It took a Bruno Fernandes goal late in the first half to divide the teams, and it proved to be the crucial action as Unai Emery’s side could not manage an equalizer as the game ended 1-0.
While the Portuguese maestro maintains his blistering form, the game was overshadowed by yet another disappointing afternoon for Marcus Rashford, who has gone cold of late despite some incredible mid-season performances.
Despite starting up front, it appears that the England international is still recovering from his injury, with Erik ten Hag content to use a weaker version of the wide man as an improvement over others in that role.
His statistics, on the other hand, have plummeted. For a time, the £200,000-per-week wizard scored ten Premier League goals in as many games. That number has now reduced to just two in his previous eight games. Even his role in yesterday’s goal was described as “unorthodox” by journalist Laurie Whitwell.
A victory will always be the priority, and the Red Devils will be thrilled. Regardless, their star man’s slump in form will be a source of concern until he regains his scoring touch.
Marcus Rashford’s performance vs. Aston Villa.
The Dutchman actually hooked the speedster with just over five minutes to go, opting for Anthony Martial to finish out the game, a testament to his awful performance.
This was far from shocking, given that the 25-year-old had only had 24 touches and six passes throughout his time on the pitch. Even Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea had more touches (29).
Rashford was unusually wasteful with his brief time on the ball, as evidenced by his 67% pass accuracy, one major chance lost, and the fact that he finished the game without a goal while accumulating 0.46 anticipated goals. According to Sofascore, this amount was roughly a third of the team’s total sum of 1.19.
To make matters worse, the forward lost 75% of the eight duels he played in and lost possession 13 times. This indicated that the 5 foot 11 finishers would give up the ball every 1.8 touches.
Their win yesterday increased their lead over the top four by tenfold, so this lapse in form is not caused for concern. Ten Hag, on the other hand, will be concerned about such inconsistency as he works to establish a brighter future for this great club.