance fans have been expecting to see from the defender, who arrived at Old Trafford from Crystal Palace for £50m on a five-year contract in 2019.
With United heavily linked to Norwich City star Max Aarons, the timing couldn’t be better for Wan-Bissaka, whilst Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are now joint-top of the Premier League with defending champions Liverpool ahead of their game against Southampton on Monday night.
AND in other news, Ed Woodward must sell Manchester United defender Timothy Fosu-Mensah in January…